Epsom Primary School students swap cars for more active means of transport

Dozens of Epsom Primary School students braved Monday morning’s rainy weather to walk, ride and scoot to school, as part of Walk to School month.

The school has established three meeting points from where teachers can safely escort children to school.

PE teacher Gill Davey said the school had an especially strong focus on walking to school this year because the major redevelopment of the school had left the children with a reduced outdoor area in which to play in their breaks, limiting the exercise they got throughout the day.

“They play a lot of organised sport, but it’s really about this incidental exercise and creating healthy habits for life,” Mrs Davey said.

Mrs Davey said walking to school helped boost students’ physical activity and also gave them a social opportunity.

Starting the day with a dose of fresh air set them up for learning, she said, and by walking, students also got to experience sights, sounds and smells they would not if they were driven.

The walking meeting points have also helped divert vehicle traffic away from the school, which is located in relatively narrow Howard Street.

Mrs Davey said the response from the school community had been great.

“We’ve had really good outcomes,” she said.

The school has promoted taking active means of transport to school by running weekly competitions around decorating bikes, shoes, scooters and bags.

One prep student even won a statewide weekly prize after decorating his shoes in Richmond’s yellow and black.