Walking to school gives you wings

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Pupils won the chance to get up close and personal with birds of prey after taking the top spot in a walk to school challenge.

Faversham-based providers of falconry and archery experiences Joe’s Bows brought an assortment of birds to green travel champs St Edward’s Catholic Primary in Sheerness.

The visit was a reward for the pupils’ impressive green travel figures for a walk to school competition staged last month. The contest was part of Walk on Wednesday (Wow), which is run by the KM Charity Team and encourages families to walk, cycle or ‘park and stride’ for the school run at least once a week.

Head teacher Sara Wakefield said: “At St Edward’s we have embraced Walk on Wednesday. We have a lot of congestion outside our school, so anything we can do to reduce the traffic in the morning is really important to us.”

Teaching assistant Lisa Whittaker added: “We’ve won two parties this year. Our Year 4 class won tickets to Leeds Castle, and we’ve won the Joe’s Bows falconry display this week, which the children have been really excited about.

“The prizes that the KM Charity Team offer the children are a real incentive for them to walk to school on Wednesday.”

Pupils were full of enthusiasm for Wow at the falconry display, with Grace Dare saying: “Walking to school is very important because it makes you fit and healthy.”

And classmate Caelan King said: “I’m so happy that we won the Walk on Wednesday prize because we got to handle and see these owls and birds.”

Wow encourages families to walk to school, with classes competing each week to be awarded the Green Class of the Week Trophy. A monthly inter-school green travel challenge awards winning classes tickets to leisure attractions or visits by storytellers.

The KM Charity Team’s Walk to School work is supported by Whites Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Orbit, Volker Highways, Countrystyle Recycling, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Specsavers, Eurostar, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars and Maidstone, Ashford, Kent, Medway and Bexley councils.

Schools have until July 1 to join the KM Charity Team’s Super Wow scheme to benefit from a 20% discount and entry into a prize draw to win 400 books. Contact Sarah Clyne at sclyne@thekmgroup.co.uk or visit kmcharityteam.co.uk/wow.

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