STUDENTS rode, scooted and walked to class at Ashley Park Primary School in Doreen last week as part of Bicycle Network’s national Ride2School Day on Friday.
The day saw 158 of the school’s 261 students come to campus actively, and principal Keren Barro said the school hoped to increase those numbers in future events.
“For the first one we thought it was really good,” she said.
“We had kids walk, ride or scoot to school, as long as it was active travel. The bike shed was exploding – there was no room left.”
Ms Barro said grade six students took charge of the day, handing out stickers to all students as they entered the school and giving tickets to any students who walked, scooted or rode.
“The tickets went into a box, and then at lunch time the student leaders counted the tickets and worked out the percentages [of which groups had participated the most],” she said.
“We made the announcement at assembly and we’ve got a little trophy that the Bicycle Network had given to us last year. We presented the trophy and that went to our senior community for the second year.”
Nearly three quarters of the school’s senior students took part in the day, with 66 per cent of foundation students, 60 per cent of middle school students and 47 per cent of junior students also joining in.
Ms Barro said there were many benefits to getting to school actively.
“When [the students] arrive they’ve expended a bit of energy and gotten some fresh air, so they’re better placed to be ready to learn,” she said.
“It also has a huge impact on the local environment and roads, because there are fewer cars and less traffic that you have to manage in your local streets. When you’ve got the infrastructure that we have in Whittlesea where there are bike paths everywhere, there really should be no reason why the kids aren’t riding or scooting or walking to school.
“It has had a huge impact on the local neighbourhood, and it’s good for teaching kids independence. We also had a number of families who rode with their children or walked with their children.”
Ms Barro said the school’s student leaders were already planning to host Ride2School days every term.