Eco Programme – Campaign Junction Day – Monday 26th April

Here at Hylands, a group of Year 7 students have been working collaboratively on how we can encourage students to sustainably and actively travel to and from school.

We have been working with an external company named Modeshift, which encourages active and sustainable travel to and from schools. Our initial sessions explored the current issues that impede students’ travel to school on foot or by bike.

Continual sessions with our Modeshift co-ordinator (Keith Woodward) researched how students currently travel and how they would prefer to travel where possible through the use of a “Hands Up Survey.” Students interviewed others in their Year Group to ascertain why students cannot sustainably travel more to school. We also looked at the school infrastructure that encourages sustainable travel, such as bike Sheffield stands and shelters, to understand whether there were enough to allow students to travel to school.

Later sessions with Modeshift then focused on creating a campaign to increase awareness of sustainable travel to the whole school community. Students decided to focus their campaign on three separate issues pertinent to the school’s current issues with sustainable travel. 

Our most ambitious and important priority was to secure the safety of our students when arriving or leaving the front entrance of the school.The main road by the front entrance is unsafe for our students to safely travel to school. It is frequently congested at peak times, a ‘rat run’ road for commuters and public transport users which has led to a number of serious accidents over the years. There isn’t a  safe crossing place for students to use and we would like this to change. Thus, we proposed for a traffic light crossing or a zebra crossing be constructed to allow students and pedestrians to safely cross the road. 

Secondly, our campaign centred on the school bike shelter. Parts of the bike shelter are dilapidated and do not allow for the bikes to be kept away from bad weather conditions. Therefore, we proposed that the bike shelter needed modernisation to encourage students and staff to safely secure their bikes. Lastly, we proposed an exclusive area for the school bus to park in the school’s turning circle to minimise congestion on the school site and to allow for students to arrive/depart school safely. 

Modeshift offered up to £300 of funding to initiate our campaign ideas by delivering our ideas to a panel of sustainability school experts at Chelmsford County Hall. Students turned these ideas into a presentation to deliver to the panel of experts. On Monday 22nd April, our ‘Ecolands’ ambassadors, Miss Stephens and Mrs Govus walked from Hylands to Chelmsford County Hall. Students delivered their presentation to the panel of experts and received feedback from sustainability experts ranging from Bikeability to Essex Highways. 

‘Ecolands’ ambassadors were awarded with a fantastic £225 funding to put our ideas into action. 

We are incredibly proud of all the Year 7 pupils that worked tirelessly to make the presentation and put our ideas into action. They spoke with clarity and confidence to a group of experts which would have certainly been a daunting task. We will now be working closely with Essex Highways to initiate a ‘School Travel Plan’ to bring us one step closer to achieving our aim of a traffic/zebra crossing. We will also continue to work with Modeshift to encourage students to sustainably travel to and from school. 

Please see pictures below from our event and presentation: