From walking or riding a bike, students at Oriel Academy have spent the week finding healthier ways to arrive at school. 

Pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5 at the Hanworth primary have been set the challenge of travelling to school in a more active way for a nationwide competition. 

The Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel challenge, which started March 21st and ends April 1st, aims to encourage children to develop positive habits around travelling to school.

Teachers are logging the journeys of the children taking part in a leaderboard which allows them to see how they compare to other schools across the country. 

Ahead of the launch of the challenge, charity Sustrans dispatched a ‘Dr Bike’ to service the children’s bikes for free and this proved to be very popular. 

Chloe Butcher, Oriel’s Wellness Lead, explained the importance of the challenge. She told the Hounslow Herald: ‘‘We are hoping to increase the levels of healthy travel in Years 3, 4 and 5 and to change ‘habits’ of travel to school ahead of the warmer months. Less cars means less traffic pollution! The launch assembly, run by a member of Sustrans, shared the benefits of healthy travel and encouraged the children to walk, scoot or cycle to school.

Oriel Academy students enjoyed taking part in the Sustrans Big Walk & Wheel challenge

‘‘A challenge like this is great at promoting and developing children’s awareness of environmental sustainability and how to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing.

‘‘Our recent Ofsted inspection – which saw Oriel maintain its ‘Good’ rating – described the school as happy and welcoming. Our pupils have a strong sense of belonging and their wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. Challenges like the Sustran Walk and Wheel reinforce this.’’

Oriel currently has places available in Reception and Nursery for the academic year that begins September 2022. For more information email: or call: 0208 894 9395.

Earlier this year, Oriel received a glowing Ofsted report – despite the upheaval caused by Covid-19.

The school’s first inspection since the pandemic began has seen it retain its ‘Good’ rating. The inspector said the school is ‘happy and welcoming. Pupils enjoy their learning and try their best. They feel motivated by the encouragement they get from staff. Children get off to a good start in the early years. They do well in the nurturing and stimulating environment. Pupils said that bullying does not happen here. They know that staff will sort out any friendship issues or unkind behaviour’.

The inspector also noted ‘leaders have ensured the school has continued to improve. They have introduced a successful mathematics programme and reading is at the heart of the curriculum. This starts in the early years. Leaders want the curriculum to be memorable and they use educational visits to bring learning to life’.

Oriel Academy students have enjoyed finding healthier ways to travel to school

The Ofsted report notes pupils behave exceptionally well in lessons and around school. They feel safe in school and said bullying does not happen at Oriel Academy.  Leaders have high aspirations for every pupil and staff are supported and encouraged to play their part in making a difference to pupils’ lives.

Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel is the UK’s largest inter‐school walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling challenge that inspires pupils to be amazing and take active journeys to school.

Over 2,000 schools have registered to take part this year with an estimated 786,980 pupils taking part. 

The Sustrans Big Walk & Wheel challenge has given Oriel Academy students the chance to reflect on the impact transport has on the environment

All schools will be entered into daily prize draws for rewards if over 15% of your school takes part on each day of the challenge. Prizes up for grabs include accessories and equipment to help your school travel actively.