Tweedmouth Middle scoops national prize
Tweedmouth Middle School has won a national award and received praise from the Prime Minister.
It won the Modeshift STARS school of the year award for its promotion of sustainable travel within the school and local community.
Headteacher Ben Hulbert said: “The school is beyond thrilled to have been awarded the national Secondary School STARS Award
“As a school, we have been working very hard to improve the percentage of students, staff and parents who travel to school sustainably. Our Green Ambassadors have played a vital role in promoting various initiatives, such as The Big Pedal, Bikers Breakfast and Walk to School Week.
“The school has created a School Travel Policy, and throughout the year we take part in initiatives including; The Big Pedal, Walk to School Week, Bikeability and Bike Week as well as taking opportunities to include road safety and public transport education within the curriculum.
“Three members of staff have also gained their Level 1 British Cycling Ride Leader Award which allows us to take students on bike rides - and this is alongside the Bike Ability award already available in school to all Year 5 and Year 6 students.
“We were extremely proud to take the award back to school, and to share it with all the students, staff and parents who have been instrumental in achieving it.”
While at Porticullis House in London, Isabel Gilchrist, Romilly Oliver, Frieda Turley and Frances Walmsley took to the stage, creating an outstanding video presenting the achievements and future initiatives at TCMS.
The girls excelled themselves in presenting to the Modeshift award panel and numerous MPs, including Berwick’s Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
Mrs Trevelyan congratulated the school on its award in Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.
She asked: ‘Will the Prime Minister join me in congratulating the school, its head, Mr Hulbert, and his team of staff, who are committed to creating a fitter, greener and more environmentally focused next generation of Berwickers?’
Prime Minister Theresa May responded: ‘I am very happy to join my Hon. Friend in thanking and congratulating Tweedmouth Community Middle School on its excellent work encouraging pupils to cycle to school. It is clearly an excellent achievement. We all know the importance of keeping our young people active.
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“I congratulate Mr Hulbert and all the teachers, but particularly the students who have taken this up and put it into practice.”
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “Tweedmouth is a shining example of a school which has made a real difference to its students and parents travel and transport habits - which is good for road safety, for the environment and for pupils’ health.
“It is fantastic to see one of our schools the national finals and I am pleased to offer huge congratulations to everyone involved.”
Coun Georgina Hill, the local county councillor said: “I echo Glen’s comments. These sustainable transport schemes have a range of benefits and I am really pleased that Ben and all those at Tweedmouth Middle School have been recognised in this way.”
Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is the national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school. Sixty-nine local authorities across the country participate in the scheme representing around 15,000 schools.
The awards were hosted by Maria Miller MP and presented by Jesse Norman MP. Roads Minister, Mr Norman, said: “I was delighted to attend the National School Travel awards and meet students who have made a dedicated effort to improve air quality by walking and cycling to school.
“We want to make walking and cycling the natural choice for journeys, which is why we’ve committed funding for a further three years to ensure the good work can continue.”
Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift said: “We are hugely grateful to the Department for Transport for their continued support of Modeshift STARS. Since they first began supporting the STARS scheme in 2014, the number of local authorities participating has grown from 22 to 69, whilst the number of registered schools has grown from 200 to over 3,500.
“Modeshift STARS is now making a significant difference to how children and young people are travelling to school with our latest figures for STARS accredited schools showing an increase in walking of 11.6% and an increase in cycling of 59% for those schools over the last 3-years.”
Modeshift STARS is supported by the Department for Transport and is free for schools to use. It is an online platform that can create a school travel plan, log sustainable travel activities and schools can work towards Modeshift STARS National Accreditation. For more information visit www.modeshiftstars.org