Our P & C President attended the Your Move Professional Learning Course in April of this year. Below are some of her words:
In early April, I attended a your move seminar. This was to gain an understanding of the programme, hear what other schools have implemented and how challenges can be addressed.
It was an informative morning, with many takeaways. The key for me and our P & C was how Morley North implemented their walking school bus. Our school made an attempt in late 2017 to start a walking school bus. We designated the Satterley car park as our drop zone. Firstly as it had readymade parking, to try to draw traffic away from the school, and secondly as it was not such a long walk for any little legs that joined us on the way. Unfortunately, due to lack of volunteers, we could not continue with our efforts. What I learnt from the Morley model was they mapped the interest in the form of questions such as who would be available to be a ‘bus driver’ and where would the children be coming from. This enabled them to plan the routes. I loved this idea, and will be keen to look at revisiting this idea at Harrisdale Primary School, especially with the warmer months coming. I really loved the community spirit these ‘riders’ undertook, by leaving positive affirmations in some residents mailboxes.
Another takeaway I had, that ties heavily into the walking school bus, was the senses activity we undertook. We had the smell of gum leaves, spritz of water, crunching of sticks and leaves and bird noises played while our eyes were closed. This really was an impactful activity, as you could feel the change in your mood by being taken back to nature. Imagine how amazing our students could be with a walk in the morning before a day of learning.
Given the size of our school community, some wants can be very hard to get off the ground, but we will keep persevering with these activities until we can make a success of it and make it a habit within our school. How we change the mindset of protective parents and teach them that learning boundaries at a young age, is so valuable for their future, will remain a work in progress.
Thank you to the school for the opportunity to attend.
Harrisdale Primary School's stories
Our P & C President attended the Your Move Professional Learning Course in April of this year. Below are some of her words:
Harrisdale Primary School is in the process of obtaining a crossing attendant to help both parents and students cross a very busy roundabout at the front of our school. The Harrisdale Primary School P & C undertook a traffic count to start the process for this.
In 2016, the schools’ first year of opening, we were advised that due to the location of our school, we would not qualify for an attendant. After a recent meeting with the Armadale council engineer and our local member, we were encouraged to again lodge an application. Eight parent volunteers assisted with the count, and a community member wanting to support the process.
In the morning before school, 811 cars were counted with 431 pedestrians utilising this roundabout. An amazing 63 cars were counted in the 5 minutes immediately after the school bell. In the afternoon, 619 cars were counted, along with 524 students.
The next stage is for a count to be conducted at the high school and the application to be submitted to the Children’s Crossing and road Safety Committee.
Your Move has been vital to the Harrisdale Primary School community and our large number of students. We have a large amount of students in early childhood, which made our Park and Walk Scheme so successful. Students in early childhood are required to arrive and depart school with a parent. A Park and Walk Scheme was a great way for HPS to ensure that all students including those in early childhood were able to participate actively in the scheme. Through our older students modelling what being active looks like, our younger student body are able to feel inspired to walk, scoot or ride to school just like the big kids do!
Harrisdale Primary has a Kiss and Drive through one of the staff carparks. This allows parents whose children cannot actively make their way to school to drop them off or pick them up by car. With a school capacity of over 1100 students promoting active travel over commuting by car is an initiative to alleviate traffic flow issues. Through staff monitoring the Kiss and Drive and Parent feedback we have been able to evaluate the main issues and initiated the Harrisdale Primary School Park and Walk Scheme to overcome these. Through support from parents and the promotion of Harrisdale Primary School being a Your Move school we will be able to create an ultimately active student body.
Principal, Karen Duncan helped get our recognition as a Your Move School and said, “Since opening in 2016, Harrisdale Primary, with a rapidly growing student population, has experienced significant parking and traffic flow issues.
We have worked tirelessly for the past four years with our local community, Council and Department of Education to find solutions to alleviate these issues. Joining the ‘Your Move’ initiative was one such solution.
As a member of the ‘Your Move’ initiative, we strive to think of proactive solutions that encourage our students and families to walk to school.
In this latest venture, the school has teamed with the Satterley Group from the Heron Park Estate to utilise parking available at the sale office and offer an alternative to parents where they can park their vehicles and walk with their child to school.
As an added incentive, parents are being provided with a coffee, compliments of Satterley, to enjoy on their walk to the school.
The students enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise, and walking to school with their parents.
We hope that we can grow the number of families participating in this initiative."
At Harrisdale Primary School we ensure that our website is up to date with events occurring in our school community. One such event is our Park and Walk Scheme and being recognised as a Your Move School. We actively encourage students to walk, scoot or ride to school. This improves their positive wellbeing along with heightening their learning opportunities during the school day.
Ensuring parents have an understanding of what being a Your Move School means is important to us. We often take the opportunity to encourage both parents and students to partake in physical activity outside of the school day. This encouragement is often posted onto the Harrisdale Primary School Facebook page or website. These online portals are also places that we can actively educate our broader school community about the advantages of physical exercise and its day-to-day benefits on the learning experiences for all students.
You can view our take on being a Your Move school on our website: http://www.harrisdaleps.wa.edu.au/students/your-move/
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to team up with Satterley’s Heron Park Estate to bring to life The Harrisdale Primary School Park and Walk Scheme. As mentioned in our previous story, our Park and Walk Scheme was a success! We later evaluated the numbers and found that 130 families came through and took advantage of a free hot drink during the first week. After their active involvement in our Park and Walk Scheme Satterley featured our initiative on their blog. We look forward to seeing the Park and Walk in action over the rest of the year, especially as the weather improves!
At Harrisdale Primary School we want to to improve the health and positive wellbeing of all of our students, whether they are in Kindy, Year 6 or the in between. In order to do this we have implemented a Park and Walk Scheme. This is an initiative that links in with the Your Move Activities and works successfully for HPS as we are a local intake school with over 1000 students.
First, we conducted a survey to ask parents how important they thought being healthy and partaking in physical activity was for them and their children. From here, we found that parents would be more inclined to walk to school with their children. We decided that we could aid this process through initiating a Park and Walk.
We kicked off the Park and Walk on Monday with the assistance of the Heron Park Satterley office. They provided free coffees, hot chocolates and fresh fruit to all participants who parked at their office during the first week. We had a significant amount of parents come through and leave with not only a free coffee in hand, but also a grin on their faces.
The average drive to and from school releases approximately 800g of CO2 into the air, which is enough to inflate 60 balloons! Walking to and from school on the other hand reaps many benefits that ensure students are ready and raring to begin their big day of learning.
Satterley have allowed us to utilise their car park from now on for parents to park and walk to school with their children. Who could say no to that when the walk is only 800 metres! We will continue to promote the Park and Walk Scheme and hope that more people from our school community utilise the car park throughout the rest of the year.
Harrisdale Primary School is a local intake school, meaning that the greater majority of students live within walking distance. The need for bike and scooter racks is necessary to ensure that all students feel that their equipment will be safe whilst they are at school.
Students have the option of three locations where they can access bike and scooter racks. These three locations have been built to accommodate for our growing student population.
As parking is a reoccuring issue due to the school’s location, providing students with the opportunity to make their way to school either on foot, bike or by scooter ensures that students can maintain a healthy wellbeing and their parents are not stuck in traffic each morning and afternoon.
At Harrisdale Primary School our families are the number one priority. We value the opinions of our school community and recently took to our Facebook page to ask parents what they believe is important when it comes to being active with their children through the form of a survey. We had 61 participants in the survey and found that the greater majority of parents who contributed indicated that health and wellbeing, road safety and physical activity are essential for students. As a Your Move school we want as many students walking to school as possible to reduce car-based congestion and promote a healthy lifestyle.
The survey allowed parents to leave further comments if they saw necessary. There were many comments from a range of parents, which allowed us to determine where we can identify changes that are within our capacity to adjust.
In the survey we asked a range of questions including the following:
- The level of importance you place on road safety, physical activity and health/wellbeing The level of importance you place on physical activity.
- How far do you live from the school?
- How does your child(ren) usually get to school?
- Do you travel with your child(ren) to school?
- If you travel with your child(ren) to school, after you have left the school on a regular day do you: return straight home, take another child elsewhere, run errands?
- If you currently use a car to take your child(ren) to school but are interested in trying out an alternative mode of travel such as walking, cycling or scooting, how many car trips do you think you could swap per week?
We will be working closely with the local council to ensure that we can continue to provide a safe environment for students to walk to school each day. We are currently in the organisational phase of a Park and Walk area, where parents can park close by the school and walk the rest of the way with their children.
Harrisdale Primary School has gone digital and no longer has a printed newsletter. As an Apple Digital School, we have access to a wide range of programs such as Keynote and iMovie. These excellent programs were the foundation for Harrisdale Headlines, a digital newsletter!
Harrisdale Headlines is sent out to parents fortnightly and has a range of important information. The latest episode of Harrisdale Headlines showed students discussing why they enjoy walking to school and the positive impact it has on their learning throughout the day.
As Harrisdale Primary School is a local intake school the greater majority of our students live within walking distance. This presents students with the perfect opportunity to walk to school instead of coming by car. Upper school students are able to lead by example and through portraying the positive impacts of walking to school, junior school students can see just how rewarding it is!
On May 27th Harrisdale Primary School took part in the National Walk to School Day. This was a momentous occasion, with 488 students walking to school! Based on a survey taken on May 10th, National Walk to School Day saw a 177% increase of students walking to school.
Harrisdale Primary School is extremely fortunate to have a supportive school community. This was demonstrated in the lead up to National Walk to School Day with Harrisdale Woolworths donating enough fresh fruit and milo for the HPS staff to distribute to each student who partook in the event.
HPS staff members were situated within a 1km radius of the school premises to meet and walk to school with students. This proved to be a successful event, with all students walking to school with a grin on their faces and a staff member by their side.
Harrisdale Primary School will continue to promote healthy eating and walking to school in the future.
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