Here's a snap shot of how some of our Happy Legs got to school on Walk to School day this year. We particularly love the big smiles on these faces!
Willetton Primary School's stories
“ There were bikes. Bikes everywhere. Bikes as far as the eye could see." (Extract from scientific field journal, dated Wednesday 21 March 2018.)
“ The bikes arrived with a previously unexperienced plague of exuberant giddiness and vibrant energy which emitted from these odd beings which were transported on their backs.
These beings were varied: some undeveloped and secured like cargo into cabooses and small seats; some were aged and filled with elevated oxygen levels; and the majority of beings were of pre-pubescent development.
They travelled in pairs and groups, seemingly unconcerned, in fact buoyed, by being transported by these pedal-powered vehicles! The intense heat did not deter them in any way. I counted 234 of them.
As they neared, it became apparent that these animated creatures were actually in control of the bikes; not captives being transported as originally assumed. For the wheeled vehicles were secured and restrained to a vintage racking system, left to wait patiently for their owner to return. The sheer quantity was astounding and additional parking facilities were haphazardly facilitated by nearby vegetation – namely trees and small bushes.
I managed to find a path around the vast array of bikes and, with caution, interacted with several pre-pubescent beings and was pleased to discover we shared the same language. They spoke of ‘Wheels Wednesday’ and ‘Bike Week’ and regaled stories of ‘increased energy, fun and excitement’.
As I made my way from the many groups of chatting small beings and out of the fenced facility I was approached by a being more senior in years who excitedly claimed “Wheels Wednesday has changed my view about riding to school against a drive.... it’s easy, healthy and enjoyable... we are going to do more riding from now on!”
Around us was a near-deserted parking facility for motorised vehicles, much larger than bikes. “Where exactly am I?” I queried.
“You’re in the car park of Willetton Primary School of course!” came the reply. “Usually there is a queue out onto the street but today most of us are on bikes!”
How intriguing and marvellous I muttered to myself. “
End of field journal entry.
Above: overflowing parking facility for bikes.
Below: near empty parking facilities for cars.
The morning of Friday 19 May, 2017 began with heavy rain, dark grey clouds and a chilling wind. Undeterred, more than 210 smiling and active kids braved the elements; walking to school, sheltered by bright umbrellas and guided safely across streets by busier than usual cross-walk attendants. On arrival their tummies were filled with scrumptious banana bread and healthy fruit and it was all mixed up in a delightfully engaged school community at Willetton Primary School.
Walk to School Day 2017 marked the beginning of an initiative at Willetton Primary to encourage our families to leave the keys at home and walk, scoot or ride their way to school. Children were provided a short questionnaire to complete which, we hope, broadened their thoughts whilst on their journey. Such as “Did you see a Safety House on your walk to school?” Fortunately the questionnaire could be answered on any day during the week 15 to 19 May as, admittedly, completing a questionnaire whilst battling to keep your umbrella from becoming air-borne and the questionnaire itself from becoming a papier-mache project was highly challenging!
One amazing family surpassed them all and made their way to the Channel 9 studios in the CBD for a 7am live appearance promoting the school’s Walk to School event, and even made it back in time to appear in a Walk to School Day themed assembly performance at 9am! With their bodies hidden behind screens and only feet and legs on show, donned in brightly coloured, mis-matched and zealously decorated shoes and socks, Area 12 entertained (slightly soggy) school friends and families with self-choreographed dance moves to “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers, “These Shoes Were Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra and a rousing “YMCA” from The Village People causing spontaneous audience-participation! Perhaps the combination of lungs filled with fresh air, a rewarding breakfast of banana bread, a spot raffle and hair whipped into a frenzy by stormy winds explains the energy and good-vibes of the day? A big thank you to you all, plus City of Canning for the Small Community grant that went towards supplying our walkers with a healthy breakfast, Your Move for the shoe pets used as raffle prizes and Willetton IGA for the delicious fresh fruit.
Last Friday May 12, the Faction Captains at Willetton Primary completed our first hands up survey and helped input the results into the web-site with a parent helper (who wasn't really needed!). Encouragingly, the results showed that 53% of students had used active transport to get to school, but this was heavily swayed to the older year groups; only a handful of kindy and pre-primary students walked or rode to school. Some work to do but we're confident that we can motivate and encourage more students and their parents to leave the car at home and find more ways to get to school! Looking forward to building more momentum with our Walk Safely to School Day event on Friday!
Hi there! We're just beginning our plan to get Willetton Primary moving (not in cars!) and looking to make a bit of a celebration on National Walk Safely to School Day. I would love to hear any ideas of what other primary schools are doing. Anyone doing a breakfast? I would love some healthy treat ideas?! Thanks!
The inspiration: with only 1 day notice, over 200 Willetton Primary school students rode, skated or scooted on National Ride2School Day, Friday March 17. That's over a third of all our students! A raffle was run, bike accessory prizes were generously donated by two local bike shops. We are now working to build on this momentum so that our bike racks look like this every day!
I'm at Your Move Unwrapped today to help get Willetton Primary School more active by finding more ways to get to school. Your Move has a network of over 60 champions representing Perth Schools and Workplaces here today. Join us! #YourMove #OnBoard
14 Woodpecker Ave
Are you part of this organisation? Please refer to the contact email above to request an invite.