Walk To School Week – Top 5 Activities for Teachers
Walk To School Week runs from 17-21 May 2021 and this year’s theme is walking superpowers!
“This year’s challenge will focus on the walking superpowers that benefit individuals, communities and the planet.
Each day pupils will be introduced to a brand new ‘Walking Superpower’ taking the form of a fun comic-book inspired design.
Walking has so many benefits from physical to mental wellbeing; aiding concentration and creativity and creating safer, less polluted and more welcoming streets. All that makes for a happy, healthy child set up for success in and out of the classroom.”
Walk To School Week is a fantastic opportunity for teaching and learning about health and fitness with your primary school class.
But how can teachers link Walk To School Week to learning in a meaningful way?
Here at PlanBee, our former teachers have been thinking about some ways to do precisely that!
Top 5 activities and learning links for Walk To School Week 2021
Enjoying the mental and physical health benefits of walking are right at the heart of Walk To School Week. Briskly walking to school, rather than travelling by car or public transport, helps children feel fitter and happier.
Create opportunities in the classroom for children to discuss and share their experiences of walking to school. How does it make them feel? What do they notice on their walk? Who do they see as they walk through their community? What do they enjoy about it?
In PE, ask children to think about how they use their bodies when walking, and how it can affect their health:
- What happens to your breathing and your pulse when you walk briskly?
- Why are the effects of walking good for you?
- Do you notice improved fitness as a consequence of walking more?
Set your children a walking distance challenge!
Use maps and satellite images to:
- plan new walking routes;
- find and measure regular walking routes;
- and describe journeys using compass directions.
We love linking walking to Geography teaching and learning! If you're looking for some inspiration, we've included using maps and walking in your local area in these Map Makers lesson plans for Year 2.
You can link Maths Curriculum Objectives to Walk to School Week in a variety of ways. For example, you could use pedometers to collect data. You could also plan and conduct surveys about how children get to school then present the data using charts and graphs.
It’s easy to differentiate for every age group, too:
Key Stage One
Collect data about how all your children got to school each day with a show of hands. Record the results (e.g. walk, bus, taxi, driven, scooter, bicycle) on a tally chart. Children can then make pictograms to show the data, or use Multifix maths cubes to physically make pictograms.
Lower Key Stage Two
Challenge children to write their own survey questions and make their own tally charts, collecting the data themselves. Plot the data at the end of the week using bar charts.
Upper Key Stage Two
Instruct your learners to collect data from other classes in school. Challenge them to compare their sets of data and plot them on line graphs for comparison.
Need some time-saving resources for brushing up on gathering and presenting data with your class?
Link Walk To School Week with local history by challenging children to identify local landmarks on their walk. Can they spot keystones in arches? Do they notice the years in which houses were built?
Is your local area home to some British History Heroes such as the significant historic figures we feature in these lesson plans for years 3/4? What evidence of their existence and their achievements can you spot on your walk to school?
Walk To School Week links brilliantly with exploring nature. Why not start a small scrapbook to record information about plants and animal species? It could include photos, plant sprigs, sketches or tables to record plant growth throughout the week.
Furthermore, you could encourage children to keep walking throughout the year by learning about what can be observed outside as the seasons change.
We have FREE outdoor challenge cards.
Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking.
We love Living Streets' classroom packs and other resources – they're ideal for planning a five-day walking challenge in your school.
In 2019, their research found that 42% of parents are concerned about air pollution around their children's schools.
Watch their video to find out why they want to get more people walking:
It's clearer now, than ever, that promoting exercise, and reducing travel by car, in particular, is vital for our children's health and wellbeing.
Walk To School Week is a fantastic opportunity for schools and teachers to do just that.