Chinthurst School is encouraging its pupils to walk at least some of the way to school during the month of March, with a helping hand from Cornelius the Cockerel. The friendly character makes an appearance in the mornings to cheer the children on.
Walking encourages independence and increases children's confidence; it allows them to be spontaneous (for example, choosing to stop and smell a flower or look at something interesting); and it is a great way to spend a bit of quality time with family and friends without the added stress of sitting in traffic. Daily exercise in the form of walking has been shown to make children feel calmer and happier as well as improving their concentration levels. Coming to school on foot also reduces congestion and pollution near the school gates.
To harness all these benefits, Chinthurst has challenged parents and pupils to park further away from school for the month of March and walk the remaining distance. To help them along the way, Cornelius Cockerel (aka Mr. Cookson) is making an appearance at drop off and pick up time to cheer them on. The children are logging how many minutes they walk each day and, if they add up to a hundred by the end of term, they will be awarded a special badge and entered into a prize draw to win a soft toy version of Cornelius himself.
Headteacher, Cathy Trundle says, ' Despite being a little wet and blustery some mornings, it has been fantastic to see so many children taking part in our Park and Stride challenge. It is a brilliant way to reduce congestion and improve safety on the roads around the school with the added benefit of improving the children's physical and mental wellbeing'.