Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools

London Borough of Hackney

United Kingdom


Hackney is a densely populated inner London borough with 250,000 residents, and one of the fastest growing and most diverse populations in the UK. STARS will help to meet borough transport objectives by encouraging active travel to school. With STARS we should see a reduction in the 18% of cars on the road at peak times that are taking children to school and an increase in the amount of physical activity among children.

Hackney will work with at least 33 primary schools and 10 secondary schools over the course of the project. We expect car use to decline at a greater rate at participating schools and are aiming for at least a 5% increase in cycling at participating schools.

STARS Activities in Hackney

  • Stormont House School ran a whole-school active and independent travel and health awareness activity day on Friday 8 May 2015. The YTAs scheduled a day of activities, lessons and competitions based around cycle training, independent and active travel, road safety awareness, healthy eating and healthy living. Topics were built into the usual curriculum lessons as part of the day, for example: fitness competitions and awareness in PE - measuring blood pressure before and after exercise, competing in sports, also Art projects based around road safety and active travel, Science classes looking at health, fitness and the environment, and a healthy menu provided for lunch and a smoothie bike where students could make their own pedal powered smoothies while learning about different types of fruit from all over the world. Cycle taster sessions were given on all ability bikes so that all 110 students could have a go on a bike no matter what cycling level they were.
  • Road safety film competition - primary schools make road safety themed films focussing on an issue of their choice (crossing the road safely, cycling safely etc) and submit them to be judged. The students learn more about staying safe on their journey to school but also get the experience of making and editing a short film which can then be used for educational purposes by the municipality.
  • Bike Around the Borough - STARS Europe and other schools in the Hackney all join together for one day for a mass bike ride around the borough covering about 9 miles in total. Students and teachers from primary and secondary schools meet at a central location and form a long bike bus, taking over the streets for the day, having fun cycling with their friends, experiencing cycling on roads and getting to explore the borough. They stop halfway through the day for lunch, music and other entertainment, then get back on their bikes for the return journey. Last year (2014) about 450 students, cycle trainers, teachers and staff took part in the ride!
  • Cycle training in nursery schools - balance bike training in one nursery school is partly done by the children at the school who helped to make a film about how the learn to ride a balance bike and then move on to a proper bike with pedals. the children go through the learning process step by step in the film, showing their progression from pushing the bike around with their feet, learning to glide, and then learning to pedal.
  • Colvestone Primary School have put together a whole-school transport theme for a term / semester including a focus on cycling and planning trips to the transport museum / velopark.

City Facts

Inhabitants: 246,300
Number of primary schools: 18
Number of secondary schools: 68
Number of primary and secondary combined schools: 12
Involved primary schools: 33
Involved secondary schools: 8  
Km roads & streets: 278  
Car ownership: 36%