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STARS Spotlight: Growing Up Green Day Nursery Preston Road

This week we look at Growing up Day Nursery Preston Road, Nominee for the STARS Early Years Establishment of the Year. They were awards Early Years Establishment of the year for the South East of England.

Behaviour Change seen at the school

Through their work, the nursery decreased car use significantly from 57% to 25% over the 3 years they have been working on STARS. There has been a corresponding increase in scooting & cycling by 19% over this time. Many more children are scooting and cycling due to improved storage and scooter training done by the nursery. A lot of work has been done on promoting Park & Stride, especially using the nursery’s ‘5 minute walking zone map’ and Park & Stride has increased from 2% to 6% over the 3 years.

Top 3 Achievements

  1. Great communicating with parents and carers, in various ways, on a regular basis. For example: monthly newsletters on what they are doing around active and sustainable travel; parent noticeboard, which is kept up-to-date with information such as bus-timetables, 5 minute walking zone map and cycle maintenance classes poster; Modeshift information table at Parents’ Evening; Sustainable Travel page on website, which includes information on local buses http://www.growingupgreen.co.uk/nursery-life/sustainable-travel/; regular weekly Facebook posts used to promote initiatives, and inform parents about what the nursery is doing, such as promotion of Park & Stride and their ‘Walking Zone’ map; emails – for example, for sending out information to parents about the local BusID card which gives discounted bus tickets for young people; totally updating new parents’ welcome packs to contain lots of relevant information and literature on active and sustainable travel to nursery, to help then make informed choices about how they will travel.
  2. The nursery has done a lot of work on promoting and using public transport, with both children and parents and carers. They do many trips out with the children and often use the local buses to get to destinations; they talk to the children about  the importance of staying safe when using public transport; they have talked to the children about how using public transport and walking to nursery is better for the environment; they have discussed with the children before trips out about behaviour on buses – talking about using quiet voices and sitting sensibly on the chairs to stay safe during the bus ride. For parents and carers, their sustainable travel information noticeboard and website contains lots of information, for example:  their own poster on the young persons’ BusID discounted travel card, bus stops, routes and timetables, information about the local train station and train times. Travelling by public transport to nursery is around 9% (2% 2017/18, 9% 2016/17) but many families now use public transport on other journeys.
  3. Moving the bike rack into the secure, covered buggy shed: moving the bike rack into the secure buggy storage space has encouraged more parents to cycle their children to nursery, and also encouraged more staff and parents to cycle. Cycling has increased from 2% to 10%, and for staff from 11% to 15% over the 3 years the nursery has been working on STARS.

Why the local authority has nominated this school

The staff at Growing up Green Preston Road have really embraced Modeshift STARS over the 3 years they been working on it, and have worked consistently over that time to achieve great results in terms of modal shift and engagement  with children and parents/carers.
The nursery has been particularly great at communicating all of the work they are doing, and communication relevant information to parents and carers to help them make informed travel choices. The nursery has really worked hard on their new parents’ ‘welcome’ packs. These packs now include lots of relevant information on active and sustainable travel, so parents know from when they start at nursery what the ethos around travel is at Growing up Green. The new packs also include a Sustainable Travel Policy and Parking (Drop off and Collection) Policy, both of which the nursery has created since starting work on Modeshift STARS.

The School Travel Champion at Growing up Green has also worked really well with the School Travel Champion at the ‘sister’ Growing up Green nursery, which is about ½ mile away, in Beaconsfield Villas. This has been particularly true since working on Silver, as the previous Beaconsfield Villas School Travel Champion left the nursery, and so Preston Road Travel Champion has really helped support the new School Travel Champion there.

I feel the nursery greatly deserves this recognition not only because of the range of work they have done in achieving STARS, but also because of how well they have engaged with the parents/carers, children and staff, with amazing results in terms of modal shift. They have fantastic plans for the future, and are totally committed to carrying on their great work.