Healthy travel means healthy kids

There are so many reasons to join Walk to School in 2018. Walking, riding or scooting to and from school is a great way to work towards the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity, every day. Plus, kids who are active are more likely to develop healthy habits that lead to lifelong health benefits. Last year, more than 140,000 Victorian primary school kids got involved, and you can too! It’s easy to get active, even if your school isn’t involved. Simply register today!

I love walking to school! I walk with my mum, big sister and little brother.

Mum and I ride our bikes to school every day and it is so much fun!

My school is a long walk away, so dad will drive us to the drop off zone. Then I get to walk with all my friends!

Get ready, get set for Walk to School!

Last year, VicHealth funded 61 enthusiastic councils to provide local Walk to School activities in your community. 

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Win fabulous prizes for your school

Did you know that you can win prizes just for walking, riding or scooting to and from school? By participating, you could help your school win a regional school prize. Schools with the highest participation levels are eligible so every time a child walks, rides or scoots to and from school during October, they increase your school’s chance of winning! 

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FAQs

Have a question about Walk to School? Before contacting us, have a look at some of our most frequently asked questions and answers.

How does Walk to School work?

If your child’s school is taking part in Walk to School, your child’s teacher will record how many times students walk, ride or scoot to and from school during October, using a classroom calendar.

Schools with the highest participation levels are eligible for some fantastic prizes. So every time your child walks, rides or scoots they increase their school’s chance of winning!


 

My child’s school isn’t registered. Can I still get involved?

Yes! Even if your school isn’t registered, you can still participate. Make your child’s walking, riding and scooting count by having them register as a student on the Walk to School website – with your permission, of course. Your child can keep track of how often they walk, ride or scoot to and from school and be part of the state-wide movement.

Why does Walk to School go for a month?

Studies show that it takes 30 days to build a habit. The longer we do something healthy, the more likely that healthy habit will stick. That’s why Walk to School lasts for an entire month, rather than a single day. It’s about building healthy habits for life.


Why do schools use classroom calendars?

The calendars are a bright, fun way to record how many times students walk, ride, scoot to and from school in October. At the end of the month, schools use the calendars to provide a summary of data to VicHealth, so they can give prizes to the most active schools in each region. Schools can also use the calendars to reward students or celebrate the most active class at school assembly.

What’s so good about active travel options?

National guidelines recommend kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and walking, riding and scooting are ways to help them get there. It’s also a great way to connect with family members and your community. Active travel options to and from school provide more time for conversation and is less stressful than driving. Not to mention it helps the environment, reduces traffic congestion and demand for parking!

How can our family start walking?

There are lots of ways to get started, but the best option is always the one that suits your family. You can:

  • walk to school with your child and enjoy the chance to talk and teach road safety skills

  • arrange for your child to walk to school with trusted family friends or neighbours

  • drive part of the way to school and then walk the rest

  • mix it up! If your child likes riding or scooting, those are great options, too!

Is walking to school risky?

We encourage parents and carers to walk with their child until they feel their child is ready to walk alone. Ultimately, you know your child best!

Some of the common concerns parents and carers have actually fade away when you start walking with your child. You can teach them about road safety, stranger danger and how to be confident when walking independently. Your child will gain all the benefits of active travel, along with the benefits of travelling more independently – like self-esteem, social skills, motor skills and more.

  

Learn more about helping your kids with safe travel to and from school by downloading VicHealth’s practical guide: https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-and-resources/publications/parental-fear


Why does VicHealth collect data and information?

VicHealth collects information to help find new and better ways to encourage children to be active.

Collecting data lets us measure the impact of the Walk to School program and see how many people are getting active on the way to and from school. VicHealth uses aggregate data for individual schools, schools within a region, and schools in the state. VicHealth may publish Walk to School results at a school or state level.


What data do schools collect?

If your school is registered for Walk to School, your child’s teacher will use a classroom calendar to record:

·       your child’s name

·       how many times they usually walk, ride or scoot to and from school

·       how many times they walk, ride or scoot to and from school in October.

Your school will provide a summary of this participation data to VicHealth in November 2018.


What data is collected on the website?

If you register your child online, you will need to provide your child’s name, and email address, username and password. We won’t ask for your child’s date of birth, phone number or address.

 

To understand your child’s walking activity, we’ll ask:

·    the distance you live from school

·      how many times they usually walk, ride or scoot to and from school

·      how many times they walk, ride or scoot to and from school in October.

Who can access this data?

Information recorded on the classroom calendars will only be accessed by the student, the teacher and the school’s Walk to School coordinator. VicHealth or the local council may access this data if your school asks for help with tallying and reporting.

 

VicHealth may also collect a sample of classroom calendars to understand student walking patterns. All classroom calendars will be securely stored and destroyed at the end of the Walk to School program.

 

VicHealth will also share de-identified data with our evaluation team at ORIMA Research to help analyse and report on the outcomes of Walk to School.

 

Information collected on the Walk to School website will only be accessed by your child and VicHealth. We only collect your child’s name or username to help manage the student portal and create aggregated participation reports. Your email address will be used to update you with information about Walk to School or to help you recover your username and reset your password.

 

We host competitions on our website and social channels. We will ask you for permission directly before posting your child’s entry online.

 

Once the results are in and analysed, VicHealth will securely store and destroy classroom calendar. We only report aggregated data, so no individuals will be identified. All personal information about your child will be securely stored and destroyed by June 2019.

 

What if I don’t want my child to participate?

Participation is voluntary. If your child’s school is taking part in Walk to School but you don’t want your child to participate, ask your child’s teacher not to include your child’s name on their Walk to School classroom calendar.

If your child has been registered on the website and you want their profile deleted, simply delete it yourself or ask VicHealth to delete it for you.

If you choose not to record your child’s walks, rides and scoots, your child can still enter Walk to School competitions on our website and social channels. And of course, you can still enjoy the benefits of walking, riding and scooting to and from school as often as you like!