WOW Year-Round Walk To School Challenge

WOW is a pupil-led initiative where children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge.

600,000
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Our story

WOW is a proven, turnkey programme for schools to encourage their children to walk to school. The scheme is simple to set up and operate: each school sets up its WOW Travel Tracker account; every morning in the classroom, pupils record the way they came to school on the WOW Travel Tracker; at the end of the month, the school hands out a badge to the pupils who have earned one that month. The badges are hugely popular: different collectable designs, designed by students in a separate competition, and biodegradable (no plastic). WOW is also available in Welsh. The wider benefits of running this program are

For schools:
OFSTED. Helps you achieve your "Outstanding" school rating.
ACCREDITATION. Participating in WOW helps your school achieve Modeshift STARS and Healthy Schools status.
MINIMAL CLASSROOM TIME. Less than 10 minutes of a teacher’s day! The most important part of WOW happens before the school day even starts.
GREAT COST. WOW is £2 per pupil; just a fraction of your £10 PE and Sport Premium per child.
INCREASES WALKING RATES. Children at participating schools increase by 23% in the first five weeks. WOW Travel Tracker helps you keep track of your school's modes of travel.
INSTILS LIFE LONG HEALTHY HABITS. Encourages pupils and families to swap the school ride for a school stride. Promotes healthy mental wellbeing by improving behaviour and concentration levels in class.
IMPROVES ROAD SAFETY AT THE SCHOOL GATES. Thanks to the drop in car usage around the school.

For local councils:
REDUCES CONGESTION. 1 in 4 cars on the road each morning is on the school run.

What have you learnt that others will find most useful?

  • It's simple to run and children love talking part.
  • On average, WOW schools see a 30% REDUCTION IN CAR JOURNEYS taken to the school gate and a 23% INCREASE IN WALKING RATES.
  • There are a long list of benefits for participating schools and well as a significant reduction in congestion during school drop off and pick up times.

Measures of success?

Number of participating schools and pupils; coverage across the UK.

Read more: https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/wow

Tanya Braun
WOW Year-Round Walk To School Challenge