STARS Bronze accreditation
As a school we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our pupils. We also recognise the importance of educating our students about road safety issues, active travel and the impact of road congestion on the environment. Over the last year, we have run a number of initiatives, campaigns and competitions to raise awareness about key road safety topics and promote active travel. As a result of our work in this area, Meridian High School became a Bronze STARS accredited school in September 2017.
One of the most exciting projects our students were involved with during the academic year 2016-2017 was the Youth Travel Ambassador (YTA) programme in partnership with Transport for London. In September 2016, 7 students were selected to become our YTAs, taking responsibility for delivering assemblies, and devising campaigns and competitions to help raise awareness about safer and more active travel.
In Summer 2017, the YTAs ran an active travel campaign, which they called the #WalkAMileForAMile step challenge. The YTAs chose this name for their competition as it ties in brilliantly with our rewards system at school - the Meridian Mile. Every student who participated and walked at least 10,000 steps a day was rewarded with 5 Meridian Miles and the winner was given a Sport's shop voucher. To fund their campaign and prizes, the YTAs took part in a Dragon's Den style pitching event in London, where a panel of judges from TfL decided how much money to award the students based on the quality of their campaign ideas.
As a result of their brilliant presentation, the TfL judging panel chose to award our YTAs the full £250 that they had asked for. Additionally, one of the judging panel who was a representative from Croydon Council, was so impressed with their ideas that he also awarded them an extra £250.
After such a successful year in 2016-2017, our aim this academic year is to achieve the Silver, or even Gold STARS accreditation. Activities that we already have planned for our students include road safety performances to be delivered by external theatre companies, parking poster competitions, bike security marking events, a staff and student step challenge, participation in the STARS car-free day and activities relating to the promotion of responsible behaviour on public transport. Our new Year 7 students have also been given the opportunity to apply for three vacant Youth Travel Ambassador positions and once the available positions have been filled, the YTAs will once again take a lead on designing another safe and active travel campaign this academic year.