Encouraging children to Move More

17 November 2020

Primary schools across Reading are being asked to sign up to a new initiative to encourage children to be more active.

The Move More campaign will focus on helping pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school and supporting schools to introduce more physical activities.

The project is being led by Brighter Futures for Children and supported by Reading Borough Council’s transport and public health teams and Get Berkshire Active.

Across the country there is a growing problem of children and young people becoming overweight or obese and this has a big impact on their lives and their future health prospects.

We are asking primary schools in Reading to sign-up to a commitment to increase active participation in a way that is safe and in line with government and public health coronavirus guidance. The campaign also includes food tips, advice and simple recipes which can help children to eat healthily.

Efforts to encourage more pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school are being supported by the WOW – year-round walk to school challenge run by the Living Streets charity.

The initiative aims to reduce congestion and pollution outside school gates, while increasing safety and improving the health of children. The Reading Borough Council-funded project is allowing schools to sign-up free of charge.

Move More is also promoting free cycle training for children with Bikeability, and the Modeshift STARS awards scheme which recognises schools which demonstrate excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable transport.

The campaign is also encouraging schools to consider the possibility of creating School Streets outside their premises. This Reading council initiative allows schools to close the street outside their building to through traffic for up to 45 minutes, twice a day, during term time.

This keeps the area outside the school gates clear of traffic and makes it safer for children to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

Parents can explore all the options for tackling the school run by visiting https://www.reading.gov.uk/schooltravel. They will find interactive maps, school bus information, cycle training details and school specific infographics with travel advice and information on walking, cycling and public transport links.

Once children are in school, the Move More campaign aims to keep pupils active throughout the day. The Daily Mile provides tips and ideas to help schools get children active together outdoors while keeping safe, and following government guidance.

Get Berkshire Active will also be offering advice and helping schools get the most out of their Primary PE and School Sport funding.

Eating a nutritious balanced diet is also an essential part of keeping children healthy and happy. The Move More campaign links up with Public Health to offer advice and tips for some great lunchbox ideas and nutritious, tasty recipes children will love.

Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at BFfC, said: “I am delighted that Brighter Futures for Children has been able to team up with our council partners and Get Berkshire Active in this campaign to get Reading’s children moving more.

 “I know this is a challenging time for schools but with their support I believe we can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our children and young people in Reading.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said: “The issue of children and young people becoming less active and the consequences of that on their health and wellbeing is a nationwide problem, and one that is very concerning.

“Fortunately, it is possible to improve the health and fitness of young people with a little extra effort and no extra cost. The potential benefits are enormous both for children’s physical and mental wellbeing and for their health prospects in the future.”


Find out more about:

RBC school travel: reading.gov.uk/schooltravel

WOW – Living Streets:  https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/

Modeshift STARS: https://www.modeshiftstars.org/

The Daily Mile: https://thedailymile.co.uk/back-to-school/

Get Berkshire Active: https://getberkshireactive.org/

Celebrating success - our care leaver braving changes

Being taken into care when you’re young can make the world a confusing place - from trying to understand what’s happened to you, what you’ve just experienced and witnessed, to working out who you really are and where you belong.

For one of our Reading care leavers, this journey took place during their teenage years.

Already facing the various challenges that come from transitioning from childhood to adolescence; making new friends, being exposed to different people from various backgrounds, on top of dealing with the experience they’d just encountered, they then had the courage to take on an even harder journey.

Instead of going through life living with something that didn’t feel right, they recognised who they were and who they wanted to be and made the brave decision to transition to the opposite gender.

This is a difficult decision and journey for anyone to go through, never mind when there is limited support around you.

Alongside managing this transition, our care leaver continued to do well at school, achieving brilliant GSCE grades and A-levels and is now studying hard at university.

We’re immensely proud of how this care leaver conducted themselves through the journey of change, being true to themselves and following what they felt was right, even with the knowledge that not everyone may agree or understand their decision.

They made important life choices, had the courage and determination to stick with them and through all this, headed off to university to start a new life.

They should be incredibly proud of themselves and we wish them all the best in their fantastic future ahead!

Youth Climate Summit 2020

05 November 2020

A virtual national youth climate summit involving pupils from Reading is taking place next week.

Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) is one of the organisations supporting the event which aims to bring children and young people together from across the UK to demonstrate their commitment to tackling climate change.

The summit, starting on Monday 9 November, will run over five days with each day focusing on a different theme.

Topics will include nature, oceans and water; travel, pollution and waste; food, farming and forests, and fashion and consumption.

Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at BFfC, said: “We are proud to be supporting the Youth Climate Summit which is a brilliant way of bringing children and young people together from across the country to discuss this important issue.

“Brighter Futures for Children is also committed to working with Headteachers to help them engage pupils in this vital topic in their schools.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Lead Councillor for Education, said:  “The climate and ecological emergency facing the world is something many children and young people in Reading feel passionately about. I hope this summit helps unify the voices of young people across the UK to ensure their message is heard loud and clear.

“This week the council approved the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy 2020-25 and we need the support of the whole Reading community to help meet the ambitious targets set for the town.”

The Youth Climate Summit is co-ordinated by environmental charity Global Action Plan and more information about the week of webinars and activities can be found at: https://www.transform-our-world.org/youth-climate-summit-2020.

The summit coincides with Reading Climate Festival which is hosting many free events, including some aimed at Reading’s education community. Find more details at: http://www.readingculturelive.co.uk/genre/reading-climate-festival-genre/.