Forest Park are passionate about supporting the wellbeing of their pupils and staff and encouraging them to use more active and sustainable forms of transport. Since becoming active in the Modeshift STARS scheme they have worked with a range of organisations and charities alongside developing links with their families and the local community to support a range of activities and projects. All the pupils at the two-site school have special educational needs and a high percentage live more than 4 miles from the school. This means that 59% of pupils use school transport to travel to and from school each day, making a modal change in car use by their families difficult to achieve. However, since being involved in STARS, car travel has reduced from 31% to 18%, walking rates have increased by 10% and park and stride by 7%.
In addition the school has promoted accessible cycling activities for families and is supporting the help to buy a bike scheme for staff.
The school has developed its road safety curriculum with resources and organises annual road safety weeks. The success of these are promoted to parents/carers to encourage them to get ‘out and about’ with their children and young people, alongside promoting local concessionary bus pass schemes which few families previously accessed. Pupils are now asking when will road safety week happen again. In our recent Ofsted inspection our platinum award and travel awareness was noted as part of our Outstanding grade for Personal Development.
The school feels that disability should not be seen as a barrier to active and sustainable travel, and has previous provided an Ambassador on the Modeshift National Schools Panel who supported the Modeshift STARS team with looking at the possibility of compiling an adapted set of information and suggestions for supporting initiatives in the scheme to support schools which face similar challenges. Forest Park was previously nominated for their 'Access for all' activities in the Best sustainable travel initiative (organisation) award section of the National Sustainable Travel Awards at the Convention, being shortlisted to the last 3 and achieving highly commended runner up status from a pool of around 60 nominations. This was a huge achievement as many of the other nominees were whole county councils rather than other individual provisions. Further to this they were the South East of England Modeshift STARS SEND school of the region and the National SEND school 2019/20. The Forest Park school community has faced extraordinary challenges throughout the national COVID pandemic is so proud of it’s amazing achievement to have been awarded the platinum level Modeshift STARS.
Forest Park School is The National STARS SEND School of the year 2019
2019 STARS SEND school of the region (South East).
We are delighted to announce that Forest Park has achieved the Gold award and become school of the region for 2019. On top of all of that we were invited to attend the National awards in London on March 5th 2019. We WON! Forest Park is the National SEND school of the Year. Congratulations to everyone who is part of the Forest Park Community. Particular thanks go to Michele Spelman for all her support.
In Autumn 2017 we were the first special school in Hampshire to be awarded the Bronze Award, and in April 2018 we were delighted to be one of only 5 SEN provisions in the country to be awarded the Silver Award for our continuing work! It has been a great example of the incredible work that the class teams do to support our pupils to be physically active, to be independent, to understand about sustainable travel and to be part of our local community.
In addition you may like to look at the School Route Audit which was completed by Living Streets with the support of some of our pupils. The Audit includes recommendations and a suggested action plan, with the copy below including the council's responses in Appendix 3. We are continuing to work on the actions so watch this space!
If you would like to get 'Out and about' more we have worked with Autism and Nature. Many of you will have a copy of their guide and story books for Hampshire and the New Forest, but additional copies and books for other areas of the country can be found at https://autismandnature.org.uk/our-publications/countryside-guides/
In addition we have worked with PedALL who provide inclusive cycling sessions in the New Forest. They have a wide range of bikes suitable for all, so if you would like to find out more about what they can offer visit https://www.pedall.org.uk/
Concessionary Bus Pass
Have you thought about applying for a concessionary bus pass? Did you know that there is an option that allows a companion to travel for free too?
To find out more information, including information about who is eligible and what documents you would need to provide, visit: