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Primary school celebrates Clean Air Day with street party

In an event organised by Leicester City Council and Sustrans, Glebelands Primary School in Leicester marked Clean Air Day with a street party for the whole community. The road next to the school was closed for the day, creating a traffic-free space for pupils, parent and residents to enjoy.

A group of school children spelling out the message We Clean Love Air in people on a closed road in front of their school

In the lead up to Clean Air Day, Sustrans worked with the children to make recycled bunting to be placed along the road and around the school during the event. All 298 children decorated a triangle of bunting focused on travelling actively to school and clean air.


Over a period of 4 lunchtime sessions, the Student Council completed the Big Street Survey, creating manifestos and posters which were displayed on Clean Air Day. In the week of Clean Air Day, the children had an assembly about the event and practised their letters for the big aerial photo.


In a bid to encourage more walking, cycling and scootering to and from school, the road directly outside Glebelands Primary School was closed, during school run hours, on Wednesday 20 June and Friday 22 June. On Thursday 21 June the road was closed to traffic all day for the event. Nearly 60 children and staff arrived by bike on Clean Air Day and 43 arrived by scooter, over a third of the school! Checking of bikes ran throughout the day.


The day began with a whole school assembly on the road, led by the headmaster and Sustrans staff highlighting the importance of clean air and what small changes children and staff can make to create a difference.


The children then created a powerful image spelling “We love clean air” (pictured) alongside city councillors and council staff, Glebelands Primary School teachers, Sustrans staff and volunteers.


During the school day the road was used for fun games and activities for 84 pupils in Year 3 and 4, which included chalk art, clean air pledges and an old-school road game called Kerby. The clean air pledges were attached to the school railings ready for the afternoon activities. At both break time and lunchtime the children used the closed road to play in and have their lunch, making use of the open space that would usually be filled with cars. The children and teachers really enjoyed this aspect of the day.


In the afternoon there was a family event for parents, children, staff and residents, which welcomed activities and stalls onto the closed road.


Partner organisations Leicestershire Police, City Wardens, B-Buddies, Living Streets, Leicester City Council, Daisy Jane Face Painting and Wheels For All attended the event. Dr Bike, spin art and information leaflets were delivered by Sustrans. The Glebelands Primary School parent teacher association provided refreshments and the school council displayed their Big Street Survey work. Councillor Hemant Bhatia attended the afternoon event, as did over 300 children and 150 parents.


The whole day was an excellent success with Councillor Adam Clarke, Assistant Deputy Mayor, praising the event and appreciating the amount of organisation involved. “Hopefully you’re all basking in the warm glow of a job very well done,” he said.

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