A SMALL rural primary school has beaten off competition from across the region to come out with a top award for sustainable travel.

Allendale Primary had previously been awarded the gold Modeshift STARS accreditation, and as a result some students travelled to York for a regional awards ceremony.

And it was a successful trip as the school came away with awards for Northumberland Primary School of the year and overall school of the region 2019.

Tom Clarke, Arthur Darling and Isla Pryde represented the school as members of the school council and the eco council.

Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is a national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school.

Headteacher Alison Hawkins said: “I was really pleased just for us to win for Northumberland, and for us to be a small school and up against bigger and more urban schools from across the region was a testament to the hard work by the children, parents, staff and governors.

“They specifically mentioned that we have run a lot of initiatives on improving safety and we have been working hard on cycling, having cycling play times and encouraging students to scoot and cycle to school. As a result we have a lot of children travelling to school that way.”

The school now hopes to continue to develop its initiatives. It has already worked with Northumberland County Council to improve road safety outside the school and with the North Pennines AONB to create a new path so that pupils can access the school from the other side of the village, reducing the number of cars outside the school gate and encouraging parents and pupils to ‘park and stride’.

It has also taken part in initiatives like Bikeability, Walk on Wednesdays and Walk to School Week.