The Junior Travel Ambassador (JTA) scheme is a national initiative that encourages peer-to-peer engagement and is used to promote safer, active and independent travel within the school community. It's a fun and engaging way to spread important messages and build skills for life. The JTA scheme aims to take a more direct approach to promoting independent travel, particularly for the children in Years 5 and 6 who may now be travelling to and from school independently.
Our elected Junior Travel Ambassadors for this academic year are:
The scheme is offered to the children in our Year Five class. Mrs van Manen meets with the classes at the beginning of the year to explain what the role involves and to share the job description outlining what is expected from all of our JTA's. Children are then asked to complete application forms for the role noting their interests, strengths and why they feel that they would be a suitable candidate. Our Head Boy/Girl team and their deputies then meet together with Mrs van Manen to make their selection.
Our selected Junior Travel Ambassadors are actively involved in planning the different ways in which safer, active and independent travel can be encouraged and supported across the school. Their work includes leading on and running projects, assemblies, organising workshops and competitions to share ideas on travel planning and learning how to use Transport for London’s Journey Planner. There are a number of themes that the children explore each half term such as learning about the green cross code, 'belt up' - travelling in cars, cycling safety and more.
We work in partnership with Merton's Road Safety Officer, Charmaine Jacques. Once the candidates have been nominated and selected she is then invited to attend our awards assembly where the successful children are presented with their JTA badges and information packs. She then meets with the newly appointed team to discuss projects that they can begin working on.
Over the past few years, the JTA teams have been instrumental in campaigns such as educating the school on the importance of 'being safe and being seen' during the darker winter months, with competitions to design and make hi-visibility jackets, ‘hipped-up’ helmets and ‘bunny up’ bikes! These are but a few of the creative and innovative ideas the children have brought to the school.
The children take part in an annual ‘Debra the Zebra’ competition, designing posters for Merton’s safer travel calendar. We are incredibly proud of those individuals who have successfully seen their work published – this is great. At the start of each New Year, the JTA’s are involved with the 'Walk once a Week' (WoW) scheme. The Walk to School campaign’s aim is simple: to encourage all parents, children and young people to make walking to school part of their daily routine. Our vision is that every child who can walk to school does so. Today, it helps over 300,000 children get walking across the UK, and independent evaluation has shown WoW to increase the proportion of children walking by 39%. Each class records their daily journey on the wallcharts and at the end of each month every child that has walked at least once each week, is rewarded with a collectable WoW badge. The JTA’s will collect information from our classes each week and analyse the impact of our new scheme.