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Education Network launch Sustainable Travel Educational Toolkit for schools

Community Rail Education Network and Cross Country have launched the UK’s first Sustainable Travel Educational Toolkit.

Over the last six months, the partnership (with support from Community Rail Network and the Decarbon8 Network) have developed and produced a series of ground-breaking materials that will support the national curriculum in teaching Key Stage Two students about sustainable travel.

With greener transport recognised as a fundamental part of the solution to the climate emergency, sustainability is a topic that we all need to be more aware of. These resources focus on the Key Stage Two age group, with an aim to encourage conversations around sustainability at home and influence the wider group of family and friends to choose sustainable travel.

The Sustainable Travel Education Toolkit is free for everyone to download below:

  • Daffnee Green – Travel With the Green Team Video: A video filled with facts and figures about how to travel more sustainably, highlighting advice for travelling by train from main character Daffnee as she talks through your journey with her. 
  • Travel with the Green Team – Activity Sheet: A fun filled pack of activities for children to enjoy while learning about the benefits of traveling sustainably. An opportunity to draw your own green superhero, spot things that protect the planet on the station, and interact with Daffnee as she asks key questions about what’s best for our planet.
  • Sustainability with Daffnee Green – Teaching Presentation: A slideshow presentation that can be used within schools and groups to talk through the key lessons about sustainability and how we can all travel greener. This resource includes a pledge card that can be adapted to each child’s pledge.

The launch of the toolkit on Wednesday 12 October at the National Railway Museum saw representatives from Community Rail Network and Cross Country, as well as pupils from local Hempland Primary School.

The launch gave attendees the opportunity to see how the toolkit can be used within a teaching and learning environment and showed the impact it can have on young people.

Pupils from Hempland Primary School with the toolkit. Photo credit: Chris Peach, iCreation.

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of Community Rail Network, said:

“We’re excited to be part of the launch of the UK’s first ever sustainable travel education toolkit, which will engage schoolchildren and families across the country on this crucial issue.

“Transport is now the biggest contributor of UK greenhouse emissions, so we face a pressing challenge to decarbonise the way we get around, for the sake of future generations – plus, our communities can benefit now from reduced traffic and pollution.

“Rail, combined with buses, walking, cycling, and shared mobility, provides a huge part of the solution: shifting as many journeys as we can onto these modes, breaking down green travel barriers, and reducing car use, is vital. By involving children and young people in this change, we can also empower them to access the opportunities they want while helping to shape a greener, healthier, more inclusive future.”

Karen Bennett, Chair of Community Rail Education Network, said:

“What a great launch. The children from Hempland Primary school engaged fantastically with the sustainable travel kit and they loved Daffnee. There were many conversations about how we can all change our behaviours to help protect the environment.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the toolkit in the community, sharing the story of Daffnee and educating the next generation on how using the rail network is more sustainable and benefits everyone. It’s not about changing everything you do, but if everyone makes small steps, then we can make a big difference together.”

Ben Simkin, Regional Director for Cross Country Trains, said:

“Sustainability is important to CrossCountry, as we recognise that Britain’s railways play an integral part in delivering sustainable transport. Therefore, we need to work together to adopt sustainability as a fundamental component of all railway businesses.

“One of our key objectives has been to work to continuously reduce our carbon footprint, and the toolkit will be just another way for us to support others in doing the same. I look forward to seeing the success of the UK’s first sustainable travel education toolkit in the months and years to come.”