Students at Queensmead play an active role in the local, national and international community.
In 2013 a group of students joined the YTA (Youth Travel Ambassadors). The purpose of the YTA is to coordinate with the London Transport Museum and professionals from their local borough to create a local behavioural change project.
The Youth Travel Ambassadors have used their initiative to campaign on high profile issues that affect students. They had noticed buses being overcrowded and anti-social behaviour, so got together to try and come up with a solution to the situations they were faced with on their daily journeys to and from school.
Their first task was to bring awareness about safer travel and they did this by conducting a survey to all Queensmead students about how they travel to school.
The YTA used the information collected to make a film about walking to school, which was shown to other Hillingdon schools. They were awarded £1500 from the council for this idea and were able to hire a professional company to make the short film.
In the second year their idea was to organise a “Pedometer Challenge” and encourage students from each year group to participate. The students who took part were able to see how many steps they walked in a day. Teachers were also involved in the challenge which promoted a healthy lifestyle.
To fund the challenge, the YTA had to pitch their ideas to the local council which was very much like a “Dragons Den” panel in the hope that they would fund and support them. The YTA were successful and were awarded £2000. The money was spent on pedometers and a board game that they designed called “Stop, Think, Live” which is now being professionally made.
Now, three years later and because of their continued success and commitment, the YTA were shortlisted for the Mode Shift National Award.
We are pleased to announce that Queensmead won. The excited students were presented the award at a prestigious ceremony at City Hall, London on Monday 7th November.
This has been a fantastic achievement not only for the students, but also for Queensmead as only the top ten schools in the country were invited.
The next campaign for the YTA looks at cycling. The YTA have just started to get information back from their survey as to why students do not cycle to school. The aim is to again pitch to the “Dragons” in February and achieve money to buy locks for bikes and neon sashes to improve the safety of our cyclists.
I would like to extend my thanks and admiration to everyone who has given their time and dedication during the last three years to the YTA as well as all the students involved.