As a parent on the Thornlie SHS Your Move team and also a member of the P&C, I am passionate about promoting Active Travel to our school community and I’m willing to try to solve any barriers that may prevent students from doing so.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2020 Your Move Awards Presentation breakfast held at UWA last year. It was there that I made a pledge to coordinate a Your Move Parent survey in 2021.
I tabled the idea at our P&C meeting and members were supportive of this. Our school is located on the same street as two Primary Schools and a shopping centre with fast food outlets and a petrol station. Traffic congestion at pick up time between 2:30 -3:15pm presents dangerous situations for the students and our Hands Up surveys and our random bicycle/scooter counts at our Bike Compound are lower than the national average. To get parents on board with encouraging their teenagers to either walk or cycle/scoot with helmets or catch buses on a regular basis, we needed to survey as many of our parents/caregivers as possible to find out their values, their needs and their concerns.
I proceeded to seek resources on the Your Move website. The Parent Survey didn’t quite match the information our Your Move committee wanted to gather and we felt it was worded with references to Primary School students rather than High School students. Our P&C also discussed that a digital survey would attract more responses from our parents and caregivers than a paper copy that would unlikely make it from the bottom of our teenagers’ bags to the hands of their parents and then returned to the school office again.
So after some time investigating several digital survey platforms, I compiled a set of nine multiple choice questions and an open box for parents to write about any concerns or problems they have with their child walking or cycling to and from our school.
Once the Census reminders have eased, our digital TSHS Your Move Parent Survey link will be sent to all of our students’ parents and caregivers via the school’s Compass email service and FaceBook page, followed up with two timely reminders before the end of term 3.
The catchy header to grab people’s attention is: Does your child travel to high school the same way that you did at their age?
After reviewing the survey responses, our Your Move team will identify if there are suggestions or problems we can address and we’ll communicate these with our school community. The end goal is to see a big increase in students regularly choosing active travel to and from our high school.
If our survey is successful, I am keen to share our digital Parent Survey resource with other high schools.
Here is a photo of our amazing P & C President, passionate and enthusiastic about our students and their wellbeing. We are very blessed.
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