Walk to School Surveys
Walk to school surveys were carried out at all five Primary Schools and Dunbar Grammar School in May 2010. A total of 347 responses were received.
The surveys took the form of a short A5 questionnaire for pupils to complete about their journey to school and any after school activities. This was the first time that a secondary school had taken part in a walk to school survey in the study area, and response rates were encouraging. It is thought that this was because form teachers gave pupils the opportunity to complete the survey during registration, rather than taking it home, when response rates go down. Primary school pupils took the forms home to complete with their parents.
Additionally, a travel survey of P7/S1 pupils was undertaken to study travel behaviour and changes during the transition from primary to grammar school. The P7 study was carried out in the classroom using mapping techniques developed by Scottish Participatory Initiatives and gave pupils the opportunity to think about how they would get to the Grammar School; would they use the same mode as they did to the Primary School, what route would they take, would they arrange to meet up with friends on the same route, were they hoping to make new friends on the way and any problems they could foresee.
We also carried out a follow up study with the same pupils in S1 to find out if travel behaviour had changed, and the reasons for this; national data indicates that pupils often change travel behaviour when they move up from primary to secondary school, in particular giving up cycling. A questionnaire consisting of 7 short, easy to answer questions was handed out to every pupil in S1, and again completed during registration, thus ensuring that every pupil was given a form and time at school to complete it. A total of 113 completed forms were received, giving a huge response rate of 81%. This work was done with the assistance of the geography department at the Grammar School.