CHILDREN swapped their school uniforms for Fireman Sam outfits and walked to school in an effort to improve their health.

Pupils from St Augustine's RC Primary School, in Darlington, took part in a special themed walk to school, led by a firefighter and the Local Motion team.

The walk is part of Darlington Borough Council’s Mega Motion campaign to encourage pupils and parents to walk, cycle, or scoot to school every Friday.

The Fireman Sam theme was thought up by a reception pupil in October last year.

Headteacher Martina McCollom said: “We have found the Mega Motion campaign to be a great boost in encouraging our pupils and their parents to choose more healthy ways of travelling to school.

“It’s fantastic to feel the buzz on a Friday, knowing that our children have started the day off in an active way and are fresh and alert, ready to learn when they get into the classroom.”

The campaign hopes to get children taking part in the government’s recommended 60 minutes of activity per day.

Councillor Andy Scott, the council’s cabinet member for health, said: "With childhood obesity coming under increasing scrutiny it is essential that we begin to change habits from an early age.

“Encouraging children to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school offers an ideal opportunity to take in some of their daily 60 Active Minutes; to set them on the path to a healthier lifestyle and to help change general travel choices to contribute to the environment."