Parents and students at St Brendan’s Catholic Primary school Annandale drove towards positive mental health and road awareness with a special breakfast to mark National Walk Safely to School Day.

More than 100 parents attended the event on 17 May, some trying their skills as a crossing guard while their children navigated road rule quizzes and ‘drove’ safely through recreated school pick-up zones in cars they had built out of recycled cardboard boxes donated by their local fruit and vegetable shop.

The students also practiced crossing the road safely by using the motto ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Think’ at a zebra crossing.

The event was coordinated by the school’s KidsMatter team to reinforce a sense of welcome and community at the school, and to give families an opportunity to learn together.

The school has implemented the KidsMatter wellbeing initiative over the past four years. The program is now part of a nationally coordinated approach to young people’s positive mental health and wellbeing run by Beyond Blue.

Teacher and KidsMatter coordinator at the school Luke Campbell said the school held community events roughly every five weeks to help reduce screen time and give parents an opportunity to engage with the school.

“St Brendan’s is a great community,” he said.

“By [building community through events like this] you’re creating good mental health for the students. They feel safe and happy at school and they’re all protective factors against mental health difficulties.”