Walking to school alone in yr 6?

(16 Posts)
ThreeTomatoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:02:33

dd is keen to do this as several of her classmates have now started doing so. It's quite a long walk to ours (20-25 mins, and two busy roads to cross, or else a bus) so I'm reluctant to say yes, but I have been saying that perhaps later in the year (summer term if not before) I could meet her/drop her at the first main road (5 mins from school). Wondering now if I'm being a bit PFB about it, having seen several of her classmates leaving school so confidently and happily (one or two even get a bus).

Ironically, me & my sister used to go to school alone (together) through a notorious S London estate to get to school, from way younger than dd!

ReallyTired Tue 10-Sep-13 20:08:10

I think you should let your dd walk to school part of the way asap. She needs to learn some independence before she starts secondary. We found that ds used to dawdle and he was late quite a few times. Its easier for them to learn not to dawdle at primary than secondary.

I feel that by the summer term year 6 children should be walking the entire distance.

BadRoly Tue 10-Sep-13 20:08:42

Do the 2 busy main roads have safe places to cross? This would be the big decider for me, my dc walk a different route to the one we all do together if they're alone to use traffic light/green man crossings (2 main roads to cross here too).

The other decider would be if she could walk all or most of the way with a friend?

kilmuir Tue 10-Sep-13 20:09:41

depends on the roads. go part way maybe?

RandomMess Tue 10-Sep-13 20:10:21

I would start leaving/meeting her at the main road near the school now and start working on her road crossing skills.

Unfortunately it's not the walking and being abducted that is the issue IMHO it is them learning to cross difficult roads safely.

TweenageAngst Tue 10-Sep-13 20:11:38

Mine walked to the station across a busy main road, caught a peak hour train to the busiest station in Britain, crossed another main road and caught a bus at age 10.
She will be fine

ThreeTomatoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:24:54

Thanks all, I feel reassured and a bit more confident about it now! She just seems so small, she's only just 10 as is an August baby.confused You're right though, important she's confident with an entire journey by the end of yr6. Secondary school journey is likely to be a tad more complicated.

One of her best friends lives just up the road the school is on & goes home alone now, which is the same way dd would go (dd would then continue on and walk up to the end of another road, where I would meet her). There's a downside to that though - chances are dd would go home with the friend and spend god knows how long dawdling there!! leaving poor old me worrying at the end of the next road!

That first busy road doesn't have a proper crossing, just those dips in the pavement and bollards. The 2nd busy road does have a zebra crossing so although busier than the first, I'd feel happier about her crossing there. Then there's the road just outside our little side street, no crossings nearby there at all.

There is the bus - there are traffic lights to get to the bus stop, and traffic lights next to the destination bus stop, then an easy walk home (although includes small park - coming at our little road from the other side). dd has already proved (determinedly sitting separately from me on the bus recently!) that she is capable of getting off the bus at the right place independently etc.

One thing that has concerned me is the head's warning in a newsletter last year about attempted abductions of school children in the local area (not of anyone at her school). But even without that warning, I'm sure i'd be worrying about that sort of thing anyway!

Another quick question, should I get dd a mobile phone as soon as she starts walking alone? Wasn't intending to get her one till the end of yr6.

BadRoly Tue 10-Sep-13 20:37:25

Mine both got phones once they were walking on their own but I needn't have bothered - dc2 never takes his anyway...

ThreeTomatoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:52:16

oh i suspect dd would be on hers constantly at first! grin
She spent 40 mins talking on my phone to a friend during the holidays once! really want to put the mobile phone off for some time wink

friday16 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:12:54

"One thing that has concerned me is the head's warning in a newsletter last year about attempted abductions of school children in the local area"

The rate of actual abductions of children by strangers (as opposed to custody disputes) is low single figures per year. Every case is nationally reported. Children are probably more at risk of being struck by lightning. Claims of attempted abductions are not quite urban myth, as they do happen, but they are massively, massively over-reported.

When my kids were in Y6, the head routinely warned parents of Blue Star LSD and White Van Abductions. The only excuse I can think of was that the Internet was young.

ThreeTomatoes Wed 11-Sep-13 00:21:52

We were warned about a blue car! Although, a couple of years ago there was an actual real case of an abduction, a girl was named.

But yeah, you're right.

I've pretty much decided I will let her do this bit by bit, so only down the road to the first crossing at first. Will start next week, assuming she doesn't do a u-turn and chicken out by then! And as someone suggested, i'll make sure she's confident crossing roads, i've already started to say 'right, i'm going to stand back and you decide when it's safe for us to cross the road' - i realised i've spent far too long just simply crossing automatically with her without really imparting any wisdom! She has always been a pretty cautious girl though, so i'm not too worried - at least, not if she is by herself, she might be distracted if she was with a friend or two!

VenusRising Wed 11-Sep-13 10:19:14

Walk with her a few times, pointing out possible delay traps, and showing her how to manage her bags / ticket on the bus, and how to manage the crossings. Time the commute.

Get her a basic call only mobile phone, show her how to work it, and then let her off.
Find out if any neighbours are also thinking of doing the same thing.
Or encourage your dd find her own commute friends from her school.

I would start people watching with her - ask her what she thinks of that woman with the bags, and that man with the dog, and that hassled mum with the baby and toddler, and ask her which one she would ask for help if she needed it. Teach her to identify parents of her schoolmates, so she doesn't feel like you are the only adult she could trust.

Let other parents know that your dd is walking so they can keep an eye out for her if she's walking along. Teach your dd to say hi to strangers, but not to go off with them!

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Wed 11-Sep-13 13:03:43

Mine is going to have to walk part of the way alone from year 5, however it won't involve any crossing of roads since I can walk far enough with him to make sure he's across all the roads. I'm wondering if it's reasonable really but the financially we've got no choice unfortunately.

ThreeTomatoes Wed 11-Sep-13 14:18:01

Thanks VenusRising all good advice. dd makes me chuckle because when i respond to nice old ladies she always says afterwards "You're not supposed to talk to strangers, why are you talking to them?" grin

Katy that's hard- don't know what month your DS is born in, but it may be that he's not much younger than my dd!
However, as i said me & sister went to school alone from way younger.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Wed 11-Sep-13 20:11:40

Three he will be one of the oldest so no, not much younger than some in year 6

ThreeTomatoes Thu 12-Sep-13 15:59:32

Day 1 today, i feel like I've made a big deal out of nothing! She came sauntering up along with a classmate (who's been doing the walk since last year, his mum still won't let him cross the road alone tho). dd said it was exciting but was ever so casual about it grin.

Still, it felt weird, big milestone, can't believe how quickly this has come around!

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