How long does it take your children walk to school?

(35 Posts)
Madmog Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:36

How along does it take your children to walk to school? At the moment my Y7 daughter is lucky as she only has a 5 minute walk to school. We're looking at moving though and the only way to get a bigger house is to be on the outskirts of our area entailing a 20-30 minute walk for her. Certainly don't mind her getting the exercise, but just thinking about days when she has her PE kit and violin and it's pouring with rain.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 09:49:19

Could she ride a bike? Is it a nice/safe walk on a dark evening?
Mine are younger but it's only a 2 minute walk.

gazzalw Wed 03-Apr-13 09:53:04

30 minutes for a primary school child here and we do it come rain or shine...

DS has a fifteen minute walk to the bus stop (and back) with a rucksack that weighs him down and a PE kit twice a week - he is not a strapping lad either. They just have to get on with it. Not really any alternative.It's part of growing up I would say!

Harsh but true....

Theas18 Wed 03-Apr-13 09:55:48

Total journey time for my kids is 30-45 mins, walk/bus combo. For secondary school I'd say 1hr total travel is not unusual. I often see kids from local secondaries on the way as I'm going to work before 8am and some will walk all the way 45 mins or so (we have grammars, comps and catholic schools so lots of kids from the locality going in different directions)

She'll cope in the rain. Mine leave instruments at school quite a bit anyway and kit will be in lockers.

As long as she's going to the " local" or to a local choice school she will be with lots of others doing the same anyway IYSWIM! Would be more tricky if you send to to the old school and she walks past other secondaries on the way though.

Re biking, we are in a city and I don't encourage it at all. Too dangerous (or along the canal towpath etc which is safe re traffic but isolated!)

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 09:59:09

20 (at a very brisk march) - 30 (when chatting to friend) here. DS meets up with a friend very close to our door, though, and they collect others on the way, so it is a social start to his day.

PE kit + massive rucksack + clarinet ... yes, been there. He has a spare pair of dry trousers + socks in his locker at school in case of torrential rain, and luckily is oblivious to the fact that it isn't cool to wear a coat so carries a decent quality waterproof with him.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Apr-13 10:02:59

Mine had a 30 minute walk to school at secondary. I would say that's a fairly average walk.

Mine have a 13 minute (see how precise I am grin ) train journey.
A 10 minute walk to the station. And a 10 minute walk from the station to home. Although the 10 minute walk often turns in to 20 minutes when it's sunny and they are with their friends.

Ds2 at primary has a 15-20 minute walk.

WRT weather, PE kits etc, some days ds1 takes 2 bags and a violin, he just manages somehow.
A lot of secondary age children live quite a distance away, I guess they just get used to it. I know mine meet up with friends on the way, go to the shop, have a chat so it isn't as bad as it sounds iyswim

ShowOfHands Wed 03-Apr-13 10:08:10

We live 4 miles from the school. We have a 10 minute walk, short bus ride and then a 15 minute walk. We do it come rain or shine. You just need decent wet weather gear. This includes the baby in the sling and dd carrying pe kit/rugby kit/gym kit etc. She's been doing it since she was 4 (summer born).

It just becomes your norm. DD always has wet weather gear and a change of clothes at school just in case.

ShowOfHands Wed 03-Apr-13 10:09:04

When in Y7, I had a 45 minute walk or 15 minute cycle ride to get to school. It's fine.

PearlyWhites Wed 03-Apr-13 10:12:32

Mine has a forty minute bus ride, I wouldn't want my dd to walk 30 mins in winter especially as they are not allowed to wear coats. Is there not a bus she could catch?

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 10:17:37

Pearly, surely no school can ban wearing coats while on a journey to school? That's just daft - what about when it's wet / snowing? I know many DCs don't like wearing coats, and it's not seen as 'cool' to wear them, but I have never heard of a school - primary or secondary - where coats cannot be worn on the journey to school. Do the 'coat police' patrol the catchment area??

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 10:18:44

DS, by the way, could cycle reasonably safely as far as the route vgoes, but it's the carrying of 'stuff' that makes it impractical on a regular basis.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 03-Apr-13 10:21:38

Sounds mad, but I do know of schools that ban coats being worn around the school grounds AND don't have lockers so that effectively means a ban on coats full stop!

rivig Wed 03-Apr-13 10:31:42

It's not just the distance - type of road (mine have narrow pavement, heavy lorries etc etc along greater majority of their route so not great) plus one dc bad neck injury from heavy rucksack and lockers aren't big enough plus not allowed to leave instruments at school and if do you can't practice anyway! Coats in winter a problem too as have to carry round all day so a big pain.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 10:32:57

DNs school doesn't allow coats, just school blazers. She wears a thin waterproof that fits inside her school bag on wet days. Silly rule!

bruffin Wed 03-Apr-13 10:35:14

My dcs school is 7 miles away. They have a 20-25 minute walk to station, 8 minute tain journey, then another 10-15 minute walk to school. DS used to bike to station but had a brand new bike stolen from the station so that stopped.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Apr-13 10:37:17

A 30 minute walk won't hurt them, Pearly.

bruffin Wed 03-Apr-13 10:38:36

Forgot to say, somedays dd has had swimming (not just swimsuit as she does lifesaving straight after school) and photography equipment, although when she first started secondary she insisted on taking every book she owned to school everyday.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 03-Apr-13 10:41:00

6yo DD1 walks to school on the 2 days/week I don't work
it's exactly one mile, and takes about 20mins in the morning, sometimes nearer 30 in the afternoon if she's tired. it's fine.

Schooldidi Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:07

30 mins normal (chatting) pace. 15 mins when she's running late and runs the whole way there.

Mine regularly has 2 bags and a flute. She manages. She even slogged through the snow like that and came to no harm. She does take a coat as she's not really interested in being cool, she'd rather be warm.

The school I teach in doesn't allow coats inside school but the kids who walk wear them anyway and just fold them up into their bags at school, or carry them from lesson to lesson.

CaurnieBred Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:56

20 min walk/8-10 min cycle/15 min scoot. We only walk if it has been snowing though as too slippery to cycle. DD much prefers the cycle option and we do this most days.

PragmaticWench Wed 03-Apr-13 10:47:29

Hate to sound 'In my day' but I used to have a 30 minute walk to school, carrying a cello and hockey kit many days. It never crossed my mind that this wasn't normal. Surely we should be walking at least this much each day for health reasons?

gazzalw Wed 03-Apr-13 13:30:45

Put it in perspective.

MIL grew up in the countryside and went to a school about 15 miles away. She had a very exposed bike ride of several miles, followed by waiting for a bus-ride (which took about an hour) and she would have had all the above and worn a felt blazer (which undoubtedly have been damp all day long if she had been caught in the rain). She did it every day for five years at grammar school and lived to tell the tale.

I'm sorry but we do pamper children these days. DW is always saying how heavy DS's school bags are - they are - but we were saying that we have no lingering memories of being weighed down by school kit and presumably that's because it's not that great a burden in the scheme of things!

PearlyWhites Wed 03-Apr-13 17:55:46

They do ban coats on the journey they also ban taking off your blazer as you are supposed to be " advertising the school" and yes the other pupils police it and it's an automatic detention.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 18:10:50

So a child, newly returned to school after a period of illness e.g. chest infection or asthma attack, and walking to school through the snow or in the rain, would be put in detention for wearing a coat?????

What planet are the people in the school on, that 'advertising the school' is more important than a child's health and wellbeing - especially as, from your earlier post, it discourages walking for any decent distance and therefore will also reduce overall activity and fitness levels?

Some schools are truly astonishingly petty.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 18:22:59

Interestingly, the DofE guidance on school uniform states:
"A school should encourage children to walk and cycle to school and give consideration to this when determining the design and style of uniform."

Although this is non-statutory, I suggest that it would be easy to argue that a school that did not permit the wearing of suitable clothing for cold or wet weather was being unreasonable wrt this guidance.

whiteflame Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:27

There's no way such a ridiculous rule would stand up if challenged (unless maybe a private school). The same as the daft one about not taking blazers and/or jumpers off in extreme heat.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 18:30:43

And frankly, in terms of the school's reputation, if I saw children with only blazers on rather than coats in cold weather - and if it became clear that was a school policy - then that is a school whose reputation with me would plummet and I would share my negative perceptions widely, as it clearly shows that they value appearance above children's welfare, and therefore a school to avoid at all costs.

MakingAnotherList Wed 03-Apr-13 18:34:30

My teenagers walk 2.7 miles. It used to take them just under an hour, now it takes them about 35 minutes. They've walked since year 7, now in years 9 & 10.

It's about a mile and a half each way, further on Games afternoon as the rugby pitches are at a different site. As for how long it takes him, you might as well ask how long is a piece of string? It depends on how tired he is and who he is walking with. Personally, I can't see why it would take more than thirty-five minutes.

lljkk Fri 05-Apr-13 18:21:46

30 minutes for a year 7 seems reasonable to me. In all weathers.

needanewnickname Fri 05-Apr-13 19:24:02

My Year 7 DS has a walk which takes 25 minutes if walking briskly. He walks in all weathers and sometimes has to take a musical instrument as well as PE kit. OP, I don't think you need to be worried about the length of the walk, but it is worth thinking about whether it will feel safe, particularly in the dark, and whether your daughter will be the only one from her school having to walk past lots of kids from a different secondary school.

Tingalingle Mon 08-Apr-13 17:34:23

If he walks, it takes just over an hour (4.5 miles).

He doesn't do it. Does cycle some days, but not when he needs the tuba.

<awaits tales of rock-hard kids who cycle in the snow with two tubas and a double bass>

needanewnickname Mon 08-Apr-13 20:30:02

grin at Tingalingle

cory Tue 09-Apr-13 09:29:05

Ds' walk to secondary school takes me 35 minutes- takes him about an hour. I suspect his walk is more interesting than mine. wink

His general health and fitness have improved no end since he started this school and he has now developed a fondness for rambling.

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