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Walking to and from school - what age?

(46 Posts)
Kattekit Wed 25-Jan-17 17:51:11


Just wondered at what age do you think it's ok to allow children to walk to and from school without an adult?

Also what kind of area you live in i.e. Country, city, suburbs etc.

primaryboodle Wed 25-Jan-17 17:59:52

I walked myself to childminders in the morn and to hers from school in y5, got a key in y6 to walk to/from home. In a pretty busy town with lots of traffic and a good 10/15 min walk.. depends how sensibleyour dc is!

CMOTDibbler Wed 25-Jan-17 18:10:16

I live in a very small town, and all the NT kids walk to school on their own from Yr5 - they also take themselves to the swimming pool, library etc

Coconut0il Wed 25-Jan-17 21:23:17

We live in a fairly quiet area. DS1 walked home from Y6 and walked to and from school from Y7. There are no major roads on either route and both journeys only about 10 minutes.

Kattekit Thu 26-Jan-17 09:31:47

Thanks very much for your replies, how would you feel if you had twin ds?

From what age, considering a sleepy little village, one main road to cross and the rest is via the local park. Both are reasonably sensible, know what they should and shouldn't do.

Having a disagreement with dh and just wanted to reach out and see what others thought.....any advice is gratefully received smile

Pestilentialone Thu 26-Jan-17 09:36:18

I do have DTSs. They walked from about Y5. You can build it up 100m at a time. Let them walk up the school path alone, then from halfway through the park, then just cross them over the busy road.
All DC are different, just experiment and see how it goes.

chipsnmayo Thu 26-Jan-17 09:43:28

Dd was about 8, small rural village. About a 10 minute walk and no major road crossings.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 26-Jan-17 09:50:31

It's not allowed before year 6 at dds school. Before year 6 children have to be supervised in the playground by an adult until it's time to go in, and handed back to an adult at home time. Outskirts of a city.

YouMeanYouForgotCranberriesToo Thu 26-Jan-17 09:52:53

It's not allowed before year 5 in our school.

Kattekit Thu 26-Jan-17 10:18:34

School are happy if parents are, I think from year 4? A bit too young imho nowadays but it is a small village.

Kids go straight in to class so no playground to supervise.

It's also the type of place where most people know each other and there are some younger children who walk the same way with their mum, dad or nana and they're happy to keep an eye.

I grew up in a very busy town and walked from year 4 with friends so think it's time for the little ones to have some freedom.

Dh not so sure, they have to travel on their own in y7 about 40 mins from home by bus. Aibu to think yr5 is the time to remove the training wheels?

Kattekit Thu 26-Jan-17 10:19:40

Sorry I should have said thank you for the further responses!

Thank you flowers

ExplodedCloud Thu 26-Jan-17 10:26:04

Dd started walking home in Y4. However she's a rule follower, can avoid crossing the road and we live pretty close to school in a suburban town.
Less keen on letting her walk to school alone.

BiddyPop Thu 26-Jan-17 10:57:49

This year, in 5th class (equivalent of Y5 I think), DD is allowed to walk/cycle to school alone and home again on certain regular days (childcare is in a heap so we do different things different days). School is in the suburbs, a 10 minute walk (pitch is over the wall but she must walk around to front gate) - from housing estate on to main road and back into school with only internal roads in the estate to cross.

Last year, she was cycling most days, and I was going to meet her at the afterschool club in school, but she was cycling home alone (previously she'd been collected by me). We started that she could get out from school on the pedestrian path to main road, wait to see me in the car coming and then go again, I'd stop just in the estate to see her come off the main road, and then she'd come the rest herself. And over the course of a good few weeks, she was able to keep going and not wait for me.

There are a few in her class who have been letting themselves out of their house, walking/cycling a lot farther to school, and home again at the end of the day unlocking the house themselves - for the past 2 years in some cases. We only let DD open up the house in the evenings, one of us leaves with her in the mornings still.

But she is loving the independence and it was the one thing that tore her apart when deciding to leave the afterschool club in the school itself - not being able to go home every evening - even though she was leaving due to serious bullying going on towards her.

BarbarianMum Thu 26-Jan-17 11:05:25

Y5 is typical here but some don't start until Y6. Ds2 started in Y4 but he walks with ds1 (Y6). I did make sure he could manage the road crossings alone in case they fall out on the way, though.

Kattekit Fri 27-Jan-17 11:17:45

Ha ha yes we need to consider a possible fallout, maybe come up with a plan just in case.

Thanks all so much, looks like from next week they can give it a go - might drive up in the car and park where they can't see me just to make sure they're ok. Then that'll give us both confidence they can do it going forward. Thanks again flowersflowers

BiddyPop Fri 27-Jan-17 11:44:33

We built up to it by walking with her, or DH cycling with her, up to letting her off some days on her own, to now where she is happy to do it completely on her own. But yes, it was a case of letting out the reins slowly so that we were confident she was safe on the roads etc, and that she was also confident that she could do it (and what to do if there were any problems).

Letting her know the backup plans if something goes wrong is important too - whether that's to go back into school or to home, grab another parent walking, go into a house on the route or whatever.

And DH was also much happier to let her off alone once she had a mobile - a basic one but that she can call either of us if there's a problem.

ShowOfHands Fri 27-Jan-17 11:51:20

Nobody here lets their primary aged children walk to/from school on their own which I know from MN is pretty peculiar. We live in a fairly quiet village. It just isn't the done thing.

Downstairspoo Fri 27-Jan-17 12:00:13

Only a few kids walk home from our nice middle class catholic school in a small commuter town.
DD1 is almost 10, and I've just started letting her walk down the road to meet me at DD3s pre school because otherwise it's a huge rush to pick up DD1 and get to DD3 in time. It's about a 7 minute walk. There is one residential road to cross but loads of kids from the school walk that way with their parents so I told her to walk with a friend. The first week I arranged for her to walk part way with a friend's mum and she crossed the road with her and then just had a straight 5 minutes down a road to get to me.

Yr 6 she will get a phone about halfway through the yr for her 11th birthday and then she can walk the whole way home, 15-20 mins, residential roads, 2 to cross in total.

Downstairspoo Fri 27-Jan-17 12:03:07

By the way I'd be far happier about Dd1 crossing the 2 residential roads to get home if it wasn't at school run time.... At school run time the cars are parked all along the roads and are pulling in and out and many cars.... She is sensible though and I think most drivers are parents who are fairly aware of the risk of kids crossing between parked cars. Hopefully.

Introvertedbuthappy Sat 28-Jan-17 07:05:43

A lot of kids here started in P2! DS1 started at aged 7.5 although we're in the unique position that we live opposite the school, it's s sleepy village and to cross the road is a crossing with traffic lights and a lollipop lady. I can see his classroom from upstairs and hear the school bell regularly throughout the day as we're so close! If we lived further away it would probably be from age 9/10.

AllTheBabies Sat 28-Jan-17 07:16:29

I live in a large busy city. Dd1 is at primary school and it seems that pretty much all children still get walked to school. There are a few p7's (age 11/12)that walk themselves but only the ones that are very close.

TeenAndTween Sun 29-Jan-17 15:20:00

The big thing in your op is the 'one main road to cross'.

So to me the age would depend on
- how busy is the road (continuous flow of traffic v occasional cars)
- speed limit on the road
- is there a designated crossing point such as zebra crossing
- are there others crossing at the same time

y5 is not a bad age, maybe once the clocks have shifted and the weather is a bit better. But if the road is awkward I would maybe go with them as far as the road and then let them go on from there?

Aspiringcatlady Sun 29-Jan-17 20:07:28

My DS school is from year 4 onwards. My DS is almost 9 (yr4) and walks halfway to school with a friend in the morning (we can see him from where we leave him) and are considering to let him start doing some of the walk home himself (with a friend) from spring/summer time.
We love I'm the country, and his school is situated in the middle of a housing estate so no busy roads. There are also two other schools on the same walk so perfectly safe place to walk home in our opinion. We wouldn't let him go alone for a few more years yet though. Always with a friend.

Biscuitsneeded Sun 29-Jan-17 20:12:39

We live in a small city. Both my DS have walked to and from school from Year 5.

celtiethree Sun 29-Jan-17 20:16:46

From about age 8.

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