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How far do your primary aged children walk to school?

(54 Posts)
evilwem Sat 06-Oct-12 16:45:44

We are dithering between two perfectly good schools and it's coming down to logistics.

F. School is 5 mins walk away. W. School is 1.3 miles away, 20-odd mins walk for me, not sure how long for me plus dds (currently 4 and 2).

The issue is that F. doesn't have a preschool. DD1 is currently at W.'s preschool and DD2 wiil go there when she is 3.

So from next September will either have both DDs at W., commiting to 9 years of going the further distance. Or DD1 at F. and DD2 at W., which means two years of shuttling between the two, prob in the car, but then 7 years of an easy 5 min walk.

I don't want to have to drive every day for 9 years, but can't see 3-year-old DD2 managing the walk. (It's v hilly, though downhill on the way home).

Which finally brings me to my question, how far do your children walk, and from what age were the reliably happy to do so?

GrimAndHumourless Sat 06-Oct-12 16:55:45

about a mile and a bit each way, preschool next door so when mine were wee (oooh long time ago!) we walked, baby in buggy then from when HE started at preschool at 3 he walked

took half an hour to begin but soon picked up the pace

go for the nearer one for ease in future?

bishboschone Sat 06-Oct-12 17:00:38

My school is about 2.5 miles . We walk everyday despite having a car . The parking is rubbish and I have ds to get in and out of car seat and buggys etc if we drive . Dd is 8 and IMO it's all about training . She moaned for the first year on and off but happily ( mostly ) walks with no problems . Have you got a buggy board ? For older child if they are tired on the way home? Or even a double buggy ? My neighbour uses to push reception age child home after school as we live about the further away .

bishboschone Sat 06-Oct-12 17:01:10

It takes us half an hour door to door by the way .

evilwem Sat 06-Oct-12 17:02:32

You walk 2.5 miles in half an hour? That's a light jog isn't it?

scootle Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:22


lunar1 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:48

Ds1 is almost 4 and walks 1.6 miles. It is a hilly walk. We have no car so no option whatever the weather. He easily walks it both ways.

evilwem Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:50

Yes Grim, the nearer one is the more sensible long term bet. I'm being swayed by the idea of having them both in the same place from next September. I also have a slight preference for W., but probably only because I know it from DD1's time there in preschool.

Nagoo Sat 06-Oct-12 17:04:26

A mile. He walked right from reception, I did get a scooter which speeds us up a lot.

But I would go for the nearest school I think, all being equal otherwise.

Fuzzymum1 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:04:44

We don't have far to walk - about 5 minutes, but as a child I walked about a mile each way without a problem.

suburbandream Sat 06-Oct-12 17:07:38

Our current school is about 3 miles away. Part of it is through the woods so we drive to the woods and walk the rest - about 1 3/4 miles. The DCs love it, and it takes about half an hour. We used to live just over a mile away and that was an easy 20 minute walk. DS2 did that from about 2, when DS1 started at the nursery. Mind you he has always been a good walker, it was DS1 who used to moan and get in the buggy grin

evilwem Sat 06-Oct-12 17:09:41

They do have scooters. DD2 got a mini micro for her 2nd birthday last week, I'm having trouble imagining her stable and independent on it!

Seems like W. is certainly possible from your experiences, but I have to be honest with myself on whether I'd do the walk or end up in the car more often than not...

Arisbottle Sat 06-Oct-12 17:11:34

151 metres.

We measured it.

5madthings Sat 06-Oct-12 17:11:35

ours is a half hour walk and that is with a baby/toddler. we have a school 5 mins away but were not happy with it. the boys have all walked and ds3 and ds4 attended pre-school there so at times i was doing the walk three times a day. we also scooter or bike. my dd is 21mths and the other day she walked all the way home and that took more like 45mins! but its across a field etc, only one busy road and that has a crossing.

which school do you like more? and having them both at the same place is imo much easier so i would put a child into a school where there is a pre-school.

noramum Sat 06-Oct-12 17:11:51

I walk around 20 minutes, with DD I think we would need 30.

Since day one she therefore went on her scooter unless it is pouring down, bringing us to 20 minutes again.

Now she cycles, in 1/2 year we will be down to 15 minutes.

radicalsubstitution Sat 06-Oct-12 17:12:52

I would go for the nearer school although, as a non-driver, I'm slightly biased.

Things to consider:

Will local children be going to school F? If so, it would be better to live near the children your DCs will be going to school with. Whilst they probalby don't go out unaccompanied at the moment, there will come a time when they are 9 or 10 when they may say 'Can I go and call for X?'. This will be easier if school friends live nearby.

You will only have DCs at different settings for 9/10 months. It will seem a dim and distant memory in two years' time.

It is far easier to 'nip out' to curriculum information evenings/parents evenings/discos/xmas fairs after school if the school is very local.

bishboschone Sat 06-Oct-12 17:16:23

We are always late so we do walk fast .

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Sat 06-Oct-12 17:17:27

We only walk about 1/4 mile. As it turns out at least once a week I go back and forth more than once a day. Sometimes because one DC is at an after school club and the other is not, sometimes because I help as a volunteer with both PTA activities and reading etc, thirdly because one of my DCs has special needs and I go in to see various people about him (speech and occupational therapists, SENCO). It is really handy that it is only 5 mins walk away.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sat 06-Oct-12 17:19:00

DD (just 5 and in reception) walks 1.5 miles each way. Some days DP picks her up in the car tho. Depends what time he finishes work. She moaned quite a bit at first and I despaired, however now she walks along chatting away, singing to DS while he sits in his buggy and herding her imaginary pets with her smile

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Sat 06-Oct-12 17:19:14

Also, our school has a small catchment area. Everyone lives within a half mile radius, which makes the DCs social lives very easy, also means there are loads of other families nearby to share walking DCs to and from school when needed.

ladyintheradiator Sat 06-Oct-12 17:21:00

Less than half a mile, I feel very lucky. It would take me longer to drive than to walk.

If I were you, I'd go for two years of different schools and using the car for the long term gain.

evilwem Sat 06-Oct-12 17:21:01

That's a good point radical about the local children. However, it'll be much more than 9/10 months. DD2 is a September birthday, so next September DD1 will be starting school then DD2 will start at preschool after the half term holiday, beginning of November, and will then be there for the rest of that year and all of the following year. So from November 2013 to July 2015 they would be in different places.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sat 06-Oct-12 17:21:36

Forgot to say 1.5 miles takes half hour on the way there. It is up hill though.

Februarytwotimes Sat 06-Oct-12 17:22:30

Almost exactly 500 metres. I love living so close. Out of bed at 8, out the door at 8.53 am, arrive on the dot of 9.

ilovemydogandMrObama Sat 06-Oct-12 17:25:13

we are very lucky, we live a block away from nursery school and primary school, so walk. The DCs have lots of friends who live locally and easy to have friends over after school.

I would say closest school every time...

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