I am a huge advocate of walking to school. We do have a car and, on the odd occasion that it is used on a school run, the moment passes all too quickly. Conversely, I have many memories of our walks to school. For almost three years now, since Miss J started in reception, we have made the journey to school on foot. Sometimes, the children take scooters or bikes, but mostly we all walk together, or they run on ahead a little, playing and chasing. By walking, we notice the passing of the seasons, how frost gives way to blossom, and hot sunlight burns the leaves of the trees until they crisp and fall to the ground. The uniform changes from summer dresses and shorts through trousers and jumpers returning full circle in the summer term.
I notice it all when we walk, and make memories with my children. From the boy sitting in his pushchair to doing the nursery run straight after the school run to dropping both of my babies at big school, I have hundreds of memories. I also believe that the walk to school is important for children in terms of teaching road safety and also helping them to keep fit and healthy. A brisk walk to school is a good way of getting some energy out of little ones before their first class-based activities of the day. I hope that our morning routine enables the children to concentrate more effectively during their first hour at school. For the boy in particular, exercise is key to both his learning and his ability to concentrate.
As a child myself, I was taken to school in a car until I started a new school in year six. My memories of school journeys prior to walking are hazy. There are a couple of stand out memories but generally I do not remember a lot. My walks to school as an older child are more vivid. We had a lollipop lady to help us across the busy main road that led to the school footpath. She was always friendly and whenever I stayed late after school and had to cross the road alone on the way home I definitely missed her.
With numbers of lollipop men and women falling in recent years, the Churchill lollipopper fund has been set up to help 50 schools pay for a lollipopper of their own. According to research conducted by Churchill, 95% of parents with children aged 5-11 feel safer knowing there is a lollipopper on their route to school, so if you don’t already have one, be sure to nominate your school today.
My children’s school does not have a lollipopper. We are fortunate that our journey is quite short at around ten minutes, but we have to cross four roads along the way. The last road gets very busy around school run times and it can be tricky to cross, with so many cars dropping off at school. It would be handy to have a lollipopper here, particularly as the school is now a primary and will soon be educating children up to the age of 12. For their last primary year, many children could safely walk themselves to school providing there was a lollipopper on hand to assist with the busiest roads. I have nominated our school for lollipopper funding from Churchill insurance, and you can do the same here.
Nominating is free, only takes a couple of minutes to do and could result in a safer journey to school for you, your children, and all those in your area – what could be more worthwhile?
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