Moving from junior to senior school

Moving on to senior school is an exciting but often stressful time for young people. For many, it is also the first time they will be travelling without an adult.

This information will help you to prepare your son and daughter to travel out and about safely.

Remember

This is a big step in young people's development. Help them to become confident, independent and safe road users.

Travelling safely

When you know which school your child will be going to, help him or her to work out the safest route there and back.

  • Start by drawing a simple map, marking the route and talking it through together.
  • Try and avoid potential danger spots such as busy junctions, bends, heavily parked areas - even if it makes the journey a bit longer.
  • In poor visibility remember drivers may not be able to see you.
  • If crossing between parked cars is the only option on route, ensure they know how to do it in the safest way.
  • Ideally always use safer crossing places, such as pelican crossings, zebra crossings and traffic islands.
  • Make the journey together several times before they start at the new school.
  • Plan alternative routes.

Walking

  • Make sure your child knows how to cross the road safely and has lots of practice.
  • Encourage them to use pedestrian crossings and make sure they know how to use them - young people often assume that drivers will automatically stop and never make mistakes.
  • Emphasise that they must not stray from their agreed route home without prior permission - i.e. visiting friends after school.
  • Talk about peer pressure with them, and about the danger of being distracted - such as listening to music and using mobile phones - whilst crossing the road.

Cycling

  • Make sure your child is able to cope safely when cycling in traffic.
  • We offer free cycle training. Training is given at the national standard by accredited instructors up to level 3.
  • Log onto www.cyclinginstructor.com to book online.
  • They should use a cycle helmet and appropriate hi-viz clothing.
  • Ensure the cycle is mechanically sound and the correct size.
  • The cycle has working lights, reflectors and lock.

By car

If there is no practical alternative and you have to drive your child to school, make sure:

  • Everyone wears a seatbelt.
  • Your child knows what to do if you are late picking them up.

Other things to think about

  • If your child will be travelling by bus or train do the trip a few times together.
  • Ensure your child knows alternative routes.

Teach them to

  • Stand away from the kerb or the edge of the platform when waiting for a bus or train.
  • Stay seated when the vehicle is moving.
  • Wait until the bus has moved away before crossing the road.
  • Avoid empty train compartments and, in buses sit near the driver where possible.

Avoid trouble

  • Keep to public places.
  • Avoid badly lit areas.
  • What to do if approached by a stranger.
  • Never talk to or accept a lift from strangers.
  • Travel with friends where possible.
  • Keep mobiles, money and ipods out of sight.

Emergency check list - does your child know

  • Home address and relevant telephone numbers.
  • How to contact the emergency services.
  • What to do if they lose their bus pass, money or keys.
  • Who to approach in the new school if they have a problem.

If you need further information or help contact your child's new school or your local road safety officer: 020 8726 6000 x 62512 (Susan Martin).


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