There is no set age when children can walk to school on their own and most children of school age should be able to walk for twenty minutes (about 1 mile in distance).
Daily exercise helps to improve a child’s bone strength and muscle tone as well as increasing alertness and improving academic performance. Allowing children to get to school on their own increases their confidence and independence.
Parents should walk the chosen route with their child to assess whether they can make the journey independently and are able to cross roads safely. It may be that other children take the same route to school and your child could join them.
Alternatively you could get together with friends and neighbours to form a walking bus. This is where children walk to school in a group under the supervision of adults.
If you live too far from the school you could consider driving part of the way and walking the last part of the journey – ‘Park and Stride’.
In Dorset the weather is relatively mild and with sensible shoes, wet weather gear and a comfortable back pack your child will be able to walk to school throughout the year.
Not only will your child benefit from the extra exercise but the school community will benefit from decreased congestion and pollution in the school area.