Depending on where you live, the journey to school for your child may involve taking a bus. If it’s their first time, you must teach them about the route and do preparation to ensure that they can safely and confidently get to school. In this post we share guidance from a private school in Surrey on areas to explore and guidance to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Think About When’s the Right Time
Firstly, you should think about whether your child is ready to take the step and go to school by themselves. While there is no law as such, some schools and local authorities recommend against letting children under the age of 8 years old walk to school by themselves. This will also come down to the type of bus they are taking, whether it is specifically a bus that will take them directly outside of their school gates or public transport.
Once that has been established, introduce your child to buses. If they have never taken one before, go over the basics such as how to use one (this may involve showing their bus pass or paying for a ticket), and safety advice that they must follow and where their stops will be. For this introduction it is a good idea to have a trial run so that they can get used to taking the bus and familiarise themselves with the route to school.
To build upon the point made above, taking safety precautions is a must when using a bus as it is a moving vehicle. Unlike cars, they do not have seat belts, users must alert the driver when to stop using a button and make their way to the exit when the bus has come to a halt using handles and other safety features available.
They mustn’t talk to strangers and always be aware of their surroundings. If they need help, they can always ask the bus driver for help or anyone they know also taking the bus.
A Travel Buddy
It’s natural for children to be nervous about taking the school bus and for parents preparing them for the step. What can help settle both your nerves is finding a travel buddy who can accompany them, like one of their peers who will be doing the same journey. This is something you can arrange by speaking to other parents.
Problems with Their Route
Public transport can occasionally run late, or your child could end up missing their bus. As a part of their preparation, talk about these events with your child and what they should do if they were to happen.
Also consider location sharing if your child takes their phone with them to school as it can help put your mind to rest and ensure that they have gotten to school okay.
Doing anything the first time can be nerve wracking, especially when it involves a moving vehicle and is something your child has not done before. As well as preparation, provide your child emotional support and settle their nerves by reassuring them that they will be okay.