Friday, June 11, 2010
A walking bus consists of a minimum of two adult escorts (parents or guardians) – a ‘driver’ at the front and a ‘conductor’ at the rear. Parents take it in turns to escort each others children to and from school. The bus has a set route each morning, with an agreed pick up point and a drop off point in the school halla. The bus is punctual and like a regular bus must leave on time. The pupils hold onto a rope to help them stay together.
Parents share the responsibility of the walking bus once it is set up. They will exchange phone numbers and organise a substitute if required. This initiative is successfully in operation in several schools in Cork city and as a measure of success, in some schools there are waiting lists to get on the walking bus. A Walkability Audit of each route has taken place to ascertain how long it takes to walk to school and to identify the most suitable route. Cork County Council are working in close liaison with Scoil Niocláis to improve the routes for pedestrians. The teachers will teach their pupils specific lessons on road safety in June. A trial week for the walking bus scheme will take place the 14th to 18th of June. This will be called the Scoil Niocláis Walk to School Week. There will be stickers for all pupils that walk to school and a certificate for those that travel to school on a walking bus. The Golden Boot Award will be awarded to the class with most walkers. An Art Competition, a quiz and bicycle workshops are among the fun activities planned for the week.
Why choose the walking bus?
The walking bus is an attractive option as it has many benefits. It reduces traffic congestion and carbon dioxide emissions. It promotes exercise and an essential pattern of exercise can be established at an early age. Research has proven that walking to school improves concentration levels. It promotes pedestrian skills and an improved awareness of road safety - a necessary life skill. It promotes social interaction and independence. It is convenient for parents as they do not have to accompany their children to school daily as it is run on a rota basis.
What if you wish to volunteer to become a parent on a walking bus ?
You will receive training from Cork County Council’s Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team. There is a training session on Tuesday the 8th of June at 8.00pm in the school halla.
At least 2 parents will supervise a walking bus. The ratio of supervision is 1:6 ( 1 adult to 6 children). You will be responsible for contacting a replacement volunteer if you are unable to take your turn. A contact with phone numbers of substitutes will be provided.
If a child does not arrive on time the bus must carry on. It is the parents responsibility to get them to the bus on time. The local gardaí will help to get the buses established and accompany buses on the initial week.The walking bus meets at a designated area .e.g. Dunvale Esatate. Once the bus reaches Scoil Niocláis it’s end stop is the school halla. Pupils are dispersed to class from here.
Let’s put our best foot forward for Walk to School Week the 14th to 18th of June. Scoil Niocláis is currently seeking our second Green Flag which is the energy flag. Thank you for your continued support for our Green School Programme.
Ms. Sinéad Downing
The Green School Co-ordinator
Walking Bus pick up Points
(Please refer to the map to view routes)
1. Dunvale also serving Alderbrook & Curragh Woods
2. The Maples also serving Frankfield Estate & Seven Oaks.
4. Ardfield also serving Carraigaline.