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Walking school bus coordinators' guide

This is a guide for parents/caregivers and teachers to advise them on practical ways to set up a walking school bus.

1. Why set up a Walking School Bus?

By joining a Walking School Bus, students will:

  • learn how to safely negotiate the road
  • talk and socialise with friends and neighbours
  • arrive at school refreshed and ready to enjoy the school day.

Walking School Buses also help reduce traffic congestion around schools.

How does it work?

Each ‘bus’ walks along a set route with at least one adult ‘driver’ picking up children at designated ‘bus stops’ and walking them to and from school.

Bus stops can be outside children's homes or a predetermined point on the street. It all depends on the route that's arranged by you and the parents/caregivers.

The bus can be flexible to suit the needs of families using it and can go as often as parents/caregivers want to drive it. And it's free!

What parents/caregivers tell us

‘Using the Walking School Bus is great. It wakes the kids up properly before they get to school so they're ready to learn.’

‘Walking to school opens so many doors for communication. We talk about almost anything. It's a cheeky way of giving them science, maths or english without them realising.’

‘My children enjoy walking to school with the bus every day and I try and walk with them when I can. It gives them time to chat with friends before school starts and I know they are safe walking in a group.’

‘Our Walking School Bus works for families who use it morning and/or afternoon, and families who use it only one or two days a week. I believe the more families involved the better. If you have five-plus families in your group, there's more flexibility with the roster.’

Why students think a Walking School Bus is fun

‘It keeps you safe by teaching you how to walk safely’
    - Hendrina

‘It's much faster. If you're in a car or bus, you can get stuck in traffic’
    - Miriam

‘You can play more games because you are closer to each other. In the car, you're separated’
    - Jordan

‘It's fun when we go walking and see stuff. We saw worms on the path when it was raining’
    - Miriam