The day many parents here in Warwickshire have been looking forward to has arrived.
The kids go back to school!
Whilst some have already gone back (i.e private schools, schools in Leicestershire went back last week I believe), the start of the new school year has been much heralded
To be honest the last six weeks have fairly flown by, but my two had really got to the point where they needed to go back to school.
And I needed them to as well.
Don’t get me wrong, having them around again has been great, but has brought its own challenges especially when you are trying to work (as I do from home).
But after six years, it is nothing I haven’t been used to and you get to know what to expect.
So after the usual clamour for new shoes and uniforms, my two head back into Years 4 and 6 respectively (the eldest in his last year before high school this time next year).
Typically with the school gates re-opening, up pops several stories in the media (and themed TV shows i.e Bad Education, Big School, Waterloo Road) where the return to school is concerned.
The first was an interesting article suggesting that walking to school may improve cognitive performance in that school children who take 15 minutes or more to walk to school are likely to more alert in class.
The Mail Online reported that a study carried out in Spain on 1,700 male and female students aged between 13 and 18-years-old has claimed that pupils’ cognitive performance may be improved if they walk to school rather than be driven in, with girls are more likely to benefit from this than boys.
Given that my two walk to school – and will start to walk on their own later in the school year, this was quite heartening. Mind you, we have done the ‘school walk’ [as it were] since they started (school being a 10-15 minute walk from home) and I would much rather do that than endure the slow crawl of traffic and then try and park.
Then to counter this was an article asking whether it was too dangerous for children to walk to school.
The BBC reported that according to the insurance industry, more than 1,000 children a month are being injured on roads around British schools.
Insurers also said that 37 per cent of local school areas had at least one child road injury each year from 2006 to 2011. The figures – drawn from data over the last six years and compiled by research group Road Safety Analysis and Axa Car Insurance, show that 85,814 children sustained a road injury within a 500 metre radius of schools, an average of 1,190 a month.
Only one in five schools had no children injured in accidents within that distance over that period, the researchers say. Separate figures used also suggest there were 557,200 vehicle collisions around schools in the period 2006 to 2011, the equivalent of six collisions per school per year on average.
So, what do you do?
For me, the benefits of walking to school far outweigh the need to jump in the car. Think the ‘joy’ of traffic + parking, wasteful 5-10 minute journey, the exercise, fresh air waking the senses – mine as well.
Each to their own of course, especially for some where four wheels is more convenient with parents heading to work and in some cases coming some distance to drop their kids off to their school of choice.
But come rain or shine or strong wind, when there is chance to walk to school I would take it every time where possible. Plus it breaks my day up nicely first thing in the morning and come mid-afternoon.
So, with school back in, normal service has resumed has returned to the classroom and KQ Copywriting HQ and it’s time to kick back on.