Most of us can remember our first day at a new school, often for all the wrong reasons! You can help your son or daughter have a positive experience by thinking about that first day well in advance. The journey to a new school is often overlooked in the flurry of buying uniforms and sorting out timetables, but it is a really important factor in making a good start.

You may have already made decisions about travelling to school, but do have a look at this site with your child and discuss the issues it raises. Many young people see the start of secondary school as an opportunity to spread their wings a little, and start doing things for themselves. However, they (and you!) may not be quite ready to launch off into the streets without some help or guidance.



Unfortunately out children live a far more sedentary age than we did at their age, spending far more time playing computer games, watching TV or travelling by car than they do being active. As they grow up this can lead to all sorts of problems, from unhealthy weight to heart disease or diabetes in adult life. It may not always be obvious, as many of these conditions are not visible from the outside – out children don’t necessarily look ‘overweight’, but they are storing up problems for their futures.

The journey to school is an ideal time to build in some every day exercise, such as walking, cycling, or even scooting (yes, some secondary students do use scooters to get to school!), keeping our children fit and healthy now, but also introducing them to healthy lifestyles for their futures.



One of the main reasons parents give for driving their children to school is concerns for their safety, either from traffic or from ‘strangers’. However, figures show that children are far more likely to be injured as passengers in cars than when walking out or cycling. In addition, they don’t have the opportunity to learn the skills to keep themselves safe for when they do need to travel independently. When more people walk and cycle around a local area, the streets become much safer for everyone. Encourage your child to take a training course. All Swindon primary schools offer pedestrian and cycle training, and we can arrange cycle training for secondary school students and adults upon request.

Help them to understand the rules of the road, and what to do to keep themselves safe when walking or using public transport. Provide safety equipment such as hi-vis items and cycle helmets, and encourage them to use them. Don’t be too heavy-handed – it’s better for a young cyclist to choose to wear a helmet every time for themselves rather than have to take it off round the corner once they are out of sight!

If you have any specific concerns about safety on the journey to school, contact your child’s school and ask them to raise it as part of their travel plan. Alternatively, contact us direct at



One way of reducing the cost and impact of travelling to school by car is to car share. You could arrange to travel with friends or neighbours who are going to the same school, or perhaps onwards to the same workplace. If you don’t know anyone locally, ask around at the school induction events or signup to the website