What is a Walking School Bus (WSB)? The WSB initiative is run by Auckland Transport. A walking school bus is just like any other bus except that children walk the route to school, supervised by parents and grandparents, creating a safe and social journey to school. Children are collected from marked stops along the route and dropped off within the school gates. Along the way they have an opportunity to socialise and learn about road safety. What routes does Birkenhead Primary School have? We currently have four WSB routes: Hinemoa Hikers, Mokoia Marchers, Mahara Magic and Zion Lions.
When does the WSB run? Hinemoa Hikers runs morning and afternoon. The other buses only run in the mornings and not necessarily every day - our route coordinators have more information about exactly when the buses run.
Is it safe for my child to take the WSB? Safety is our number one priority on the WSB. The drivers have guidelines and the children sign a pledge (in the welcome pack) to follow the WSB rules. The drivers are committed parents and grandparents and the children behave well, so generally this means that the bus is a fun, social and healthy way to get to school. The WSB adult to child ratio is 1:8 at Birkenhead Primary School and a driver will occasionally take a few children over that ratio, but only if they feel comfortable doing that. We normally have a front and back driver and both drivers wear bright safety jackets. Children cross roads in one group with both drivers. We have procedures to cover most concerns on the bus service, but rarely need to take action.
What is the process if my child wants to walk on the bus? You are welcome to walk with your child on the bus a few times to see if you like it. However if and when your child walks on the bus without you, they need to be registered as an official walker. Please see the office for a walking school bus form or click here. Once this is received back from you, you will be given a welcome pack with information about the route including a bus ticket and WSB tag.
For more information about the Walking School Buses, please email our coordinating parent Katrina King.