Welcome Year 6 - at the start and end of the school day

I understand the desire to keep your child safe.
 

PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE ONTO OUR SCHOOL GROUNDS (UNLESS YOUR CHILD IS DISABLED)

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON DOUBLE YELLOW LINES ON NEIGHBOURING STREETS AS YOU MAKE THE JUNCTIONS DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN CROSSING THE ROADS

PLEASE RESPECT THE LOCAL RESIDENTS’ RIGHT TO GET OFF THEIR DRIVES TO COLLECT THEIR CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL

It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome our year 6 pupils to Walkden High this week. We are very excited about them joining us as year 7 in September. I have a son in year 6 myself, who had his taster day this week and I know the mixture of excitement and trepidation that we all feel about this change from little primary school child to big high school adolescent.

I use my experience as a father of three children to help me understand where you as parents are coming from. The more I can empathise with other people the better. The more I can imagine what it is like to be others the easier it can be to understand why people behave the way they do.

I can understand the desire to keep your child safe. I have this instinctual feeling too. I understand the desire to make the journey for your child through life as simple as possible. I have this wish too. I understand the desire to minimise risk and danger for your child. I have this fundamental urge too.

However, these instinctual feelings, urges, wishes are just that; instinctual. They are based on ‘gut feeling’. What makes us amazing and different from sheep and cattle is our ability to reason and think and to see that sometimes what our gut might be telling us is the best option, is not actually the best option. It’s our ability to think, that has led humans to where they are today.

Here is my point. It seems perfectly sensible for me as an individual to drive my son right up to the front door of his high school. This will protect him and keep him safe. But, just as in our school, there are 300 other parents at his school who will want to do this, just in year 7. There are in fact 1500 parents who want to drive their son or daughter right to the front door. Their instincts tell them that this is the best option.

But as is common, our instinct is not the best option here. Far from it. It is in fact an incredibly bad option. Having 1500 cars on or near our premises increases the risk for all of our children. It makes what should be a safe place incredibly dangerous. It does not help anyone.

If you have to drop off and pick up your child from school in a car can you please park it some considerable distance from school and let your child walk. If you are very worried about your child then get out of your car and walk down to the school gate. This is good for your and their health and if we all do this together it actually increases safety.

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Simon Lennox
Headteacher 

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