Busting the school bus barriers

Andrea Smithson
Albany Primary School

How can we encourage more students to catch the bus to school? This is the question that the Year 5's in Room 18 at Albany Primary are currently pondering. The Your Move student leaders from this class are already aware from our Hands Up surveys that the numbers of students who catch the bus are very low - in our last survey it was only 7%, and we know that leaves lots of room for improvement.

Earlier in the term, the Year 5 group were lucky enough to have an information session with our local bus depot coordinator Justin Goldsmith, who is a fantastic public transport advocate. He spoke to the students about the practical side of catching the bus, including how to get a Smart Rider and some bus safety tips. The group also discussed some of the reasons why the bus numbers are so low, and it was clear that most students don't know if there is a bus route near where they live.

Which has led us to the next step - identifying the relevant routes and plotting them on a map! Unlike metro students, we don't have ready access to bus maps or route planning tools, so we've gone back to basics and starting with printed maps and pens. By identifying the main parts of town that students live and matching them with the routes through those areas, we plan to come up with a practical and easy to read map that school families can use to work out their closest bus route. The students are also working on some communication tools to help spread the word and increase our APS school bus gang! Watch this space for how it all goes...

This story is related to Create Your Own Classroom Activity

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Go APS & bus(t) the barriers to catching the bus! Some great thinking strategies going on here. Look forward to reading your proposals for more bus patronage & the results of your mapping.

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James (Your Move)

Hi Andrea - what a great hands on and very useful activity. It is a good reminder to us that regional schools don't have access to all the maps and tools that metro students and families can access. You have earned 15 points for creating this class activity, 30 bonus points for the innovative nature and 20 points for giving us so much info in your story. Thanks 😊!

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Thanks James and Arlene! It certainly has required some lateral thinking to get this project going, but the benefits of getting the students involved is definitely worthwhile and means we can tailor the information much more than just distributing some generic maps :)

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