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Creating careful citizens

To maximise the impact of the injury minimisation programme for schools (IMPS) it has been extended to a broader age range. The new programme, the Citizenship Safety Project, involves secondary schools for the first time, with Year 10 children peer-tutoring Year 2 children in accident prevention.

Developed by IMPS, it aims to link the national curriculum citizenship module with learning about basic safety inside and outside the home. Debbie Lock, citizenship project co-ordinator for IMPS , explains:

"We wanted to get Year 2 children interested in accident prevention and being safe, and cross-age peer tutoring seemed an exciting option. At 14, children are very 'me, me, me'; they are worried about their GCSEs and what to wear, but they are not interested in the community. This is a way for them to think about helping others."

It builds the confidence of Year 10 children and revisits the accident prevention skills they learned in primary school. The project runs for 10 weeks for 45 minutes each week and includes two visits to a local primary school.

Stephanie Miller, 14, and Denise Shaw, 14, from Bartholomew school, Eynsham, Oxfordshire, took part in the pilot study that has just been completed, and taught a group of six-year-olds about road safety.

Stephanie says: "We spent the first few weeks preparing our lesson and learning how six-years-olds learn and what type of accidents they have. For the lesson, we took the children into the playground and pretended we were crossing the road. We used the Green Cross Code and the Highway Code for Children. They were nervous at first but then we started playing games and they had a lot of fun, and they learned a lot as well. I enjoyed it and had a real sense of responsibility. " Denise says: "It made me realise I might want to be a teacher, and I learned what six-year-olds are like.There is a lot more to teaching."

Nicola Bexon, head of Year 10 at Bartholomew school, says: "The Year 10 children were brilliant. They had all the little kids laughing and the Year 6 kids loved being taught by these cool big kids. It gave the Year 10 pupils a sense of self-worth to know that they could teach a lesson so well. This is a great project and the children in the primary schools are still talking about it, so we are helping to spread the word about health and safety."

For details contact debbie.lock@orh.nhs.uk or tel: 01865 228937.

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