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Road safety

ROAD SENSE FOR SCHOOLS. Ages 5-11. CD-Rom pound;1, Video pound;4. Magic Light Box kits pound;10 Magic Light Box figures 50p (plus pound;2 pamp;p). Road Sense for Schools, Freepost SL966, Slough SL1 5BT.

Now that murky mornings and gloomy evenings are upon us, and with the clocks going back in a couple of weeks, it's time to start reinforcing the road safety message. This multi-faceted resource does just that.

The complete package, which includes a CD-Rom, the It's Really Brilliant video, a website and the Magic Light Box kits and figures, looks at all the main aspects of road safety for children.

The CD-Rom features an interactive story with an alien and three children of indeterminate age whose jowly faces may be a bit off-putting to the target audience. The story follows the children as they discover the alien and teach it about the Green Cross Code, safe crossing points and crossing patrols.

After each section, children are given three statements about road safety. They can read the questions or click on the characters to hear them read out. Answers are explained to ensure the message is understood.

The CD is easy to use and is accessible by any child who can use a mouse.

Teachers also have the option t print a written version of the interactive story or click through it on screen with accompanying pictures. The CD-Rom also features video footage looking at other aspects of road safety with questions at the end of each section.

Teachers wanting to expand on the information provided on the CD should log on to for lesson plans and further activities.

The It's Really Brilliant video is more suited to key stage 2 pupils and features a 13-minute drama on the need to be seen in the dark. This is the weak link in the package.

Road Sense is produced by reflective materials manufacturer 3M, so it's no surprise that the importance of reflective clothing is mentioned throughout. In the video, the need to be seen drives the main action of the drama.

So keen are the makers to get this message across, they forget to put helmets on the child cyclists featured. Should you want to take the reflective clothing message further, you can get the light box kit and figures for classroom demonstrations on the best materials to wear in the dark.

That gripe aside, Road Sense for Schools offers a flexible and affordable way for primary schools to teach road safety.

Yolanda Brooks

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