The RAC has teamed up with THINK! and Aardman Animations in a campaign that challenges school children to create short animations about road safety. Lynette Bryant, a teacher at Windwhistle Primary School, talks about the importance of road safety education and explains how taking part in the RAC challenge has raised awareness at her school:
Too many children and young people are being killed or injured on British roads with devastating consequences for families and friends. As a teacher and volunteer child road safety officer at Windwhistle Primary School in North Somerset, I strongly believe that children need to be taught the relevant skills to keep themselves safe on the road from an early age.
The dangers associated with roads are all too prevalent in everyday life and with blind corners, parents parking on zig-zag lines and families crossing the road between parked cars, the roads directly outside of schools can be some of the most hazardous.
It concerns me that the issue of child road safety is not always addressed at home and that external providers have dwindled thanks to budget cuts within local councils. It has become the school’s responsibility to provide the information needed to keep children safe.
In a bid to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make our children aware of the dangers, our school has recently taken part in the RAC’s Child Road Safety campaign and competition.
The competition encourages groups of children to create an animated film about child road safety using tips from the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animations. It has worked well both in terms of raising road safety awareness in the school and supporting an ICT club project that involved students making and entering their own animated film in the RAC competition.
We have used interactive and role-play learning to make sure that the children were fully engaged in the topic and have seen pupils take responsibility for what they believe it means to be safe on the road.
There are many more things that could be done to support road safety awareness, working with both local authorities and emergency services. However, I believe that schools and teachers must continue find ways to protect and educate children about the dangers of our roads, regardless of how much external support they receive.
The deadline for entries to the RAC Child Road Safety competition is at 11.59pm on 19 December 2014. Prizes for the best films include a visit and workshop from Aardman's top model makers. To find out more, visit the RAC website. You can also download free road safety resources.