Right accent, wrong art on safety

24th March 2000 at 00:00
SAFETY CD FOR KIDS. CD-Rom for PC and Mac. Free to primary schools covered by Strathclyde Fire Brigade. Strathclyde Fire Board, Bothwell Road, Hamilton ML3 0EA, tel 01698 300999.

Fire safety, drug awareness and safety in the home and community are the focuses of this CD-Rom designed for P4-P7 pupils. Problems lie in its old technology, unimaginative graphics and dull text. Much of the content is level AB, but the sections that provide more technical information are unlikely to stimulate older pupils due to their infantile style of presentation.

The graphics are old-fashioned clip art that resemble illustrations from old Enid Blyton books. Illustrating teachers as women who wear mortar boards and carry a cane is particularly poor.

There is a serious break in continuity when what appears to be an American policeman features on the screen where elsewhere policemen are truly Scottish with familiar chequered caps.

The CD-Rom does little to help pupils understand tht people who take or deal in drugs are "ordinary" people. Its depiction of the person who passes drugs on to someone for safekeeping as a "bully" confuses the drug awareness issue and perpetuates a stereotype of drug dealers.

The quizzes are worthwhile, although not challenging. After the pupil has selected the wrong answer, the answers are re-jumbled to encourage him or her to concentrate further on the question. The choice of three answers often includes easily identifiable wrong answers.

One good feature of the quizzes is the sound option that talks pupils through the tasks in a Scottish accent. The game of Squirt has an additional element of "shoot 'em up" fun for pupils.

This CD-Rom lacks animation and the sophistication that children expect these days. It is likely to find a use in P2-P4 classrooms, but even there its contribution to health and safety skills already taught will be limited.

Paula Cowan teaches at Hurlford Primary, East Ayrshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now