Seen to be playing safe

30th May 1997 at 01:00
SAFER PUPILS VHS video, 30 mins running time Pounds 39.95, Pounds 1.50 postage, excl VAT Age range: 11-12

At last - a weapon to combat the problem of young people who are turned off by anything designed to improve their safety. It comes in the form of accomplished and winsome presenter Blaise McGowan, a Year 7 pupil who fronts this film aimed at his peers.

This is a resource for pupils rather than teachers, and Blaise puts the message across in an engaging, thoughtful and interesting way.

In the first and longest of the five sections, Blaise shows how accidents occur when hazards are combined with unsafe actions. Nemesis, the roller coaster at Alton Towers, is used as an example of a machine that looks incredibly dangerous, but which is actually very safe. The safety officer at Alton Towers gives a firm assurance that unless a passenger has a weak heart or is pregnant, there is no risk of harm to anyone.

The second section looks at the school environment and the "circle of safety", where everyone has a part to play. If one group falls down in its responsibility the circle is broken and accidents can happen.

Section three examines risk assessment, where four young people discuss the risks of rock-climbing. The two final sections consider personal protective equipment and safety signs.

The video is well suited for its age group, and although originally intended to support science and technology, it would be most suitable for use with PSHE. The photocopiable interactive worksheets should help teachers make the most of each of the five sections. Model answers are also provided.

As young people mature, they need a thorough understanding of safety. But far too often they see it as yet another attempt to curb their fun and freedom. This film is to be commended for its lively and innovative treatment of what could be a boring subject. Teachers who use it should have little trouble in getting the message across.

Safer Pupils is available from the Safety Association for Education (SAFE), University of Greenwich, Mansion Site, Bexley Road, Eltham, London SE9 2PQ. Tel: 0181 331 9431

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