The summer months are approaching and the days are getting longer. This is children’s favourite time of year. They can more easily play outside, walk to friends’ houses and maybe even make their own way to and from school. But what kids don’t think about are the dangers inherent in these activities. Each year, and particularly in the summer months, an unacceptable amount of children are hit by cars in Britain. According to recent research , road accidents account for a third of accidental deaths among 0-14-year-olds and over half of accidental deaths for 5-14-year-olds. Tragically, many of these deaths are avoidable. The answer is road safety education. This article will discuss how road safety education in schools can significantly reduce the frequency of these incidents, and improve the safety and wellbeing of children in Britain.
How Does Road Safety Education Work?
When children crossroads, their interpretation of visual and auditory signals is often inaccurate. They respond to the situation with far less awareness and control than adults. A recent study finds that 85% of children aged 5-6 fail to look for oncoming traffic when crossing a road, and even when they do watch for traffic the direction of their gaze is generally incorrect. Crucially, we can do something to change this. These skills can be quickly developed through road safety education. This education works on two levels: attitude change and knowledge gain. First, training makes children aware of the dangers of roads and the importance of navigating them safely. Then, children are given the knowledge that will allow them to act on these principles. They learn, for example, the meaning of different signs, lights and crossings, and which way to look for cars.
What Kind of Road Safety Education is Best?
The studies undertaken on road safety training unanimously conclude that interactive, collaborative learning is the most effective in terms of knowledge retention. The reason for this is that the passive consumption of information is boring. And when children are bored their ability to concentrate and to learn is diminished. If, however, children are actively involved in creating something new with the information they are given, they are able to retain it far better. A fun and cooperative activity, then, is what children need. Taking this into consideration it seems logical to teach road safety through role-play exercises in which children are given practical training in a safe (and fun!) environment.
Where Does Keltic Come in?
Keltic have come up with a road safety kit that facilitates these exercises and which encourages deep learning. Street Feet is a road safety kit that models real life roads and crossings. It features role-play tabards that help children understand crossings, lights and signs. It also includes destination mats which allow children to practice route planning and road navigation. We’ve put a lot of research into making this an effective educational tool, and we know that it’s a product that can really make a difference. For these reasons, it’s something that we are really proud of.
But Don’t Take Our Word For It…
We hold all of our Street Feet kits in stock so that we are always able to provide next day delivery on them. This service has been delivered to many hundreds of councils, all of which seem to love the kits just as much as we do! The multitude of glowing testimonials that we have received attests to the effectiveness of these kits when it comes to road safety education. Here’s just one of these testimonials, from the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames:
“Here in Richmond, my team makes very good use of the Street Feet resource, it is continually touring the Boroughs Schools and Nurseries and the teachers are constantly requesting to have it back each year. We can see the effectiveness of using this when we go back into schools to do their Pedestrian Training with them in year 3. Street Feet gives a good visual of road layouts and crossing points so that children can really engage practically and learn vital lessons on how to be safe near and on the road.”
What Do You Think?
What do you think of our Street Feet kit? Or perhaps you have something to share about your own experience of road safety education? We would love to hear your comments below. And if you have any enquiries about the kit or about anything else for that matter, you can make them here. Or as always, just ring us on 08450 66 66 99.