Having taken up the challenge of participating in the project, Lyceum 'Intellect' has invigorated the younger and older pupils to make a solid contribution to the global problem of road safety and to proper behavior on the road.
Road safety has always been a key issue in educating children and young people. It’s vitally important to shape their understanding of attitudes towards road safety, to give them the best chance to keep safe while they are young and as they get older. Road accidents are one of the biggest afflictions worldwide and if we are aiming to live in a civilized world we ought to teach our children proper road behavior.
Lyceum ‘Intellect’, being among the top 5 educational establishments in Ukraine, has eagerly accepted the idea of taking part in this international project on road safety. Although the school itself is situated in a relatively quiet place, far from intensive traffic, it takes some of our pupils quite a lot of time to get here safe and sound. In general, our schoolchildren seem to be aware of the importance of knowing and following traffic rules, but like all children they should be constantly reminded of what is good and what is bad on and around the road.
Moreover, the 21st century has witnessed a rapid advance of numerous technological gadgets, which have both advantages and disadvantages, especially for this young generation. Wearing headphones and listening to music has become an essential daily habit. People seem to be addicted to it but they never know they are until they try to stop. Whereas this kind of entertainment is practically harmless at home, outside it poses a tremendous threat both for pedestrians and for drivers because loud music distracts!
Bearing in mind these worrying facts, our lyceum took up the challenge to participate in this project and we formed an initiative group consisting of 12 schoolchildren. When our group was told about the project, a lot of people were willing to take part in it. So, initially, we decided just to get together and discuss what could be done. While brainstorming, we came up with a countless number of ideas. Among them was carrying out a social survey ‘Teens on foot and bike’.
The survey was designed for 8th grade students to get their views on how safe they were when walking or cycling, especially on their way to and from school. We are planning to use the results of the survey to plan further road activity, such as a local campaign to raise awareness among drivers and other traffic participants.
We also considered doing a flash mob or a performance for younger children, but in the end we decided to make two films, one about road safety and situations that can happen to anybody on their way to school and back home; the other was about the danger of using earphones while outside. We decided to share our experience to help people avoid unpleasant situations on the road.
Our 7th graders were engaged in ‘The Best Expert of Traffic Rules’ questionnaire. They were asked 20 questions to check how well they knew basic traffic rules.
As a result, we could identify the best experts, those who were able to answer all questions correctly. Unfortunately, they constituted only 28% of the whole group, which means that all schoolchildren need to be constantly reminded of proper road behavior.
In search of what can be done to improve the behavior of road users we pointed out a few activities which can raise schoolchildren’s awareness of the problem. We initiated running a ‘Road Safety Week’ at our lyceum.
The younger learners (5th & 6th graders) were asked to participate in ‘The ABC of Road Safety’ best poster competition. The idea was to remind children of some basic traffic rules like crossing the road in the right place, wearing the right gear when walking and cycling (fluorescent and reflective materials, helmets), fastening seat belts, etcetera, and to encourage all pupils to follow those rules.
The competition turned out to be a lot of fun. Our children not only enlisted their best drawing skills, but also managed to send the right message to everyone who saw the posters. Also, we wanted to inspire schoolchildren to speak out against dangerous behavior, such as children pushing each other onto the road or running across the road without looking. Obviously, they engaged teachers, parents, elder members of their families – and their ideas spread, which was the focal point of the contest! There were around 50 posters but we chose the 25 best ones and hung them up in the school lobby for everyone to enjoy. To further spread the message, we are thinking of displaying our wonderful collection at a kindergarten, for instance, or a nearby school.
However, we are the most proud of our film-making! Having agreed on the plot, we assigned the responsibilities among the participants: the first group collected various ideas for a film, asking teachers and parents about their unusual experiences on the road; the second group made preparations for shooting the film, and the third group joined together to help write a script. We didn’t have to choose actors for the film immediately because everyone was willing to make a certain contribution to the project.
As a result of our hard work we got two amazing films worth watching for everyone. We showed these films to all the schoolchildren and received a positive feedback.
Hope, you’ll enjoy them watching, too!