Ringmer Community College

Ringmer Community College


Students of this school of an english rural area created campaigns to promote the use of the seat belt with actions targeted at different age groups in different ways.

The ideas

The students were invited to present their first thoughts to each other in small groups and then to the whole class. Topics that came up included more cycle paths/persuading students to cycle to school, better public transport (this is a rural area), safer public transport to and from school, and other issues with a very local focus.

The students then interviewed other members of the community of different ages to see if any other issues came up – their finding were less school-focused but were predominately concerned with safety on the roads. The students then undertook some statistical research into the number of deaths and injuries on the roads, both nationally and locally in East Sussex, and this raised the issue of seat-belts and whether they are worn or not.

We then widened the scope of the study to consider environmental issues – we are a Green Flag Eco-School and watched the video clips about the circular economy and the development of electric cars. We are very near Brighton which has a Green MP and a Green Council and has introduced an electric car scheme. Brighton also has a bus company which uses recycled cooking oil as fuel (Big Yellow Lemon Buses).

The students split into groups to decide which issue to campaign on as a whole group. Each group presented their proposal backed up with research and were awarded points based on the criteria in the ‘Your Ideas Your Initiatives’ selection criteria. They concluded (in a nail-biting finish!) that persuading young people to wear seat belts was a more feasible campaign than trying to persuade adults to buy electric cars. They also concluded that any campaign would have to be targeted at different age groups in different ways.

The issue that was finally decided upon was that of reducing deaths and injuries in cars through making sure people always wear seat belts. This was relevant as the students research revealed that not all young people wear seat belts every trip and this contributes to the number of deaths and injuries in East Sussex road traffic accidents. A side issue was the introduction of seat belts into school buses, which do not currently have them.

The initiatives

The class decided to split into 4 groups to target 4 separate age groups – primary schools (aged 7-11), Key Stage 3 (aged 11-14), Key Stage 4 (aged 14-16) and the Sixth Form ( aged 17-18).

Each group chose a different medium to present their campaign.

Primary schools – a PowerPoint presentation and other resources to be delivered by the primary school teachers. They felt that with younger children this approach would be less threatening and upsetting.

Key Stage 3 – this group decided to do a display for the corridor to back up their campaign and question students who passed it about their attitudes.

Key Stage 4 – this group decide that using humour in a film to be uploaded on to You Tube would be the most appropriate way to get their message over. They then encouraged their peers to watch and comment on it.

Sixth Form – These students the only ones who are themselves drivers. The group decided that humour was the best weapon and produced a film to be uploaded on to You Tube and also shown on the TV screens in the reception area of the Sixth Form building.

Before each film / display/ PowerPoint, the students undertook primary research into attitudes amongst the target audience using questionnaires. They plan to carry out follow up questionnaires to assess the impact of their campaigns. At all times the students were in control of the direction of the campaign. They researched the issues, presented to each other and then chose the final campaign (despite strong opposition from the teacher who wanted another subject!)

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