Think! Education

Making independent journeys

Eleven year olds will be heading to secondary school and may face a longer walk or bike ride, using different roads. As a parent it is important for you to help your child plan for this important step by showing them how to stay safe.

What do children need to know?

  • The Green Cross Code is a good start: armed with this, children will feel more confident about crossing roads, including unfamiliar ones
  • Where there are dangers or hazards in the locality, such as particularly busy stretches of road, complicated junctions or dangerous bends and hills
  • They need to know the safest route to where they are going: this may not always be the quickest
  • Children need to understand that using their eyes and ears all the time is essential to being safe near traffic: they should avoid distractions such as chatting to friends, using mobiles or listening to MP3s when crossing roads
  • That the more easily they can be seen by traffic, the more likely they are to avoid collisions.

You can practise pedestrian skills with younger children and show them how to cross the road safely and use the various types of crossing that are available. Remember that children copy their parents so always set a good example in everything you do near traffic!

What’s happening at school?

Your child is currently learning about road safety at school using materials from the Department for Transport’s new website. As well as resources for teachers to use in class, there are materials aimed at parents to help you reinforce the key safety messages with your child.

What’s on the site?

1. Videos
There are four short online videos based on the four themes of pedestrian safety, crossing the road, cycling safety and in-car safety. Each one features the fictional story of a child who has been injured in a road accident. You can watch these videos with your child at and talk about them afterwards.

2. Online games
There is also a fun online game for each of the four safety topics. These are designed to help children learn some of the knowledge and skills they need to keep safe on the roads. Why not challenge your child and see if you can beat their score? The more times they play, the more they will learn.

For each road safety theme there is a two-page home-link sheets with ideas for activities you can do with your child. These include quizzes, questions, information and topics to discuss. Your child’s teacher may send these home with your child as part of the ongoing work at school.

4. Teaching resources
In the teachers’ section you can find out about the learning activities your child is doing in class. There are also worksheets and information about using the videos and games, as well as ideas for practical lessons.

5. A parent’s area
With more information and links to the above sections

Encourage your child to talk about what he or she is learning in school about road safety. Encourage questions and have a look at the website together, letting your child choose an activity and tell you about the videos and games.