THINK! EDUCATION

Think! Education


Involving parents

The success of road safety education can be greatly increased if there is shared responsibility between schools and parents, which is backed up by official messages through the media and from agencies such as local authority Road Safety Officers, the police or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Children will learn effectively if they receive the same clear safety instructions from home as from their Early Years Setting, so it is vital that parents are encouraged to become involved with road safety from the beginning

Home-link sheets

To help achieve this aim, each of the five themes outlined below is accompanied by a home-link sheet for parents. These are two-page A4 sheets which can be downloaded from the website and printed then copied for children to take home to give to their parents. The purpose of these is threefold:

  • To inform parents about the road safety activities that their children are carrying out and the accompanying learning objectives.
  • To give advice and ideas for parents about how they can reinforce key road safety messages through simple, enjoyable activities with their children.
  • To underline the message that the home plays a vital part in children’s learning about road safety, not least through good modelling.

Parents’ booklet

A 12-page booklet, Road safety matters, written specifically for parents gives background information and official guidance on relevant aspects of road safety including safe pedestrian behaviour, using road crossings, ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’ and in-car safety. You can order free copies of the THINK! Education teachers’ catalogue from the Department for Transport’s teacher catalogue, found in the teachers’ section.

All the information from the Road safety matters booklets can also be found in the parents' area.

Other ways of engaging parents

As with any initiative involving parents, there will inevitably be a mixed response but there are a number of ways that parents can be encouraged to become involved in this important work:

  • Holding a parents’ meeting to introduce the topic can be an effective way to raise awareness. The parents’ booklets can be given out at this meeting and some of the classroom activities outlined. The home-link sheets can also be shown and the importance of communicating a united message to children can be stressed.
  • Parents can be asked to feed back on the effectiveness of the home-link sheet activities by writing comments in a questionnaire to return to school. This could also have space for suggestions for how to improve road safety learning or for local issues to address.
  • Parents can be invited into the Early Years Setting to see some of the children’s work and to watch road safety activities going on: this can range from a full-blown ‘road safety week’ to an open day or a special assembly where children show visitors what they have learned.
  • The theme of road safety and details of children’s activities can be featured in parents’ newsletters and on the Early Years Setting website if there is one.

Online

Schools can also refer parents to the parents’ area of the THINK! Education website which will provide the same information included in the Road safety matters booklet and access to the home-link sheets. Parents may also want to use some of the resources in the pupils’ area with their children.