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 outside agencies such as local authority Road Safety Officers, the police and 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 school, 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 three road safety themes for 5–7s is accompanied by a home-link sheet for pupils to complete with their parents or carers. These can be downloaded and printed then copied for children to take home. Their purpose 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 safer pedestrian behaviour, crossing the road (including the Green Cross Code), 'Be Bright, Be Seen', in-car and cycle safety. You can order free copies of Road safety matters from the teachers’ catalogue.

The same information can additionally be found in the parents’ area.

Other ways to engage 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 work 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 school 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.
  • Outside agencies such as a local authority Road Safety Officer or the police may be willing to give a talk to parents to launch the project. Road safety education: a guide for senior managers at schools teaching children aged 3–11 has been produced to help schools plan and coordinate the involvement of outside agencies.
  • The theme of road safety and details of children's activities can be featured in parents' newsletters and on the school's website, if there is one.

Online

Schools can refer parents to the parents' area where they will find the same information contained in Road safety matters, the home-link sheets and information about the other resources.

Parents may also want to use some of the activities in the pupils' area with their children.