Lesson 2: Route planning

Planning a new independent journey. For example, home to a work experience location.

Learning objectives

For students to:

  • develop strategies for dealing with risks on journeys they are starting to make independently
  • plan a journey to keep themselves as safe as possible
  • understand that planning a route in advance can minimise risk.



Links to PSHE – 1.3, 2.2, 4e


1 hour plus extension activity

This activity guides students through risk assessing an independent journey, to make it as safe as possible. It could form part of a programme to support students who are about to undertake a work experience placement which will involve new journeys. An alternative could be to look at new journeys more generally. For example, to a festival with friends, to a part time job and, in a couple of years, university and college interviews or a first holiday with friends.


  • Explain that if students have a positive attitude towards road safety, there are actions that they can take to help keep them safer. This activity looks at assessing the risks and the actions needed to minimise the risks when making independent journeys.

If you have not already used the What's the risk? (lesson 1) lesson plan:

Attitudes and behaviours - 15 minutes

Road safety - the facts - 5 minutes

  • Look at some of the road safety facts in the What do you know? interactive. Do the facts affect students' attitude towards the importance of road safety?

If enough computers are available, you could ask students to complete the What do you know? quiz independently. Ask them to demonstrate on their fingers how many they got right. Ask: did any of the answers surprise you? Why / why not?

Whether or not you have already used the What's the risk? (lesson 1) lesson plan:

Assessing the risks - 35 minutes

  • Explain to students that risk assessment involves three steps:
    • Identifying things which could cause harm (hazards).
    • For each hazard, assessing how likely these are to actually happen and how severe the consequences could be (the risk).
    • Looking for ways of minimising the risks (making them smaller), and thinking about whether it is possible to eliminate them (remove them completely).

Ask students to mind map all the journeys they make. They could then arrange these journeys into categories (e.g. walk and bus, car with mum, tube and walk…).

Tell students that as an example of how to assess the risks involved in a journey, they are going to look at the journey from home to a work placement location. If they don't all know where they're going yet, choose a likely place for them to be travelling to, e.g. into the nearest town.

  • Ask students to complete the Journey planner activity sheet (PDF 700KB) - new window to plan their journeys. They are guided to:
    • highlight the route from home to their work experience location using local maps or online maps such as Google Maps or Multimap
    • list the stages involved in the journey such as walking on pavement, crossing road, cycling in road, using bus or getting lift in car
    • identify the hazards for specific points in their journey
    • identify public transport routes and times if appropriate
    • think about how they can change their route or make other adjustments to reduce the risk
    • think about strategies for coping in different circumstances that could crop up (e.g. running late, bus cancelled, bike lights need new batteries, cannot get lift, peer pressure to do something unsafe).
  • When completed, discuss the ways in which students planned their journey to make it as safe as possible. Remind them that this does not mean that they no longer need to consider road safety. They still need to be alert and aware of the road users around them.
  • What other new journeys might students be undertaking over the next few years as they gain more independence?
    • day trips with friends
    • a part-time job
    • university and college interviews
    • job interviews
    • holidays with friends.
  • Stress that gaining independence opens up new and positive experiences but remind students that journeys are safer when they have been planned in advance and the risks minimised.

If you have already used the What's the risk? (lesson 1) lesson plan:

Another journey - 15 minutes

  • Ask students to plan and risk assess another journey that they will be likely to make in the near future.

Whether or not you have already used the What's the risk? lesson plan:

Plenary - 5 minutes

  • Explain to students that while it is not realistic to put together a written risk assessment for every journey, they can plan and risk assess journeys in their heads. Ask them how they might do this. (Check transport options and costs in advance, look at a map, e.g. online, before setting out, and check that they are comfortable with the route, making sure they have a back up plan, e.g. money for an alternative form of transport, credit on their phone to call a parent or carer.)
  • Will students do anything differently as a result of this lesson? Why / why not?

Optional extension activity:

Students could use the same process (identify hazards and assess and manage risk) in other situations that they'll find themselves in, e.g. in a science laboratory or Design and Technology workshop.