Early learning book pilot hailed a success
A new early learning book has been successfully piloted in Birmingham, with teachers at all participating schools praising the initiative for ‘making a 100% difference in improving road safety awareness’.
The 40-page ‘Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal’ has been produced by the not-for-profit organisation DriveSafe & StaySafe, with support from the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.
The book was piloted with more than 3,300 pupils at 27 schools in locations identified in the 2016 Birmingham Road Safety Strategy as child accident ‘hot spots’ . The majority of the pupils were Year 1, but the pilot also included Year 2, reception and nursery aged children.
87% of pupils ‘totally or mostly understood’ the safety messages within the book, while 99% engaged positively with the characters, according to completed teacher questionnaires returned by the schools.
All the teachers in the pilot praised the initiative for ‘making a 100% difference’ in improving road safety awareness and said they would recommend it to others.
One teacher said the book ‘enabled me to teach a very serious subject in a fun way’, while another said children ‘liked and engaged with The Conies straightaway’.
Fay Goodman, managing director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, said: “We created The Conies family as new safety heroes for kids - just as the Green Cross Code man and Tufty the squirrel were in their day.
“We will now respond to teacher feedback by enhancing the presentation and content of the book to integrate those with learning difficulties that needed support to complete the programme.”
Launched at the start of 2017, the book was designed to meet the early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) learning and development requirements. The book was produced and delivered with a teacher guide, hi-vis snap bands and Conies pencils.
Supporters include Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Yardley, who described it as ‘a brilliant initiative to help children keep safe’.
For more information about the book contact Fay Goodman on 07960 426463 or Simon Hale on 07970 802494 or email the Drive Safe & StaySafe team.
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