Driving the road safety message home to students

February 2012

 

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New Zealand Transport Agency collaborates with schools to enable road-safety education.

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) provides flexible teaching resources that align with The New Zealand Curriculum, linking road safety to students’ everyday lives. “Our resources enable students to be informed citizens who make decisions when participating in the world,” says NZTA education manager Jennie Gianotti. The NZTA education portal features examples of how teachers have successfully adapted these resources to suit the learning needs of their students, local issues and their school’s own curriculum. A reference group of teachers and school leaders from throughout New Zealand gives feedback on the design of the resources and how they are used in schools.

NZTA encourages schools to support and enable road-safety education across three areas: the school curriculum, the school ethos and organisation, and community partnerships.

The whole-school approach draws from a research project from the Western Australia state government’s primary drug and road-safety education strategy, School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA), which found that results are better when school management actively support staff to plan and run road-safety programmes.

Embedding road-safety education in a curriculum framework provides timely, ongoing education that is developmentally appropriate, the research found. Student-centred, interactive activities develop not only knowledge and skills but also attitudes, motivations and behaviours that contribute to road safety.

One of the major incentives NZTA uses to encourage students and teachers to work with concepts around ‘Safer Journeys for Children’ is its annual competitions.

In 2012 the primary school competition will be offering children and teachers three ways of exploring the understanding that good choices are the basis of safe journeys.

The NZTA Remix Competition invites secondary school students to create an info graphic, mash-up, creative remix, or a literature remix (based on the works of Shakespeare) using content and data from NZTA websites and publications.

The theme of the competition is ‘Safer Journeys for Teens’ and links in with the national road-safety strategy ‘Safer Journeys’ which was launched in 2010.

Each entry must include at least one piece of content or data from a NZTA website or publication, and show that the material has been used within the school for promoting safe travel for teens.

Anne Coster, deputy principal with responsibility for teaching and learning at Wellington Girls’ College and a member of the judging panel, is pleased that NZTA has designed a competition that is consistent with the Curriculum’s vision of young people as creative, energetic, enterprising and future-focused contributors to the well-being of New Zealand.

“It encourages students to explore authentic issues. It will bring out the best of their thinking, invention and creativity,” she says.

Information about the competitions and curriculum resources, and stories about how schools have used the resources, can be found on the NZTA education portalwww.education.nzta.govt.nz