Help Forum

Help requested posted on 12th May 2020:

Using drama in High Schools

I've been working in road safety for more than 15 years, but my background is teaching drama, and I am beginning to work on an idea, delivering road safety using drama as a tool to educate Year 7’s and older.

The students will ‘do’ the ‘drama’, acting out situations and having the opportunity to stop and start the scenarios as the session is delivered. Covering topics including, in car safety, peer pressure, taking responsibility, speaking out, mobiles etc. Enabling them to think and make decisions and choices as to whether a decision is right or wrong - and then hopefully remembering the strategies they acted out and experienced when faced with a similar situation in the ‘real world’.

I was wondering whether any other road safety departments across the country have already done this, or something similar? I would like to be sure that this way of delivering road safety education is effective and sustainable before I put any more effort into developing the plans. Also, if I can be aware of what works and what doesn’t work and the warning signs, it will help a great deal. Any advice or help would be very much appreciated.

Gill Starkie

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Response posted on 12th May 2020 by:
John Holiday

E: jahsurveying@btinternet.com
T: 07974249181

Using drama in High Schools

Interesting proposal. I am a Bikeability Instructor in schools, although rarely get to work with Year7 & above,as schools say not enough time in curriculum for such activities! May explain accident rate & obesity!
Will be interesting to see how your project evolves.
Regards
John Holiday
Mold, North Wales


Response posted on 12th May 2020 by:
April French

E: april.french@bromley.gov.uk
T:

Using drama in High Schools

Hi, Gill.
My background is acting, so I had a similar impulse to try to use drama directly, rather than getting a company in to do TIE. Unfortunately, the schools in our area were less receptive than I'd hoped.
Secondary school drama departments seem to have quite prescriptive ideas about what pieces they use, as it's all aimed at what will be on exams. In addition, it can be a struggle to get into schools and to get a reasonable amount of time to work with the students to create something like this.
I'd love to discuss this further. Please feel free to email me directly.
Stay safe & be well,
April


Response posted on 12th May 2020 by:
Andrew Fraser

E: andmarg@hotmail.co.uk
T:

Using drama in High Schools

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/45408/evaluation-road-safety-scotland-theatre-in-education-august-2019.pdf

The above may help, if you haven't already read it.


Response posted on 12th May 2020 by:
Max Moorcock

E: max.moorcock@hackney.gov.uk
T:

Using drama in High Schools

Hi Gill,
I have not done this personally, but we have in the past used a theatre company called the "Riot act" with success with year 7s. You could try contacting them.
https://www.theriotact.co.uk/


Response posted on 14th May 2020 by:
mottershaw stuart

E: stuart.mottershaw7309@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk
T:

Using drama in High Schools

Hi Gill,

Prior to me taking up this role in 2018, there was a drama company that did the school circuit in Leicestershire that did shows based on road safety and risk awareness.

It was very popular by all accounts, however as budgets were cut under austerity things like this were the first things to go, which is a real shame.

I can't for the life of me think of the name of the company that did it but I can try and find out for you?


Response posted on 14th May 2020 by:
Mark Symonds

E: mark.symonds@edinburgh.gov.uk
T: 01314693817

Using drama in High Schools

Hi Gill,

This sounds like a great idea. I worked with P7s in Blackhall Primary School a few years ago where they produced a rather riotous play about being aware of traffic when crossing the road featuring someone walking along with their headphones on playing a gameboy and stepping out in front of a cardboard car. The driver's remark was 'Should have gone to Specsavers!'This was followed by Q&A of what they did wrong and they then re-ran the scene with the suggest correct behavious. Communal singing of the Road Safety Rap hopefully help reinforce the messages. Whilst it wasn't high quality drama, it made an enjoyable assembly and hopefully conveyed the safety message to their peers?
I've found this is much easier to do at primary than secondary schools, although getting into the lower secondary years before exams kick in could be good? There may even be scope to work with a group doing an award such as DOE?
For transition we've used https://www.konfluxtheatre.co.uk/project/streets-ahead-road-safety and
Baldy Bane theatre's productions through Road safety Scotland:
 The Journey (for Primary 6 or 7 pupils) - which explores developing
relationships between a group of young friends as they journey through
primary school towards secondary school and looks at different influences on
their behaviour
 School Daze (for Secondary 1 pupils) - which focusses on peer influence and
personal choice in relationships and risk-taking at the point of transition to
secondary school
 Friends Disunited (for Secondary 5/6 pupils) - which deals with the enjoyment
and responsibilities involved in becoming a driver and getting your first car. It
follows the lives of four friends at secondary school and into adulthood
 Better Late than Dead on Time (for community audiences) - an intergenerational performance that looks at the impact of driver and pedestrian
behaviour on one family
Hope this is helpful.
I think if you're keen, go for it!


Response posted on 19th May 2020 by:
keith baldock

E: keith.baldock@brighton-hove.gov.uk
T: 01273 292258

Using drama in High Schools

Hi Gill
Some one said that you were back in Road Safety now - I'm sure the drama still runs deep for you having worked with you in Sussex.
Not sure if you still have contacts with anyone there. I'm still around. As you know we use it with SSRP - new round of funding for 3 yrs conventional TIE for yr7 and yr11 - plus EFRS/WSFRS yr12 SDSA. We looked at a variety of sources - I have seen the "RS developed drama in a box" - more used with Active Travel for KS2 I think.
I'd agree that for us access is difficult for something new and not fittable into an hour at most. I think it's great if you have capacity to develop relationships plus skills to deliver - but can't do it at scale. That's why we use TIE companies as haven't got back up these days. Trust all good with you - I'm on keithandmary@lineone.net as work e-mail highly intermittent. Enjoy the Norfolk air!


Response posted on 21st May 2020 by:
Vicki Bristow

E: victoria.bristow@westmercia.pnn.police.uk
T:

Using drama in High Schools

We don't cover drama in schools but we do cover an input within high schools for pre driver education for yr 11.

In our experience even getting in for a one hour input with this year is incredibly difficult and it's taken us a few years with a dedicated education officer to develop relationships with key teachers to achieve repeat bookings.

You may have luck with Yr 7 but I think as you move through the years they just don't have the capacity to free up time for something that isn't on the curriculum.

Especially during this time, I think if the schools return in September their focus will be completely on covering the curriculum, making up lost time and outside of that will be low priority.

I would advise making contact with the schools first with some key teachers to see what their thoughts are and what capacity they have, you can then develop something that will fit rather than spending time developing something that can't be delivered.

If you haven't covered a behavioural change technique course I would also recommend that in order to get the messages pitched just right. Ive been working in road safety for 15 years on the comms/campaign side of things and found it really useful to refresh new ideas and recap on a lot of the marketing element of developing campaigns.

Hope that helps


Response posted on 28th May 2020 by:
Mike

E: mike@mikeharrisondrivinginstructor.co.uk
T: 07811956118

Using drama in High Schools

Try looking at some of the road safety video's especially the Irish, Australian, and New Zealand ones (on You Tube). They are very good (and hard hitting) short stories and good from the emotional impact side of things. You could then give various ideas to the pupils or they could then be used to inspire pupils to do their own version. Also on some you could stop the action and ask about possible consequences and then show them what happened in the video. etc Feel free to contact me if you want to chat further about it.


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