Cherry Tree Academy Road Safety Week

As we all know when it comes to road safety we all have a part to play. Whether this be wearing a seat belt, keeping to the speed limit or just having an awareness of the dangers associated with roads in general.

It was with this in mind that the children of Cherry Tree Academy Marham spent a week having an in depth look at road safety.

With the Academy being spread over two sites both the Infant and Junior academies carried out lessons aimed at their specific age groups throughout the week. However, what better way to start than to actually go and catch people speeding!! With the assistance of Mr. Paisley, who volunteers with the Community Speed Watch Team, children from both sites were introduced to the role that the team play in monitoring the roads around Upper Marham and Marham village. In small groups the children took it in turns to use the speed equipment to measure the speed of passing vehicles. Amazingly they actually caught numerous people breaking the 30 mph speed limit over the space of a very short period. Luckily for these people the children cannot issue speeding fines and if you were a driver of one of the offending vehicles count yourself lucky as you managed to dodge a £100 fine and 3 penalty points. Maybe next time you will not be as lucky.

Infant School

Monday at the Infant school saw the children utilizing the educational aspects of ‘The Honest Truth’ charity website where they were introduced to ‘The Zoo Song’. The song aims to highlight the importance of road safety by introducing different characters with different road safety bad habits. The Cheetah who drives too fast, the Parrott who drives whilst talking on the mobile phone, the Chimps who distract the drive by messing about, the Rhino who never wears a seatbelt and the Peacock who likes to show off to his friends. So if your child has been calling you an animal from this list maybe its something to pay attention to.

Tuesday was aimed at another big aspect of road safety which is how to be safe when riding a bicycle. The children of the Infant school had the opportunity to have their bikes checked for serviceability followed by a safe cycling lesson on the playground provided by their teachers Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Inder.

Wednesday saw the children being introduced to Bethany and Benjamin bears by Mrs. Catherine Leigh from the Norfolk County Council Road Safety Team. The teddy bears are used to teach the children the importance of road safety by engaging in role play activities which encourages verbal and physical interaction. For example the bears talk about holding hands with an adult when near a road and the importance of wearing a seat belt when in a vehicle.

Thursday allowed the children to utilize what they had learnt throughout the week to produce a poster displaying their individual take on road safety. All classes across the Infant school produced excellent posters and I had the unenviable task of picking the best three posters from across the school. Not to mention then having to pick the overall winner with the presentations being held on the Friday assembly with the winning poster being displayed at the main gate to the station.

All three winners received a goodie bag graciously provided by the Station HIVE.

The top three winners for the infant school were

1st Dylan Littlefield

2nd Faith Greenhalgh

3rd Amelia Reed

Junior Academy

Monday at the Junior Academy was poster day. The children had already been asked to produce a poster regarding road safety for submission to the Brake charity and it was from these that I again had the unenviable task of selecting the top three posters followed by the overall winner. Who would have thought that the children could produce such high quality art work!! There were posters created using computers as well as hand drawn art work. The future looks bright for any aspiring graphic designers. The winners from the Junior school are listed below and again the winning poster will be on display at the main gate to camp.

Tuesday saw Mrs. Catherine Leigh introduce a seat belt safety session where she used crash test dummies and videos to show the importance of seat belts. The children also used eggs to learn the importance of wearing a crash helmet when out on a bicycle. Some eggs were lucky enough to be donned with very small crash helmets and successfully survived the impacts. The ones without crash helmets ….well, you get the picture.

Wednesday was a day full of drama with Year 6 taking on a very convincing acting role. Two scenarios were set up on the playground using two of the staffs own vehicles. Thanks to Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Hornsby. In the first scenario there was a dramatized incident between a vehicle and children who were cycling whilst wearing crash helmets. In the second the incident was portrayed as much worse as the children were not wearing helmets. I hasten to add that the vehicles were stationary throughout!! The children involved took to their roles with an acting ability that would rival any acting cast. There were victims, police and paramedics not to mention the shocked drivers. Mrs. Hornsby’s scream was reported as being heard across the entire of Marham village. After a few practice sessions the other age groups were encouraged to watch the scenarios and take notes so that they could discuss what they had witnessed and discuss the differences between the two scenarios.

Thursday saw a visit from Tarmac Ltd who brought along one of their very large, very pink lorries for the children to look around. The aim of this visit was to give the children an understanding that with some vehicles the driver can not always see all areas and that there will be blind spots. Children were encouraged to stand around the vehicle, again whilst stationary, whilst other tried to spot them from the driver’s position. There was also an impromptu visit from the RAF Police who kindly allowed the children to look around the police car. For Year 6 the afternoon saw a visit from the charity Headway. Headway is a charity that looks to assist people who have unfortunately suffered from a brain injury. Whilst at times hard hitting, the children in Year 6 showed excellent maturity and asked many relevant questions regarding the videos they watched. One video told the story of a man named Jamie who was involved in an accident when he was a young man. A self proclaimed boy racer he unfortunately lost control of his car and suffered a brain injury that has affected him ever since. The second video was about Mr. James Cracknell OBE who was hit by a lorry whilst completing the race across America on his bicycle. Fortunately he was wearing a helmet that saved his life.

Friday saw the presentation of the goodie bags for the winning posters at the school assembly where I was fortunate to be treated as the guest of honour. After presenting the prizes I was lucky enough to see what the different year groups had completed regarding road safety and it was obvious that all of the children had taken the week very seriously as there were many story boards produced and even a road safety song. The afternoon saw the Year 6 group taking on their cycling proficiency test with the majority successfully passing.   

The Junior school poster winners were as follows

1st Jorja Banwell

2nd Faith Barber

3rd Ellie-May Goddard

A successful week across the entire academy saw the children become more aware of the requirement for road safety and hopefully improved their awareness of the dangers associated with the road.

Special thanks should be given to Mrs. Inder who tirelessly organized the week and ensured that it was resounding success.     

Chf Tech Steve Bowdery

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