4. Use of Your Call
4. Use of Your Call
4.1 This chapter explores the extent to which Your Call is currently being used by schools in general across Scotland (according to the views of the Road Safety Officers) and the ways it is being used by the ten case study schools.
Use of Your Call Generally
4.2 Awareness of the use of Your Call varied between Road Safety Units. Very few Road Safety Officers could say with any certainty that Your Call was being used in their schools. Four Road Safety Officers inferred that Your Call was being used, based on requests from schools for additional copies of the Your Call toolkit. In some cases, Road Safety Officers had sent confirmation emails to schools as a result of this research to confirm their use of Your Call. This led to a further six Road Safety Units confirming at least one school in their area was using Your Call.
4.3 Nine Road Safety Units were able to make 'educated guesses' based on their school's enthusiasm for road safety in general, although the specific use of Your Call was unknown. Three Road Safety Units did not think the resource was being used at all in their area. One Road Safety Unit had received feedback from a school in January 2013 stating that Your Call was "too much effort" and the school would not be continuing its use. The issue was finding time within the curriculum among the other priority topics for PSE.
"There is the least amount of time ever to conduct road safety education."
Use of Your Call in the case study schools
4.4 All of our case study schools were using Your Call, although the extent of use varied from minimal to active. Of the ten case study schools who participated in the research:
- Three had been using the resource since its launch in 2009
- Three schools had used the resource for the first time this year (2012/13)
- Three had only used the resource for the first time very recently (within the last term)
- One school had been very active, but had stopped using it, but was then prompted to reinstate Your Call into the curriculum as a result of a road traffic accident involving a pupil.
Fit with the Curriculum
4.5 The ten case study schools all covered road safety education in some form. The level of road safety education strongly depended on the interest or commitment of the head teacher or individual members of guidance staff.
4.6 Some Road Safety Officers indicated their view that teachers had not used Your Call to its full capacity.
"An interested teacher can make the resource work."
Road Safety Officer
4.7 All of our case study schools had incorporated Your Call into the curriculum as part of their Personal and Social Education class. PSE tends to be taught once a week and is intended to provide an introduction to personal and social issues. Some schools were using it under the theme of personal safety, others under a 'citizenship' theme, while other schools had a specific road safety element into which Your Call became the main resource.
4.8 In the case study schools, the S1 and S2 pupils tended to spend more time on road safety than older pupils, for whom road safety education could be more ad-hoc. There were few examples of other road safety materials being used; other than Crash Magnets (three schools mentioned Crash Magnets); and the 'Safe Drive; Stay Alive' roadshows (three schools mentioned their involvement in these events).
4.9 The resource was thought to fit well with Curriculum for Excellence.
"There is no question that Your Call fits with Curriculum for Excellence; it can be tailored, and it's smart, so it fits with the philosophy of Curriculum for Excellence."
4.10 Different age groups of pupils had spent varying amounts of time dedicated to the Your Call resource. This was dependent on the school timetable, and the allocated curriculum time to spend on road safety. Class time varied from two lessons to four lessons spent on Your Call (one lesson a week, over a number of weeks). One school had only used the resource once, in the weeks previous to the fieldwork visit. This was as a direct result of a road safety incident at the school.
4.11 Schools also differed in the time of year in which the resource was timetabled into the PSE curriculum. Some schools preferred to teach Your Call during the start of the school year in late summer, while other schools incorporated it during May, towards the end of term. One school offered the resource to pupils firstly in September and then spent one class period doing a 'recap' in May before the summer holidays. This school felt that the summer holidays were the time that pupils were more likely to get into an accident on the roads.
"We use the resource in August, just at the start of the new term. Their travel routine changes as they move from primary school and many are now travelling on public transport or walking a distance."
Delivery of Your Call resource
4.12 In nine of our case study schools, the PSE class teacher delivered the resource to the pupils. In one school, the resource was delivered slightly differently. S6 pupils delivered Your Call to S1 classes as part of a peer support programme.
4.13 Sixth-year pupils volunteer to become peer supporters and work with the class teacher to develop a lesson plan and activities for the class, based largely on the teacher notes contained within Your Call. Some of the S6 pupils had also introduced their own activities, such as poster-making to their classroom sessions.
"We have the whole lesson plans in advance; we just picked from the pack and followed the teacher notes."
4.14 The feedback from S1 pupils was that they liked having S6 deliver Your Call and the class teachers felt that this helped Your Call have more impact on the younger pupils as they were more likely to listen to an older pupil, than a teacher.
"I think hearing S6 say it made them think; more so than a teacher."
4.15 In addition, the sixth year pupils reported they had an increased confidence, had improved their time management and organisational skills.
"It's a lot to fit into 50 minutes; there's the DVD and then three or four tasks. You have to have a bit of confidence, and be 'on the ball' because they try to distract you to get out of it."
Use of the DVD
4.16 All ten case study schools had used the DVD. Some had used both the pedestrian (Matt's Story) and the passenger (Donnie's Story) DVD's, while others had only watched one, or the other. Schools tended to stick to the themed DVD which was age appropriate for their pupils. Table A4 in Appendix six shows the breakdown of use of the DVDs by year group.
Use of the risk cards and risk quiz
4.17 The risk cards were designed for use as part of Matt's Story for S1/S2 pupils. Four of the ten case study schools remembered using the risk cards in class, all with a younger age group.
4.18 Where focus group participants did not remember using the risk cards, or to gather further feedback from pupils who had used these before, they were handed out during the discussion. In eight of the focus groups the cards were used in conjunction with the 'risk spectrum' cards which ask the pupils to rate the different risks on a scale, from 'very risky' to 'no risk'.
4.19 Three of the case study schools reported using the risk quiz. Pupils had been given this as an activity to work through alone, and then it was discussed as a whole class. The risk quiz was designed for use with younger pupils as part of Matt's Story and it was S1 classes who had used it.
4.20 One school did not have access to any of the cards. The teacher was only in possession of a copy of Donnie's Story and the teacher notes. They did not have any cards or other activities to use to accompany the DVD. During our focus group discussion, the activities were tested with this group to gather their feedback.
Use of other activities
4.21 Three schools had used the character sheets in class. They were used to prompt discussion; in one school it was discussed in pairs, and in the other it was discussed in class, and then pupils were to write down their thoughts.
4.22 One case study school had used the wild cards during a PSE lesson with their S1 and S2 pupils. The pupils were asked to select one card, discuss it with their neighbour and then to pass it on. Their views were then discussed as a whole class.
4.23 One case study school reported their use of the What If? cards during their PSE lesson. These include scenarios and pupils were asked to discuss in small groups what they would do if in a similar situation.
4.24 There were examples of other activities from the Your Call toolkit being used in six schools. These were as follows:
- 'First on the scene'
- 'Freeze frame'
- 'Do you think it's legal to....?'
- What the characters should have done differently
- Head Teacher discussing an accident.
Unused elements of the resource
4.25 Teachers were asked whether there were any elements of the Your Call toolkit that they had not used. One school commented that they did not have the full toolkit; only a photocopied version of the teacher's notes and a copy of the pedestrian DVD. The teacher did not have access to any of the activity cards.
4.26 None of the teachers in our case study schools had used the 'way to go' or 'have your say' activities which fall into the pedestrian theme, nor had they used the 'car park' or 'circle of support' activities under the passenger theme. There was no reason given as to why this was the case.
4.27 Another school reported that they were not aware there was a second DVD (Donnie's Story).
4.28 Awareness of the use of Your Call varied between Road Safety Units.
4.29 Of the ten case study schools we visited, there were also varying levels of usage of the resource. For example:
- three schools had been using the resource since its launch in 2009
- three schools had used the resource for the first time this year (2012/13)
- three schools had only used the resource for the first time very recently (within the last term)
- one school had used the resource actively, but had stopped using it. A road traffic accident at the school involving a pupil prompted the school to reinstate Your Call into the curriculum.
4.30 All of the case study schools had used the resource as part of the Personal and Social Education class. There were few examples of other road safety education resources being used other than Crash Magnets (three schools) and the 'Safe Drive, Stay Alive' road shows (three schools).
4.31 The DVD element of Your Call was by far the most commonly used element of the toolkit. Schools tended to stick to the themed DVD which was age appropriate for their pupils, although two schools used both Matt and Donnie's Stories with all year groups.
4.32 Use of the other activities contained in the toolkit were limited and ad hoc. The risk cards were the second most commonly used element.