5. Views on Your Call
5. Views on Your Call
5.1 This section of the report focuses on the views of pupils, teachers, Road Safety Officers and other stakeholders on Your Call. It explores:
- awareness and motivations for use;
- recollections of Your Call;
- views on content and format;
- views on the design and style of the materials; and
- views on the level and tone of the toolkit.
Overall views and first impressions
5.2 Teachers and Road Safety Officers commented on their first impressions of the resource. These were generally very positive. Road Safety Officers commented on the use of social media as a relevant way of engaging with this particular age group, while teachers liked the professionally produced materials, and that they could 'pick and mix' the activities to suit the class.
"It's a very good resource for 11-14 year olds. It is a very flexible tool which can be used in different ways, depending on age and time available to the teacher."
Road Safety Officer
5.3 Teachers who had previously used the Crash Magnets toolkit were able to compare the two resources. All said that their preference was for Your Call. This was based on the more 'realistic' presentation of the materials, rather than in the 'cartoon' format used by Crash Magnets.
"The blog style nails it, and the characters are believable – not like Crash Magnets where the cartoony graphics were horrible."
5.4 There was one Road Safety Officer who stated that she personally did not like the Your Call resource. It was described as "bitty" and this Road Safety Officer felt that it focused too much on "bad behaviour" and she therefore had concerns that Your Call was promoting this type of behaviour.
5.5 Overall, Your Call was seen as modern, appealing to young people through its use of social media and encouraging young people to think for themselves. There were some variations on views, as explored through this chapter and some areas suggested for improvements. Overall, the general perception among teachers and Road Safety Officers was that Your Call was a very good resource for road safety education.
Pupil recollection of Your Call
5.6 In each of the pupil focus groups, we asked pupils what they could remember about road safety. Their responses were varied, and included:
- "Don't run across the road."
- "The green cross code."
- "Stop, look and listen."
- "Don't have ear phones in."
5.7 The pupils were then asked if they could remember any road safety resources they had used in class. Your Call was mentioned spontaneously by pupils in six of the ten case study schools.
"We saw a video about school kids crossing the road, then a car came, but he was on his phone."
5.8 The vast majority of the pupils associated Your Call with the DVD and were able to recall the storyline of the drama they had watched in detail.
"There was a short film and there was a boy away to meet a girl and he was crossing the road, and she texted him and he looked at his phone, and the girl's brother ran him over. It was good because it showed you everybody's point of view."
5.9 While it was clear that pupils were able to recall the detail of the DVDs, none of the case study schools spontaneously mentioned the other elements of the resource, such as the risk cards, or 'what if' cards.
5.10 In one of our case study schools, it was apparent that the S1 pupils did not remember the Your Call resource. This school had received one copy of the Your Call toolkit, and most of the resources had been photocopied for use. The class had used the resource in January 2013 – six months previously. During our session with the S1 class, the pupils watched Matt's Story in an attempt to 'jog' their memories – but none could remember watching it previously. Our discussion at this group was based on the pupils' immediate reaction to the DVD, shown during the discussion group.
5.11 Pupils in the focus group discussions were asked to write down, or draw their views on the Your Call resource. The majority of pupils were positive about the resource, while others gave examples of ways in which they would like to see the resource improved. Some original examples are included at Appendix four.
Views on topics covered
5.12 Pupils were asked for their views on the key messages in Your Call. The pupils picked up on the key topics covered by the resource – highlighting that it covered relevant topics such as distractions (both for pedestrians, passengers and drivers) including music/iPods, mobile phones, friends in the car, seatbelts, and speeding.
"It had mobile phones and we've all got them, so it shows how you can be distracted."
5.13 The pupils and teachers also commented on the DVDs showing the consequences of actions, which was received positively by the pupils.
"The consequences were a good idea. Seeing how they dealt with life after the accident and how it impacted their friendship."
5.14 Road Safety Officers and teachers agreed that the topics covered by Your Call were the right ones for the S1 to S3 age group. The style of the DVD dramas, focusing on both sides of the story was thought to be particularly good.
Views on DVDs – overall
5.15 The DVDs are an integral part of the Your Call toolkit. All of the case study schools had used the DVD. Almost all of the pupils we spoke to had some knowledge of the DVDs.
5.16 Overall, pupils were positive about the DVD dramas. There were positive comments relating to the realistic portrayal of the characters.
"It was realistic – he was trying to be cool 'cos all his pals were slagging him off like 'why have you got a helmet on'?"
5.17 Others commented on the effective storyline which introduced the characters and made the pupils feel sympathetic towards them. The crash scene in the film was thought to then have more impact, because pupils cared about the characters.
"You kind of got to know the characters, so you knew who he was, so it was more effective when he got hit."
Views on the DVDs – style and relevance
5.18 The style of the Your Call DVDs is slightly different to other road safety resources. The characters are portrayed through a variety of different mediums, such as video blogs, and through the CCTV camera at their school. Pupils were mostly positive in their feedback on the style of the DVDs – although there were some negative comments about the current relevance of 'video-blogging'.
"It was good with the cameras following them about school."
5.19 There were some negative comments that the DVD was 'cheesy' and poorly acted. This was also the view of the S4 pupils who participated in this research. They did not connect with the storyline or characters and commented on how the resource was engaging; but for the wrong reasons. However, the resource was never intended to be used by S4 pupils and so their negative comments towards the resource are perhaps not surprising.
5.20 However, there were some pupils who found it difficult to relate to the characters in the DVDs. This was based on a number of factors. For example, pupils in a rural school commented that they would have preferred the story to have been set in a rural, rather than urban setting. Others picked up on the fact that the characters were sent to 'detention' – a practice that did not happen in their school.
5.21 Other pupils commented on the storyline, where Matt takes the blame for Leanne's mobile phone ringing in class. Some found it difficult to relate to this storyline, while others felt that this gave the characters more empathy.
"I liked when he takes the blame for her, I feel sorry for him, and then when she asks him to meet, then you think that's good, but then you feel bad that it didn't turn out the way he planned."
5.22 The most common feedback to the relevance of the DVD dramas related to the perception that the DVD was quite dated. There were some derogatory comments about those appearing in the DVD, but in particular comments related to the video-blogging and the need for this to be updated to reflect changes in social media. This will be discussed more fully in the following chapter.
Views on the DVD – age appropriate
5.23 Pupils were asked if they felt that the DVD drama was appropriate for their age group. There were mixed views. Most pupils felt that they could relate to the age of the actors appearing in the DVD; even if the actors were slightly older than them. Some younger pupils felt that older pupils in their school would not find it as relevant, whereas others suggested that because of Donnie's Story, the resource could still be used by an older age group.
"Having someone really old (like in their 20s) wouldn't make much sense. It was about right."
5.24 One teacher, from a rural school commented that her pupils were slightly less 'streetwise' and were not 'cynical', but she felt that pupils from city schools, or larger urban areas might find the drama too young for them.
"In city schools, they might find it too young, but this school is not cynical."
Views on activities
5.25 Nine schools had used other activities in addition to the DVD as part of their use of the Your Call resource. Where schools had not used, or could not remember an activity; this was used briefly in the focus group to gather their immediate reactions.
5.26 Four of the ten case study schools had used the risk cards as part of their original Your Call lesson. Overall, there were mixed views on these cards. Younger pupils tended to like the cards, as it 'made them think' about road safety. While some of the older pupils found them 'boring' – yet one pupil stated their preference to these cards in comparison with the DVD.
"I like it because of the risk cards; it made me think a lot."
S1 pupil - (Additional Support Needs)
5.27 One case study school had used the wild cards as part of their Your Call lesson. We encouraged others to test out the activity during our focus group discussions. For two S1 classes, the boy racer for example went from being the most risky driver, to the least risky. The classes enjoyed these cards and agreed that they had been challenged in their opinions. The feedback overall for these cards was positive. Table A5 in Appendix six shows the results of one pupil focus group's views of the cards.
"It changes your perspective on things."
Character discussion cards
5.28 There were mixed views from the pupils on the 'character sheets' which asked questions about each of the characters' behaviours. Some S1 pupils reported these as 'boring' while others said that they had 'made them think'.
"You can look at all the things they did and work out if they were wrong, or right. It gives you the questions to think about."
What if cards
5.29 One of our case study schools had used the 'What if' cards during their Your Call lesson. The feedback here was positive as pupils were given scenarios and asked what they would do in the same situation. We tested this activity in two of the focus groups; both with S1 pupils.
Learning from Your Call
5.30 We asked pupils what they thought the main messages were that Your Call was trying to teach them. There were some examples of suggestions such as "being safe on the roads" and "don't get distracted". Pupils identified that Your Call focused its main messages on the topics of 'distractions', 'risks' and 'consequences'.
"Your Call was highlighting that there are risks in everything, even in minor risks."
5.31 Pupils of all ages agreed that the messages in Your Call were not new to them. They stated that the messages relating to distractions were lessons they had heard before.
"We didn't really learn anything new because we have been all around road safety at primary school – we are not on our phones and we still know not to be."
5.32 Class teachers working with S4 pupils indicated they felt that the resource was "reinforcing a message that had already been heard" – but that this was not necessarily a bad thing, as the pupils could still benefit from these messages.
5.33 Similarly, S6 pupils who had delivered the resource to S1 suggested that Your Call was a good refresher for their age group, particularly as they were soon-to-be drivers. Road safety was not taught beyond S1 at this school, and sixth year pupils no longer received PSE classes as part of their timetable, although had seen the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Cut It Out presentation.
"When you get to S6, you've forgotten all this stuff, or I mean that you know not to do it, but you're complacent."
5.34 Although some pupils said that the road safety messages contained within Your Call were much the same as they had been taught before; they agreed the style of the resource made it more interesting.
"It was the same stuff, but it got into our heads more." (Why?) "The way it was styled, rather than a teacher just telling you."
5.35 Others commented that they would not have associated elements of risk, or peer pressure with learning about road safety – and in this way, Your Call was quite different from anything they had used before.
Impact of Your Call – perceptions of changed attitudes or behaviour
5.36 Pupils gave their views as to whether Your Call had changed their attitudes or behaviour when out on the roads. There was a distinct difference in opinion based on age for this question. The younger pupils were more likely to say that they had changed their attitude and behaviour based on what they learned through Your Call.
"It has changed my attitude (how?) I don't want to be like him in a wheelchair."
"I used to walk with my headphones in, but now I take them out when I'm crossing the road."
5.37 On the whole, older pupils did not think that the messages from Your Call were enough to influence their attitudes or behaviour. Pupils of all ages commented that some of the messages they were being taught were simply common sense and therefore the pupils did not take them seriously, or felt the need to change their behaviour.
"You know not to wear headphones when crossing the road. It's common sense."
5.38 Teachers also suggested that while there may be a short-term impact on pupils after using the Your Call resource; it is difficult for them to gauge whether the resource will have any longer term impact once they are out on the roads.
"The pupils have asked 'what happened to him' (the characters) but I think they are only careful for a few days and then they go back to their old ways of jumping about."
5.39 The general impressions of the resource by Road Safety Officers and teachers were, on the whole, positive. The use of social media was appealing and perceived as a relevant way of engaging with this age group. Teachers, who had used Crash Magnets in the past, reported that their preferred resource was Your Call.
5.40 Pupil recollection of Your Call was based around the DVD. Pupils were able to recall the storyline of the drama they had watched in detail.
5.41 The content was praised for including topics such as distractions and consequences and these were thought to be relevant topics for the age group.
5.42 Younger pupils (S1 and S2) stated they were able to connect with the characters; they found them relatable, particularly because of their age and the storyline, which younger pupils stated made the characters more likeable. S3 pupils however, were more likely to find the characters "cheesy".
5.43 Overall, pupils had mixed views about the activities. The DVD was by far the most commonly used activity from the toolkit and seemed to have captured the pupils' attention based on their retention of the resource. The other activities had been more sporadically used but pupils seemed to respond positively to these activities when conducted during the focus groups.
5.44 Pupils and teachers agreed that the messages in Your Call 'reinforced' messages that the pupils had heard before, and that they were not necessarily learning anything new. However some pupils commented that despite this, the style of the toolkit made learning more interesting.
5.45 Despite most pupils stating that they had not learned anything new from the resource, the majority of younger pupils agreed that Your Call had influenced them to change their attitude and behaviour while out on the roads. Pupils stated they were 'more cautious and aware' particularly in relation to distractions such as being on their mobile phones, or wearing headphones. Older pupils however did not think that Your Call was powerful enough to change their attitudes or behaviour.