Be seen, be sensible, be aware and be alert
Dark mornings, dark evenings and icy road conditions all add an element of risk to journeys to and from school that is not present at other times of year. As a school our most fundamental duty is to keep our students safe and to educate them so that they keep themselves safe.
For this reason we have had a focus on getting safely to and from school this term. All yeargroups have been looking at potential dangers and how to minimise them. We have partnered with Essex Highways to have specialist theatre groups come in and work with Year 7 and Year 9. Essex Police & Fire services visited to speak to Year 8 last half-term with additional activities this half-term in tutorial. Our student Road Safety Ambassadors from Year 8 have been out and about especially during National Road Safety Week last month raising awareness (and also looking for recruits from Year 7). All yeargroups have received cycle safety messages in tutorial, and Colchester United, through their education outreach programme, are visiting to engage with students about travel safety including the dangers of railway crossings and train tracks. Travel safety events and activities continue after the Christmas break with tutorial sessions and further visiting speakers.
We are a large school community and Colchester’s roads are busy, so travel safety will always be a high priority. We are sometimes informed by members of the public when school students are seen behaving in an unsafe manner of their journey to or from school and wherever we have the information to do so we follow this up with the students involved.
As ever your support is invaluable. The key messages are: be seen, be sensible, be aware and be alert. Cyclists must have lights; those on foot should wear something bright/reflective. Students, particularly when travelling in groups, must respect other users of the pavement or road; cyclists must ride with due care and attention. Whether on foot or on a bicycle, students need to be aware of their surroundings: wearing hoodies, listening to music through headphones and using mobile devices all prevent them from doing this effectively. Further guidance for cyclists can be found here.
Thank you for reinforcing these ideas so that we can keep our children safe.