ITV’s Granada Reports visited Grosvenor Park Academy to help pupils drive home their road safety message.

Presenter Andy Bonner spoke to children, staff and representatives from Cheshire Police and Cheshire West & Chester Council, amid concerns over increasing traffic speed around Chester.

Children from Year 6 spoke during a special assembly at the Union Street school and all year groups took part in a walk around City Centre streets accompanied by teachers, a PCSO and Community Safety Warden, to learn how to spot danger.

“We have become increasingly concerned about traffic speed on the roads around school,” explained teacher Laura Conde.

“We don’t want anything to happen to one of our pupils or family members so we will continue to put the message across very strongly that we need to be aware and alert to the safety of all our pupils.

“We ask drivers to just make sure you’re aware of their speed and aware of the childen coming to school and leaving school.”

The event coincided in with the national ‘Brake Walk’, in which thousands of schoolchildren aged four–11 took part in short, supervised walks to share important road safety messages across the country.

It was organised by road safety charity Brake which says six children are killed or seriously hurt every day on roads in Britain.

PCSO James Hannath spent the morning with children, teaching them to be aware of dangers on our roads. 

He said: “A good knowledge of road safety is vital for children wherever they live, but especially in a city. There are plenty of distractions, busy roads, a lot of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings – that’s why our visits to schools are so important. We pass on the knowledge and advice that should help them to navigate their environment carefully and safely.”

Here’s some handy tips to pass on:-

·       Stay Alert! It is so important, when crossing roads anywhere that children stay alert and aware of their surroundings. Make sure that they recognise the importance of focussing solely on crossing the road instead of talking to friends.

·       Use safe crossings! This is always an important tip, pedestrian crossings are aplenty in City Centres and it is extremely important to utilise them appropriately.

·       Don’t use technology when crossing the roads….! This is something that is on the increase due to many children having a number of digital items in their possession. Texting on mobile phones or indeed listening to headphones can all cause the child to become distracted and not be fully aware of any oncoming traffic.

·       Don’t rely on drivers! As mentioned above, City Centres can be quite difficult layouts, with many drivers changing lanes frequently and last minute, along with potentially looking for signs to see where they are going. This can mean drivers can be quite distracted when navigating built up areas, it is important children recognise this and are hyper alert when looking to cross a road.

·       Road safety isn’t just about crossing roads, it is also using footpaths appropriately. Footpaths can sometimes be narrow in City Centres and so it is important that children stay fully on them and don’t walk on the side of the road when walking to locations.

·       Be Visible. If walking around the City, particularly in the evening, high visibility clothing is preferable.

·       Stop Look, Listen and Think! Yes this old chestnut is still extremely important, using all of your senses when crossing a road means accidents are less likely to occur and children can stay safer on the roads in the City Centre.

·       Road safety in City Centres isn’t just about educating children – it is also about educating drivers. When driving around City Centres makes sure you take your time, if you do take a wrong turn or if you are in a wrong lane then don’t panic – Take your time. Five minutes on your journey is preferable to having an accident.

·       When driving by schools be extremely cautious, children can be unpredictable and can appear very quickly. Also be aware when parking by schools that you must adhere to the restrictions, they are there to keep the children safe and ensure they can clearly see the roads when crossing.

PCSO Hannath added: “Drivers also have a big part to play in road safety, especially near schools. That’s why we are often present at school start and finish times to advise parents on parking safely and ensuring the children are safe in crossing roads. We also carry out speed enforcement in school areas to deter drivers speeding on our roads. Our message to motorists is to be alert when you’re driving near a school and be extra careful with speed and driving manner so that we can all do our bit to keep children safe on our roads.”

For more information about Grosvenor Park Academy email admin@grosvenorparkkacademy.org.uk or tel: 01244 569560.

Acton CofE Primary Academy have ensured special memories will be treasured for years by burying a time capsule on the school grounds.

The school, near Nantwich, created a project which has preserved memorabilia from the Platinum Jubilee and school life in 2022.

Children and staff came up with ideas of what to put in the capsule, and further contributions were made by parent and teacher association Friends of Acton School (FOAS) and St Mary’s Church before it was buried at a ceremony in the school grounds.

Headteacher Rachael McKinlay said: “The children really enjoyed being involved in the project – particularly the burial of the capsule!

“Inside the capsule was the school badge, a newspaper, photos of every class, leaflets from ST Mary’s church, a lateral flow test and a mask, and letters from the Head Boy and Head Girl, FOAS and myself.

“Governor Philip Percival has donated Jubilee benches and a tree to create a nice area where the capsule was buried. After the ceremony the children enjoyed a whole school picnic and games.

“It was a privilege to be part of such a memorable celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and our wonderful school. 

“Having all the community involved made it even more special. I hope in years to come those who find the capsule find the contents informative.”

Acton CofE Primary Academy is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which runs schools across Cheshire and Shropshire.

All NWAT schools pride themselves on giving children a wide range of educational experiences, inside and outside the classroom.