Drive safe message to be released as part of safety drive.
Pupils from five Midland primary schools are poised to become recording artists after rock legend Rick Wakeman acclaimed their stunning original song performances in the finals of the DriveSafe & StaySafe Road Safety Song Contest.
The former Yes keyboardist and TV personality was invited to act as the judge for the inaugural event held by Birmingham-based road safety charity DriveSafe & StaySafe in front of scores of schoolchildren, teachers, business people and other supporters at Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull.
The competition for primary schools across the Midlands was won by Delves Infant School in Walsall with their rap song It’s All About Road Safety, and representatives from the school were presented with a trophy and winners’ medals by Rick.
Rick Wakeman said: “It’s great to see such enthusiasm from all the schools and it’s absolutely amazing what they have all achieved.”
Mrs Amanda Arnold, Headteacher of the winning school, said: “The children had a fantastic afternoon at the awards and were so proud to win. Miss Stacey Trow, their amazing class teacher, made sure that the children learned about road safety in a fun and memorable way and got the whole school involved with a song to remember.”
Amanda added: “The children have worked so hard to promote road safety in our local community with walk to school initiatives and parking patrols – and they recognise the importance of learning about road safety from a very young age.”
The song contest accompanied the official launch of The Conies, a new DriveSafe & StaySafe video series for primary schools featuring a family of traffic cones who deliver road and personal safety messages through their comic adventures.
The multimedia programme will also incorporate interactive games, teaching packs and other e-learning resources, developed with the help of pupils and teachers from Solihull Junior School and St Alphege Junior School.
West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito, who gave the keynote speech in support of the initiative, said: “Past Government campaigns to engage with young people through Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code Man did a lot of good work, but there are still a shockingly high number of children involved in road accidents each year.
“The Conies capture the essence of these child-focused campaigns by making road safety fun and stimulating. These entertaining characters will become nationally recognised as a symbol of good practice for children on the roads, and there is no reason why they should not also become a means for delivering safety messages to young people all over the world.”
Fay Goodman, Managing Director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, told the audience that The Conies could be compared to the Green Cross Code Man: “He saved many lives – including mine. My vision is for our little Conies to keep children of all ages safe by engaging with them in their fun cone-shaped world where road signs come to life.
“Child road accidents are on the up – reversing years of decline – with almost 70% occurring within 500 metres of schools, and the education watchdog Ofsted has raised the bar against which schools are being measured and assessed for pupil safety. That is why The Conies have such a vital role to play.”