Planning for the post virus world…
In the fifth in a series of blog posts, Dr Verity Jones, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Childhood at UWE, and Online Project Lead looks at how we need to think about preparing children for the post virus world and what skills we might need to brush up on.
Five weeks in …
… and rain predicted. So far during lockdown in the UK we have been lucky enough to have had almost wall to wall sunshine. This has meant we can get our young folk outside – whether in the garden, park or street. Chalk drawings now litter pavements and less congested roads are awash with children on bikes and scooters enjoying the cleaner air. It’s been reported that traffic has returned to levels reminiscent of the 1950s. However, as society becomes more mobile these will undoubtedly increase and with them the possibility of traffic incident.
Taking my daily exercise, glancing out of my window or making my way to the shops I have been delighted to see people reclaiming the streets. But over the last week I have also witnessed an increase in children becoming complacent with what were normal safety procedures when crossing the road. The ‘stop, look, listen, think’ drill is being lost. In the post virus world, we all hope to return to sooner rather than later, this shift could see disastrous consequences. So, it is to this type of preparation for the future I want to focus on this week.
While in lockdown it is essential that we don’t forget to practice road safety skills. Think! have been delivering road safety campaigns for the last 20 years and offer a wealth of experience. For resources to use with children check here.
With many children in Year 6 usually attending cycle training in the summer term, consider booking the Bikeability course they would have missed
Sustrans is the largest sustainable transport charity in the UK and custodians of the National Cycle Network. You may well be using these routes while in lockdown, so why not check out the work they do to make Safer Routes to School . It might be something your school could get involved with post lockdown.
There are also all those other life skills – from how to make an emergency phone call and simple first aid, to keeping safe near water and being able to spot dangers in and out of the home. Again, these issues are often covered in school during the summer term, perhaps even with a visit to a Life Skills Centre where children get to explore different scenarios. While this hands-on, interactive approach isn’t possible at the moment, discussing these issues is. Helpful information to use with children can be found here.
While we need to keep safe from Covid19 now with social distancing and strict hand washing practices, we also need to prepare our children to be safe when this is all over.
Dr Verity Jones is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Online Learning Project Lead and Acting Associate Head of Department for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience.