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February 2017


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Issued: 20 February 2017

A total of 37 primary schools across Birmingham are piloting a new early learning book aimed at reducing child traffic casualties.

‘The Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal’ has been produced by Birmingham road safety ‘not for profit’ organisation DriveSafe & StaySafe with the support of the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.

The 40-page illustrated book features a family of traffic-cone cartoon characters whose creators hope will become national heroes of road safety for children.

The book was officially launched by West Midlands Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie at the West Midlands Fire Service Headquarters in front of local councillors, teachers and members of the police and fire services.

The first 2,700 copies of the book are currently being delivered, along with teachers’ guides, to 37 primary schools in Yardley, Hall Green and Hodge Hill, all locations identified in the 2016 Birmingham Road Safety Strategy as child accident ‘hot spots’.

Every Key Stage 1 pupil (4-6 years) at these schools will receive a copy of the book, which has been designed to meet the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) learning and development requirements. They will also receive a Hi-Vis snap band and Conies pencil, while their teachers receive a teacher’s support Journal.

The book has been endorsed by Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Yardley, who said: “This is a brilliant initiative to help children keep safe and I am delighted this Journal is being delivered to local schools in my constituency area and was delighted to be part of making this happen.”

DriveSafe & StaySafe will be exhibiting the new books and accessories on the Goodmedia Ltd stand J93 at this year’s Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham from March 16 to 18. The show is the UK’s leading education event, providing a platform to share innovative ideas, resources and insight for all education professionals.

Ashley Bertie said: “This book will provide an innovative, fun and lively way for children to learn of the dangers on our roads and what they can do to look after themselves and their families.

“The West Midlands is one of the youngest regions and Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, and our young people are our future. I would like to thank Fay Goodman and her team at DriveSafe & StaySafe for a project that will not only have significance for our region but also nationally and hopefully internationally as well.

Fay Goodman, creator of the Conies and director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, commented: “I hope The Conies will become our new national heroes of road safety for children, just as the Green Cross Code man and Tufty the Squirrel were in their day.

“The Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal has been designed to engage children in road safety through reading, listening and acting out scenarios from the book, and there is a review at the end to test how much the child has learnt and absorbed. Teachers will be able to keep this page as ‘evidence’ of the child’s learning and reward it with a certificate or star to offer continued encouragement.”