Pupils from five Midland schools are poised to become recording artists after being acclaimed by rock legend Rick Wakeman in the finals of the DriveSafe & StaySafe Road Safety Song Contest.
The former Yes keyboardist and TV personality judged the inaugural event devised by the Birmingham road safety charity DriveSafe & StaySafe in front of scores of schoolchildren, teachers, business people and supporters at Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull.
The competition was won by the pupils of Delves Infant School in Walsall with their rap song It’s All About Road Safety, and representatives were presented with a trophy and winners’ medals by Rick Wakeman.
Finalists’ medals were also presented to teachers and pupils from Banners Gate Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, Burnwood Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent, Deykin School in Witton, and Trinity Church of England School in Wolverhampton after their song performances.
The standard of entries across the board was so high that not only the winning school but all the finalists were promised that their songs would be recorded as EPs by professional musicians and video producers from Birmingham-based Goodmedia Ltd. 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, Head Teacher of Delves Infant School, commented that the children had “a fantastic afternoon at the awards and were so proud to win”.
She said: “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 also incorporates interactive games, teaching packs and other e-learning resources, developed with input from the pupils and teachers of 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 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.”
Fay added: “I would like to thank all the schools that took part in our competition and all our supporters on our major launch, especially Michael Jones, Deputy Head of Solihull Junior School, and Jo Slough, Headmistress of St Alphege Junior School, and their pupils for helping us to create the Conies learning materials.”
Issued on behalf of DriveSafe & StaySafe by SHPR (firstname.lastname@example.org/ 07970802494) For more details, please contact Fay Goodman on 07976 426463 (email@example.com), Laura Preece on 07867 486329 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Wolski on 07957 424907 (email@example.com)
Notes for Editors
DriveSafe & StaySafe has championed personal safety for many years with organisations ranging from the NHS to the Institute of Directors and from small businesses to women’s and victim support groups.
The not-for-profit organisation published a driver’s handbook, ‘DriveSafe – An Essential Guide for Motorists, in association with Aston University in 2012.
Fay Goodman received a Highly Commended award for her DriveSafe & StaySafe Courtesy on the Road campaign at the Institute of Directors Awards in Birmingham in 2014.