The children of Alverstoke Infant school have recently started a project to tackle the parking issues around school at the start of the day, writes deputy headteacher Stacey Hodson.
The ongoing issue of parking was highlighted by parents and was discussed in a governors’ meeting which prompted us to take action.
The school council met and the children decided that the best idea to stop people parking dangerously and putting children’s safety at risk was to go on traffic patrol before school.
The school councillors wanted to deter people from parking by asking people to move on, and also handing out tickets.
The children designed parking tickets and one was chosen to be used on patrol.
This project started in the autumn term and the pupils take it in turns to be on patrol.
With their high-visibility jackets and disapproving faces they have been highly successful at deterring dangerous parkers.
When the children first started the patrol they were giving out, on average, eight to 10 tickets a morning to people parking on the double yellow lines around school.
But now there are now very few tickets handed out.
Children who have taken part have enjoyed the opportunity to have an impact on changing something for the good.
It also greatly increased the children’s confidence.
We discuss how it is important to be polite but firm and explain why it is dangerous to park, all of which they do successfully.
They rehearse with one another what they are going to say and ensure they speak in a loud and confident voice.
The power of a child asking an adult to move their car on is huge and the children enjoy seeing that their speech has made a difference.
The project has taught the children about road safety and how important it is to keep safe by parking correctly.
We discuss how to cross the road safely and how to ensure that on the walk to school all children are kept safe.
This is why we offered the opportunity for all children in the school to be a traffic warden, with over 40 children taking part every day over a three-week period.
Parents have all commented on the impact that having the wardens makes, and the children love the praise from all members of the community.
The children will continue to patrol and learn about other ways they can help make the journey to school safer.