Anent Ziggy

Road Safety Lere

Did ye ken, afere a bairn is aroun 8 years auld thay are simply no able tae be completely safe independent road users? Research shows that, een tho monie yung bairns ken an cin say that thay shuid STOP, LOOK an LISTEN whan crossin the road, whit thay ken an whit thay dae cin be twa entirely diffrent things.

Insteid o jist concentratin on gainin knowledge an unnerstaunin, road safety lere fer yung bairns maun ettle tae develop positive attitudes an behaviours. Gin the adults aroun wee bairns set a guid ensample, the bairns will hae been gien the best possible stairt in thair lifelang learnin anent road safety.

The early years o onie bairn’s life arenae jist the maist important in terms o physical an mental development; thay gie us the best chance tae shape a bairn’s life chances forbye. Gin we strive tae gie oor bairns the best possible stairt in thair early years road safety lere we are helpin thaim tae become safe an responsible road users aw thair days.

Road safety learnin at Early Level shuid be a pairtnership atween bairn an adult. Grown-ups cin gie yung fowk the best possible stairt fer life thro settin guid ensamples ilka time thay cross ower a road, walk bi a road or traivel in onie vehicle wi a yung bairn.

Oor Approach

Follaein research an multi-agency collaboration Go Safe! Ziggy’s Road Safety Mission wis launchit in Scotland in October 2010. An innovative new wey aheid fer early years road safety in Scotland, the approach tairgets three key age groups: 0-3; pre-schuil an the transition intae primary 1, in line wi the Scottish Government’s policy on early intervention an the Curriculum fer Excellence.

Thaimed around the saisouns, the approach his been pit thegither tae be uised aw thro the year baith in the hoose and as pairt of the Early Level curriculum thro early years settins an primary 1 classes.

The main ettle is tae engage and inspire yung bairns an the adults around thaim tae gang on thair own road safety learnin gait, throu real experiences, alang wi playin, talkin an readin. Fer 0-3s, a bricht an noisy rhymin story made intil a clip-on buggy book ‘Out and About’ has been pit thegither focusin on the roadside sichts and souns wee bairns experience whan thay are oot o the hoose.

Fer the pre-schuil an transeetional material, six stories hae been developit based roon specially created characters. The approach his been carefully pit thegither wi great care tae tak tent o the age o the bairn , wi diffrent materials adaptit fer lka key stage o the early years.

For the pre-school and transitional material, six stories have been developed based on specially created characters. The approach has been carefully created to take into account the age of the child, with different materials adapted for each key stage of the early years.

Hou tae uise this approach

  • An important aspeck o this approach is that aw materials are tae haund universally fer aw bairns , parents, carers an educators in Scotland.
  • The 0-3 buggy book ‘Out and About’ is distributit tae aw wee yins at the 6-16 weeks veesit as pairt of the Scottish Book Trust’s Bookbug Baby Bag.
  • Aw early years estaiblishments an primary 1 classes hae been issued with a Big Book Set – a teachin pack containin the hail series o six Ziggy stories in big book format. (Furder copies are tae haund fer the askin.)
  • A Big Book Set is available fer onie community setting whaur parents/carers attend with thair yung bairns.
  • The pre-schuil eddication sector and primary 1 classes receive copies of the wee beuks tae gie direckly tae bairns fer takkin hame.
  • The wee beuks fer the hoose complement the wark that’s duin in class an maintains strang links atween hame an schuil.
  • The wabsite allous veesitors tae interact wi the stories an the activities, an gies current wittins tae parents an educators as weel.

Sharin the stories

Bi takkin bairns on a learnin journey wi Ziggy, real life road safety situations are brocht tae life in a memorable manner. The stories, clips an activities hae been especially created tae inspire a bairn ’s intrest in road safety lere. Sharin stories helps yung bairns tae unnerstaun the warld aroun thaim in an wunnerfu an naitural wey. Ilk time a bairn reveesits the story thay will gain mair knowledge an unnerstaunin.

The real learnin will come frae the experiences bairns hae. Uise the story tae stairt the learnin journey then explore the key themes thro active experiences an play.

The learnin experiences shuid be shaped bi the bairns ain interests an so cin differ greatly frae ane situation tae anither. Because o this we offer jist a puckle suggestions o cross curriculum activities wi links tae the experiences an ootcomes o the Curriculum fer Excellence. See ensamples o hou ither Early Years settins hae gaun on thair ain learnin journeys tae explore diffeent road safety nories.

The Author

Lynda Kennedy, the writer o Go Safe! Ziggy’s Road Safety Mission, writes anent her experience o warkin on the projekt.

The brief frae RSS wis sic an excitin challenge. Eftir aw it’s no ilka day that ye’re askit tae dae a piece o wark wi the ettle o savin lives. As a mother tae a five-year-auld, the job wis aw the mair poignant. Tae think that kids like ma wee laddie are being killt on oor roads daily day sent a chill doun ma spine. As A read thro the requirement aw A cuid think aboot wis that even gin we succeedit in savin ane bairn’s life it wuid be warth it. Howpfully, tho, we’ll save a lot, lot mair.

The norie o the Ziggy character arose fae warkin backertaes frae the brief. Ma backgrund is in advertisin an in monie respects this wis mair like an ad job than onie screivin ane: There wis muckle facks tae communicate in a sonsie wey an, like wi advertisig, the ettle wis tae cheenge behaviour.

Sae the challenge wis this: How dae ye tell kids whit tae dae ( ye cannae hide fae the fack that that’s whit we’re aboot) whan as awbody kens thay definitely, absolutely dinnae like being tellt whit tae dae. Ivver.

The only way roun this A cuid see wis developin a chairacter that wis alloued tae be weerless. An thon’s in essence hou Ziggy wis born. Settin up the main character as a ‘bairn ’ alien comin tae earth tae learn aw anent road safety alloued us tae teach athout talkin doun tae the bairns. He alloued us tae gang back tae basics, tae get across the core messages o waitin and haudin hands withoot onie sense o hierarchy whaur big fowk dae the tellin and wee fowk are expected to follow instructions. It seemed that it would be a mair powerful piece of communication gin we cuid encourage our yung readers tae help Ziggy tae learn as weel. Sae whan Ziggy’s thinkin anent whit he shuid dae afore crossin, the bairns cin whisper the ‘answer’ in Ziggy’s lug.

Pittin Ziggy in a faimlie wi twa bairns Maggie, 3 an Andrew, 5 anda bit (as thay are in the first book) created an interestin dynamic whaur Andrew’s character cuid tae the lead (he is, eftir aw a big lad that kens the importance o haudin hands an waitin) an Maggie wha is still learnin, but lous naethin better nor showein aff her new fund knowledge.

Ziggy alloued us tae inject a wee bittie licht comedy intae the stories forbye. Eftir aw, bein frae anither warld there are monie things on oor planet that bumbaise him: Like hou oniebody wuid want tae shove thair granny aff a bus or how nane o the sweeties on this planet come in guid flavours like cabbage.

Like aw gallus chairacters he has his ain quirks, an ane o these is his uise o the phrase Zab-a-Ding-a-Doo that he uises whan he’s happy. An clearly, he’s aye gey plaised whan he crosses the road properly. Wuid in no be grand gin oor yung readers rewardit thairsels a big Zab-a-Ding-a-Doo ilk time thay crossit richt?

As the beuks follae oor early years audience froe nursery thro tae P.1 (an absolute genius norie frae RSS to gie continuity o messagin frae pre tae primary schuil) the characters growe in ‘real time’. Maggie an Ziggy baith growe up afore our een – Maggie stairts nursery in beuk 1 an schuil in beuk 6 – an bi the end o the beuk series baith she and Ziggy aye cross safely.

Lynn Taylor, Mairi Blair, Kate Wheaton frae RSS an the grand team frae the Leith Agency an masel hae warkit gey close frae the get-go. In fack, eftir oor first meetin A felt A’d kennt the RSS gang fer years. It isnae often ye sit in a meetin whaur awbody shares the same passion. The RSS team hae pitten sae muckle thocht intae this projeck, far ayont even the road safety message. Thay stresst the need fer the beuks tae appeal tae bairns an parents across the demographic spectrum and hae a real sense o Scottish identity. This alloued me the freedom tae screive dialogue fer Maggie an Andrew the wey the kids thair age speak an forbye led tae the creation o Granny Walker, wha bides in the kintraside which alloued us tae talk anent road safety in a rural context as weel.

Workin on this project his been an incredible experience. A’m nou muckle mair aware o hou parents cross roads wi thair bairns an hae been really shockit bi the amount o mithers that allow thair wee yins – incredibly, P.1 an whiles even yunger – tae rin aheid whan crossin thrang roads. It gars ye wunder. It’s been a richt ee-opener forbye seein hou monie o thaim winnae walk jist a few yairds (shuid thon be metres? A’m showein ma age nou!) tae cross wi the lollipop lady. Hou are bairns supposed tae learn?

We’ve aye had parents as a tairget audience, so howpfully the messagin athin the beuks will rub aff on the big peeps an aw. A ken that frae speakin tae Elaine, the lollipop wifie at ma laddie’s schuil, that she’s keen fer mair parents tae uise her whan takkin thair bairns tae an frae schuil sae thay get intae safe crossin habits frae an early age. Let’s howp oor first book Ziggy an the Lollipop prompts thaim to dae jist that!