Learning to stay safe around tracks and trains is as important as learning to swim or cross roads.

Research tells us that the most effective way for students to learn about safety is for it to be linked to the school curriculum.

TrackSAFE NZ promotes best practice road and rail safety education in schools through the use of curriculum based resources.

Evidence suggests that one-off school visits are not an effective way for students to retain safety messages, nor are the use of shock tactics or fear to invoke a response in students.

Ideally school visits work best when they are part of a wider focus on rail safety carried out within the classroom environment.

What can schools use?

Curriculum resources:

Resources have been developed by the NZ Transport Agency in consultation with TrackSAFE NZ and a reference group of rail experts, safety professionals and teachers.

They are available for free download on the Transport Agency’s education portal. The resources were developed by curriculum writer Pam Hook, using SOLO taxonomy to allow students to “dig deep”.

The resources are linked to:

  • Science – students learn to think like a scientist, exploring the transfer of electrical energy with simple experiments to learn how to keep themselves and others safe around the electrical energy that moves trains.
  • English – students will think like a writer and create text designed to persuade their community to act in safe ways around the rail corridor.
  • Mathematics – students learn to think like a mathematician, for example measuring train stopping distances of high speed trains.
  • Social Sciences – students think like a social scientist about the way people and places interact on the railway in the context of messages about keeping safe.

With the rail network part of daily life in many places, teachers can select from the resources to reflect their community setting

Rail safety curriculum resources were launched at Newmarket School in Auckland

LEARNZ Field Trip

Rail safety is available to study via a LEARNZ Field Trip. Resources and planning materials from this field trip are freely available online. http://www.learnz.org.nz/railsafety193

Safety video

KiwiRail has produced this safety video which can be shown in classrooms as a conversation starter. In the video the students ask questions of locomotive engineers (train drivers) about their experiences driving trains. It also includes valuable safety messages for young people.