Year 6 pupils learn ‘skills for life’ at Bristol safety education centre

Photo of pupils from Baileys Court Primary School on a visit to the Lifeskills Centre.

Pupils from Baileys Court Primary School are the latest local children to have visited Bristol’s Lifeskills Safety Education Centre, which receives grant funding support from Bradley Stoke Town Council.

This year marks a special milestone for the centre as it celebrates its 20th year of teaching thousands of primary school children how to stay safe in everyday situations.

Lifeskills provides a unique and interactive learning experience to children aged 10 to 11 years, and almost 300 pupils from Bradley Stoke will visit with their Year 6 classes this year.

Based at the Create Centre, near the Cumberland Basin, Lifeskills realistically replicates a village setting with 19 different ‘film set’ scenarios, all of which have safety themes. In small groups of three to four, children navigate their way around the centre with a volunteer tour guide and they’re encouraged to spot and discuss lots of common hazardous day-to-day situations. Scenes include a street named ‘Green Cross Road’, homes, a beach, a dark alleyway and even a railway platform!

During their visit, children make practise emergency 999 calls, discover and react to a house fire, carry out first aid and learn about the consequences of trespassing on a railway line – all made realistic with the use of props and special effects.

Pupils from Baileys Court have been visiting Lifeskills since 2002 and following the recent visit, Mr Higginson (Year 6 teacher) said:

“This is a really valuable (as well as enjoyable) element of our Year 6’s education. The children learn so many important skills in a very realistic but supportive way, which we could never hope to replicate back in class.”

“We spend the following few weeks hearing about how they are relating this learning to their home environment; the children become the teachers, which further embeds the learning.”

Andy Townsend, manager at Lifeskills, said:

“Teaching children at this age in such a unique and practical way alerts them to the risks and consequences of everyday life. Children leave better equipped to handle a variety of situations, and it helps to increase their independence at a really key stage in their lives.”

“We know what we do at here makes a difference and saves lives; one child helped his family escape a house fire, another prevented a gas explosion, and a boy knew how to make a 999 call to help his mother – all learnt at Lifeskills.”

“Our challenge for the immediate future is to grow our team of volunteer tour guides. Visits to Lifeskills are in such high demand and with a growing waiting list, we urgently need more volunteers. We’d like to recruit at least 30 people from all walks of life (from students to retirees) to join our team so that we can provide life-long learning to more children.”

Open during term-time only, the centre offers flexible volunteer opportunities (2½ hours at a time), pays volunteer expenses and provides full training and support. Regular hour-long ‘taster sessions’ are organised for potential recruits.

For more information, call Sam Jury on 0117 922 4511, email sam@lifeskills-bristol.org.uk or visit the Lifeskills website www.lifeskills-bristol.org.uk

Photo: Baileys Court pupils shopping for a healthy breakfast at the ‘Co-op store’.

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 14). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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