Post 16 at Laleham Gap School believes educating young people involves teaching them the academic things they need to know and the skills they need for life
This week that philosophy resulted in the Year 12s heading to the Travel Safe Centre at Margate railway station as part of their travel training. They have already been travelling around on buses, taking Bikeability courses, repairing bikes and learning social and domestic skills and this month their train travel training began.
At the Travel Safe Centre the students were greeted by Nicola Dooris, a Community Safety Manager, to learn all about train travel. Here the students learnt key information and watched some hard-hitting videos that reinforced crucial safety messages.
They looked at safety features and assistance points on a tour of the station and platforms before learning how to use the ticket machine and ticket office to plan a journey and purchase tickets. They were able to spot hazards on a model track and got a feel for the size of the railway by physically handling some of the tools workers for Network Rail use.
With the guidance of Karen Timcke, a safeguarding Liaison Manager for Southeastern, the students then took their first group journey from Margate to Ramsgate and are now planning more independent trips.
Teacher Paul Ursell said: “Getting students to do something is the very best way for them to learn. Getting them to use the ticket machines, speak to the ticket office staff and see the services is the most effective way to get them started. What the Travel Safe Centre offers is an amazing way to achieve this.”
Nicola added: “It was lovely to see how engaged all the students were. They got the message that trains are a great way to travel and that, if you follow a few simple rules, they can be very safe and efficient.”
The TSTS Centre is available for schools and other groups to book tailor made lessons around these issues. Simply email [email protected],uk.