Back to school for RACQ Education team

Coronavirus-enforced break provided chance to innovate.

RACQ’s Education team is back in schools teaching students invaluable road safety skills, after COVID-19 put lessons on hold.

Manager Education Rhonda McKenzie said while the coronavirus pandemic put a delay on the team returning to schools, the break gave them an opportunity to innovate new learning tools.

“We’ve started by creating a series of four videos for Kindy to Year 2 students that will help reinforce the messages we teach in the Streets Ahead program, so parents can continue the education at home,” Rhonda said.

“We have Stop, look, listen and think, which is about choosing a safe place and time to cross the road; Slip, clip, clap, slipping on their seatbelt, clipping together and clapping to tell their parents they’re ready to drive; Safety door, always choosing the back passenger side door to hop out; and Two finger-rule explaining the safest way to wear a helmet. 

“The actor we used was our very own Head of Community and Education David Contarini’s son Jake who is 11 years old. He was a natural and young kids always seem to look up to older kids.”

Rhonda said the team was also working on developing an online platform that would allow them to reach remote rural schools.

“We’re looking beyond standing in front of a camera and teaching,” she said. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time researching education theories and it’s important to have a personal presence to develop rapport.

“Young people learn more from each other through discussions and coming up with proactive strategies, then just a talking-head adult telling them what to do.

“So, it will be a mixture of some pre-recorded videos, teacher and student discussions and utilising our audience response keypad system.”

Rhonda said the team had also developed another high school program to be delivered alongside the award-winning docudrama presentation Driver IQ and Cash IQ with a distinctive focus on driver distraction. 

“We’ve created a program based on friends, phones and feelings, which are three major distractions from our extensive research on adolescents and driving,” she said. 

“We’re all about our students walking out with proactive strategies they can use to ensure they remain safe as both a driver and passenger. 

“We are in the developing stage but look forward to rolling this program out to as many students as possible.”