Issue # 34
Welcome to RSE’s new online News. In this special edition, we will outline how the RYDA 5.0 Program laid the foundation for road safety to remain priority learning during the pandemic.
Back in March, we were all set to release news on the freshly minted RYDA 5.0 program, which had begun rolling out across Australia and New Zealand in February after an extensive 6 month review. Then…. well, you all know what happened next. We quickly put RYDA workshops on hold and worked to support our classroom teachers as they found themselves under increased pressure to change the way they taught. The result was RYDA 5.0 at a Social Distance.
Now, as we find ourselves at very different stages of restricted living or post lock-down reboot across Australia and New Zealand, we are again, pivoting the way the RYDA program is accessible. COVID-19 will, no doubt, leave in its trail significant learning gaps for some students. We cannot allow road safety to be one of them. It is critical that our next generation of young road users are given the same opportunities to build these essential life skills as those who came before them.
In this issue – scroll down or click to jump ahead:
In our continued efforts to ensure RYDA delivers the most important messages in the most effective way, we again undertook a major review of the program in 2019. We worked with our Advisory Council, government, key stakeholders and educational design experts to create RYDA 5.0.
Not only did the workshop sessions undergo change, but the RYDA program, as a package, also received significant update. We’ll start there…
At RSE, we recognise that the most effective approaches to road safety education involve a whole school approach that is embedded in the school curriculum, reinforced by the classroom teacher and happens over time. While part of the RYDA offering has long been extended learning resources, this year, we strengthened the link and created a resource to help teachers as they navigate their role in providing road safety education for their students.
We created a significant number of new post-RYDA workshop resources, a handy guide to government curriculum links and a series of pre-workshop discoveries for students to undertake before attending the workshop.
By asking students to investigate a number of topics prior to the workshop, our facilitators can draw on student’s own experience and informed opinions to lead the discussion and help build more meaningful strategies to mitigate risk.
With RYDA 5.0 we released a step by step Guide to Implementing RYDA in schools. This guide helps teachers reflect RYDA’s road safety messages in school policy, school curricilum and community engagement. By taking this whole-school approach, they create a culture within the school that supports positive and ongoing road safety behaviour change.
Within the workshops, we created several fun and engaging activities around mind state and it’s impact on road safety, new in-session quizzes on fatigue and hazard perception and new engaging videos to capture our students attention.
As part of our re-vamped website, we’ve created a number of fact sheets, blogs, games and tips, student reflection journals and even a dinner table conversation starter for parents. All of this is designed to support longer-term, extended learning to help students become active citizens with positive, socially connected road user identities.
Well really, it’s just flipping the usual RYDA experience. We had already increased the support resources created for teachers in the classroom as well as the emphasis on the importance of weaving the RYDA workshop into year-long learning. Through our social distancing program we custom designed new resources to meet the challenges students are facing in this time of great uncertainty, building resilience and life skills.
All of this extended learning and development will be harvested as the workshops resume.
Our RYDA 5.0 at a social distance resources ranged from from light activities to keep students learning during lockdown and self-isolation to complete classroom or virtual classroom lesson plans. Here’s just a few of the topics we covered:
Feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive with many confirming that they have either shared the resources with their students and/or families or have planned to utilise them later in the year to tie in with upcoming lesson plans/curriculum learning.
We are responding to the needs of our schools while treating the safety of students, teachers, facilitators and Rotary Volunteers with the utmost priority.
We know that nothing beats face-to-face and personal engagement when it comes to learning. Therefore, in areas where restrictions have been lifted we have been swift to get back up and running with RYDA workshops. Where the appetite for the workshops is high but external venues are not practical, we are providing RYDA as an incursion at school. In areas still in lockdown, we will continue to support teachers through our online resources.
All workshops are delivered in compliance with government, school and our own COVID-19 policies.
We are pleased to announce that a number of RYDA workshops have already been successfully delivered in Queensland in Brisbane and Toowoomba with a number more upcoming in Sydney and across New Zealand.
It will, without doubt, take a while to put the wheels back on the world but we are working behind the scenes to ensure RYDA keeps rolling and delivering its critical life-saving road safety messages in whatever form best supports our schools.
Unfortunately, alarming spikes have been recorded in speeding and other dangerous traffic offenses over the past several months. We cannot afford to wait for this pandemic to be over to build these skills as, unfortunately, the life-long consequences of road trauma will not be put on hold.
RSE has been able to provide ongoing support to our schools, volunteers and community during the workshop down time thanks to the enormous and unwavering support provided by our corporate and community partners – all of whom are facing their own challenges through the pandemic. We sincerely thank them all.