Schools on right track to promote rail safety

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With the construction of the Borders Railway due to be completed next month, Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) have engaged with 26 primary schools throughout Midlothian and the Borders to help communicate the dangers of living near a railway as part of their Rail Safety Reps education programme.

The project, which works with teachers to organise fun and educational rail safety awareness activities, saw a poster competition take place in primary schools throughout both areas, while two were also honoured for their efforts for going above and beyond to educate pupils on living safely near a railway.

The winning poster designs came from Eilidh Taylor, P6, from Gorebridge Primary School, and Annabelle Lugton, P7, from Tweedbank Primary. Not only were their posters colourful, it was evident that a lot of time and effort also went in to promoting the rail safety message.

Meanwhile, Gorebridge and Stow primary schools were both highly commended for their efforts in communicating and engaging with pupils to communicate rail safety messages.

Both schools were rewarded with £250 cheques which will be put to great use.

Activities at the schools included a visit to Gorebridge Primary from Aileen Campbell, minister for young people, who launched the Scottish Youth Theatre’s drama safety workshop.

Stow Primary children have been enthusiastic supporters of the railway – there has been a school project entitled “Life on the Line” which examined the history of the railway, as well as a series of thought-provoking assemblies which helped pupils understand all the hard work invested in the project.

The Borders Railway Schools Safety Awareness activities will continue into August and September, with summer sports and Scottish Youth Theatre high schools workshops.

Katie Vollbracht, senior programme development manager for Network Rail, said: “The team were very impressed with the creativity and inspired poster designs from the pupils.”