Over the last year Southern and Sussex Community Rail Partnership’s (SCRP) Go-Learn railway education programme, focused on teaching school children about safe and independent travel, has been delivered to almost 5,500 children, whilst also receiving excellent reviews, from both teachers and youngsters. Go-Learn, continues to engage youngsters and encourage them to be safe train travellers.
Recent evaluation shows that 85% of pupils scored 100% on our quiz after the session, rising to 98% of those involved getting all but one of the questions correct. Alongside this 68% felt safer about travelling by rail and more confident to use the train.
The programme includes:
- Sessions provided by Southern’s Rail Enforcement Officers (REOs), often as part of local authority-led safety events. During these events, the REOs spend time focusing on important principles such as being aware of fast trains, as well as the dangers of trespassing and the third rail.
- SCRP’s Education Officer, Angie Lowen, visits schools as part of the scheme and spends a lesson looking at journey planning and personal safety. She then works with local teams to welcome youngsters into a station environment, turning theory into practice.
- Southern staff from across the company who volunteer with youth groups, such as beavers, cubs and scouts, have also worked together to adapt the material to fit in with the way these groups organise their activities.
Southern’s Head of Safety and Environment, Colin Morris, said: “Go-Learn is aimed at helping youngsters to think more about using trains as a sustainable form of transport, whilst ensuring they act in a way which keeps them and others safe. It is truly wonderful to see the impressive results and high numbers we are getting this safety message to. I am really proud of the efforts of our REOs and Angie. It's great to see more staff getting involved to deliver this important message.”
SCRP's Angie Lowen added: "The whole Go-Learn programme is considered by the teachers to be a very valuable way of teaching important life skills to Year 6 children. The children all enjoy it, many of them engaged in a way that doesn’t always happen in other areas of the curriculum. It is a very rewarding job that I do, and I really enjoy it."
Feedback from the classroom sessions has demonstrated an equal enjoyment of each part of the lesson, with the section on "Keeping safe on the railway" enjoyed the most. Feedback from teachers includes comments such as:
"Found this visit incredibly helpful and informative. Very clear and concise information."
"Helpful focus on transition from Year 6 – Year 7. Thank you!"
"Brilliant life skills."
"It was really interesting to the adults present too."
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
Thameslink – services between Bedford and Brighton, Luton/St Albans and Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks
Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
Gatwick Express – Fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria
GTR is now the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff: GTR carries about 326 million passenger journeys per year, employs around 6,500 people and generates annual passenger revenues of approximately £1.3bn.
The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.