Students’ Union volunteers have taken to the stage to teach local primary school children some simple rules about personal safety. More than 700 pupils in the Borough have been getting tips on what to do if approached by a stranger in a drama produced by the Union. The play, Stop Red! Keep Safe, has been performed to audiences of seven and eight year olds at The Mount, King Athelstan, Moor Lane and Robin Hood Primary Schools.
Written by volunteer co-ordinator Catherine Attridge, the play is an adaptation of children’s fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. “The plot follows the traditional storyline but includes modern day scenarios that children can relate to,” said Catherine, who also starred in the show alongside student volunteers Alice Buchanan, Anna Jennings and Matt Wilson. “Red is supposed to go straight to her granny’s house after school but gets distracted listening to music and playing computer games with a friend. She leaves after dark and takes a shortcut through the woods where she meets a wolf who befriends her with the promise of tickets to a music concert. At that point the action stops and the pupils are asked to think about what Red should do to stay safe, which helps them understand the potential dangers of talking to strangers.”
A qualified drama teacher, Catherine believes it is important to educate young people about how to take care of themselves and empower them to be responsible for their own safety. “Drama is an effective learning tool because it can be a lot of fun while at the same time getting across key messages,” she said.
Mount Primary School teacher Caroline Gupta praised the Students’ Union volunteers for their innovation. “It was a very clever idea using a well-known tale. The children really enjoyed the play and also learned some very important lessons,” she said.