Nexus has given secondary school pupils the chance to star in their own DVD to promote safety on bus services in Tyne and Wear.
Nexus asked pupils from Heaton Manor Secondary School in Newcastle to appear in the short safety film, which will be used as a teaching aid across the region.
The children, aged 12 to 16, were given the task of producing and starring in the film – and Nexus will be using it on its regular school visits to highlight safety and good behaviour on school buses.
Nexus, which visits over a hundred schools every year to promote safety on buses and the Metro system, plans to use the DVD to draw attention to the hidden risks and issues that young people may not appreciate on their daily journey to school.
Safety issues the pupils focus on are the driver’s ‘blind spot’ that exists around a bus, the issues of boarding and alighting safely and behavioural issues whilst the bus is moving.
The DVD is broken down into a series of short clips to make it interactive. Pupils use each scene to select a storyboard and then choose a correct and safe outcome.
The video is principally aimed at schools which are served by some of the 300 school buses Nexus provides using funds from local councils – but the safety message is universal.
Bus company Go North East helped make the film happen, providing a bus and member of operations staff to drive it.
Martin Harris, Commercial Director of Go North East, said: “The actual safety of young people using buses is paramount but just as important is that they feel safe and enjoy using our services.
“We would like them to keep travelling by bus for many years to come and this initiative has a big role to play in improving the bus using experience for young people.”
Nexus Youth Liaison Officer, Rebecca Ditchburn, said: “The pupils star in the film so they are the ones sending out the safety message to their peers.
“The young people involved have created an excellent piece of work I can use as part of an interactive teaching pack to promote safety on local public transport.
“School buses are the safest way to get to school and the number of people using them is rising – we want to make sure pupils behave well and don’t put themselves at any risk.
Curriculum Leader for Media Studies at Heaton Manor School, Christine Bell, said: “It has been a real privilege and enriching experience to be involved in this project.
“The students, the majority of whom are studying GCSE media studies, have appreciated the opportunity to produce a short film for a real audience and to gain the experience of working to a deadline with a professional film production company.”