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Nairn primary pupils raise awareness on dangers at car park for school initiative


By Federica Stefani

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From left: Calum Kerr, Seamus O’Donnell and Ethan Jones patrolling the entrance.
From left: Calum Kerr, Seamus O’Donnell and Ethan Jones patrolling the entrance.

Pupils at Rosebank Primary School in Nairn took action last week to raise awareness around dangerous parking near the school entrance last week.

As part of a school initiative rolled out this year, all the children have participated in community groups to develop opportunities for them to work within their school and community.

A 26-strong group of pupils from P2 to P7 classes turned into Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs), aiming to tackle the biggest dangers for children travelling to and from school.

Teacher Gigi Anderson, who runs the group, explained: “At the beginning of the year, they identified cars parking dangerously around the entrance to the school as an issue, and this became a focus in our action plan.

Colourful signs created by the pupils were on show on the day.
Colourful signs created by the pupils were on show on the day.

“Earlier in the year we ran a banner competition for a ‘Park Smart’ banner design, an initiative run by the Highland Council. The JRSO group picked two winners for this competition, Madeline Wyer P5T and Leah McKinlay P4A, whose designs have been printed on the banners. We put up and revealed our new banners on the same day we did our demonstration.

“The group then spent time painting signs which we could hold up outside the school on Tuesday, June 11 both in the morning and in the afternoon. Overall, this was well received by parents.”

One of those parents, Marc MacDonald, said: “It was excellent to see the children standing up for their safety outside the school. I also love the colourful signs!”

Another parent added: “It has been an ongoing issue since my first child started at Rosebank 11 years ago. It is nice to see the school taking action and to see the children out here with signs.”

The group was outside the entrance to encourage responsible parking.
The group was outside the entrance to encourage responsible parking.

Nairn Provost Laurie Fraser, who was there on the day, said he supported the pupils’ actions in keeping children safe.

Councillor Barbra Jarvie, who was unable to join the group on the day, said she was nonetheless “very impressed” with the initiative.

She added: ”The solution to highlight the issue is also an innovative idea which I do hope makes drivers think twice about if they need to drive to school and where they park.

“Hopefully it will make drivers consider pedestrian safety, and the health benefits of walking to and from school to make all those little minds more alert, refreshed and ready to be attentive for a fun day of learning.

The pupils worked to create new signage to discourage dangerous parking over the year.
The pupils worked to create new signage to discourage dangerous parking over the year.

“I do hope you share the safety awareness ‘JRSO’ initiative with other local schools to help inspire travelling to and from school to be a safer and healthier experience for everyone, and help keep Nairn’s air cleaner too!”

Ms Anderson added: “The children felt proud to be out, standing up for their safety. The area was definitely quieter in the afternoon. They hope that people will think twice before parking dangerously in future.”


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