The Community Rail Engagement Officer is happy to work with pupils in primary or secondary schools within reach of the Medway Valley or SwaleRail lines to promote safe, sustainable travel by rail. We are particularly interested in engaging with young people aged 10-12 as their travel habits become more independent. Our booklet “I want to travel by train” explains journey planning, understanding timetables, buying tickets and staying safe to this age group.
Projects can be tailored carefully to individual schools according to their pupils’ needs and interests, but some examples can be seen on the Projects and Ideas page.
If you would like to invite us to work with your pupils or give them a presentation, please contact:
A new Engagement Officer will be in post at the end of April. For all enquiries please contact Louise Skipton-Carter on 07768 035840.
The schools which have most recently benefitted from projects organised by us are both situated in close proximity to the Medway Valley Line. Year 6 pupils from St Michael’s CofE Junior School, Maidstone and Wateringbury School took part in a travel training session in early July which covered journey planning, reading timetables, buying tickets and getting information at the station. They were already well versed in safety aspects of using the railway following sessions earlier in the academic year. Copies of the “I want to travel by train leaflet” produced by the partnership and paper timetables distributed to pupils helped to reinforce the messages and encourage the youngsters to become regular and responsible rail travellers.
A trip on the Medway Valley Line then quickly followed, courtesy of Southeastern. The children travelled to the recently opened Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone where Customer Service Development Librarian, Jan Bedford, explained how the library can help them as they move to secondary school, both with their literacy and their research for independent study.
Both Halling Primary School and Wateringbury School are keen to work with us on rail related projects. Meetings are to be held early in the autumn term to discuss final details. We also anticipate more schools will wish to combine travel training with trips to the library.
Projects and Ideas
We welcome suggestions for projects from schools, but these are some of our ideas:
- Talks about the railway line, with emphasis on community responsibility and how the pupils can get involved and /or the importance of the train as a sustainable mode of transport and safety considerations.
- Travel training and the provision of a leaflet for year 6 pupils giving guidance on how to use the railway, explaining reading a timetable, planning a journey, buying a ticket and staying safe.
- Practice journeys for year 6 pupils who will be using the railway to travel to their secondary schools, and possible setting up of a travel buddy scheme (older pupils are nominated to look out for younger travellers)
- Possible projects with local artists, historians or authors or libraries and activity centres
- Various curriculum activities associated with the Medway Valley Line (see chart below with curriculum links) or SwaleRail
For hard copies of our guidance booklet for young people aged 10-12, please contact the Community Rail Engagement Officer (see above), or download the PDF.