All posts tagged: young people

Rural Schools Week

No comments

SkillZONE is running a special week for rural schools from January 15th to January 22nd 2014 in a bid to extend the reach of its safety lessons to schools which are further afield.

The week has been organised at the Gloucester safety education centre to teach specific messages to rural communities about staying safe and to give these schools the chance to experience SkillZONE.

SkillZONE’s whole ethos is to teach children and young people to stay safe by letting young people experience danger in realistic situations from a dark alleyway to an internet cafe or travelling to school.

 SkillZONE Manager, Donna Potts, says; “Rural schools are by nature more isolated. We believe gaining the experience of learning from our scenarios is particularly important because rural residents can sometimes feel more vulnerable in an emergency and these sessions may give them more confidence.”

“We recognise that many schools on the outer reaches of the county have not been to SkillZONE and we wanted to invite them to see what we have to offer.”  

The bespoke tour will cover road safety lessons for rural residents such as being seen while walking or cycling, preparing for bad weather conditions, considering what to do if a bus is cancelled or road is closed and the importance of closing gates on farms.

The home and fire safety scenarios will also cover tips and advice for rural communities. The schools visiting have then chosen five other areas in the village from the internet cafe, water safety, internet cafe, shop, farm, builders’ yard, train platform, police station and court room.

12 schools are taking part in the week and schools were invited from the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Stroud along with the outer areas of Cheltenham and Gloucester.





read more

Launch of Year 7 ‘safer choices’ tour

No comments

SkillZONE has developed a new tour designed to teach Year 7 pupils to make safer choices on their school journey and in everyday life which will be launched on Monday, November 18th to coincide with national Road Safety Week.

SkillZONE is a state-of-the-art safety education centre where students make decisions about staying safe. The centre allows classes to experience a range of real scenarios in its life size village such as in a; car, bus, house, shop, alleyway and internet cafe.

The package is aimed at Year 7 pupils as for many this year marks the beginning of their solo journeys to school, whether that is catching a bus, cycling or walking. Its other objective is to enhance students knowledge of Year 7 citizenship curriculum topics such as understanding how laws are made and money is managed.

Part of the 2 hour tour will cover the ‘Tune in to Road Safety’ national theme for 2013 so that groups will learn that while daydreaming and get sidetracked is human nature, on the road distractions can be fatal. As part of this pupils will be taught about catching a bus or travelling in a car safely and will be asked to think about common distractions, such as listening to music or using a phone while on their school journey.

The topics included from the Year 7 citizenship programme include;

  • developing an understanding of the role of the law and justice system – using SkillZONE’s own Police Station and Court Room
  • learning about managing money on a day to day basis with practical experience in SkillZONE’s shop and;
  •  discussions about the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society.

Any teaching staff of Year 7 pupils, whether curriculum Leads, PSHE coordinators or teachers, are invited to a free prepratory tour of SkillZONE during Road Safety Week (November 18th – 21st) on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday morning.

The 2 hour tour costs £5 per pupils if coming with a school group and a total of nine scenarios will be on offer. To book or find out more information visit  or phone 01452 834 150.

read more

A spooktastic time at SkillZONE Halloween event

No comments

Witches, devils, spiders and baby pumpkins were just some of the costumed youngsters who turned up for SkillZONE’s Halloween Open Days on October 30th and 31st.

SkillZONE, which opened just over a year ago, is an educational centre that teaches children, young people and the greater community to recognise dangerous situations in everyday life so they can stay safe.

Around 120 people came to the Halloween open days on Wednesday and Thursday and took part in short tours of the centre’s life size village.

Local families were able to learn more about fire safety at Halloween with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue crews running fire truck demonstrations over the two day event.

SkillZONE Manager Donna Potts says: “It’s our first time running a Halloween event and we’ve been pleased with the feedback we had from visitors. The kids Halloween outfits have been wonderful and it’s been lovely to see them enjoying SkillZONE and taking in the important safety messages we teach on our tours.”

Children had the chance to play Halloween games, get their face painted, watch fire truck demonstrations and listen to spooky stories.

Oliver Bond, 5, of Quedgeley, (pictured left) won a prize for his skeleton pirate outfit.  He says: “I was happy to win. I liked putting my hand in the spaghetti game the best and the scary story.”

Local volunteers helped run the open days for SkillZONE and local businesses; Fosterplus, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons and the Over Farm Market donated treats, pumpkins and prizes.

“A special thanks also to young Jack and Chloe Hughes who helped with putting up the Halloween decorations.”


Pictures : Main image shows Halloween kids, from left: Sophie Lewis, 9, Jack Gardner, 6, Sophie Orton, 7, Kate Gardner, 9, and Spencer Lewis, 6. On right is Kate Gardner, 9, with her prize winning pumpkin.




read more

Half term Halloween at SkillZONE

No comments

SkillZONE will open up to children in the school holidays. Children can have a go at spooky face painting, scary pumpkins and arts and crafts, as well as watching fire truck demos.

Local families will be able to learn more about fire safety at Halloween with fire and rescue crews running fire truck demonstrations over the two day event.

The event is running on Wednesday 30th October from 10am to 4pm and again on Thursday 31st October from 10am to 4pm.

The price for entry is £3.50 and children under 2 years old are just £2.

SkillZONE is a state-of-the-art village which gives people of all ages the chance to visit 16 zones, each designed to teach them how to recognise a range of dangerous situations, including on the road, in the water and at home.

Places on the SkillZONE tour are limited so please call 01452 834159 now to book.

Children are encouraged to come in fancy dress, but there will be a chance to become a spooky ghost or ghoul at the face painting stand. There will also be a cake sale and some arts and crafts stalls.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “This is a great chance to learn more about fire safety and to have some fun at the same time. Come along in fancy dress because the best costume wins a treat, and don’t forget to bring your scariest pumpkin with you for a chance to win a prize.”

Gloucester South Fire Station and SkillZONE are based at Tuffley Lane, Gloucester, GL4 0AS.

read more

Find out about becoming a SkillZONE volunteer

No comments

People who want to find out more about volunteering at SkillZONE, Gloucestershire’s first interactive educational centre, can come to a stand at ASDA in Gloucester on 7th June.
As part of National Volunteers Week, Gloucestershire County Council will have a stand outside ASDA in Gloucester between 10am and 12noon on Thursday 7th June.
People can come along to find out more about becoming a volunteer at SkillZONE and collect an application form.
SkillZONE will be staffed by existing fire service staff and the volunteer guides are being recruited only to guide groups around the scenarios and to encourage visitors to identify dangers and actions to reduce the risk.
Tim Lanfear, Station Commander for Skills for Life said: “As a volunteer you will be a highly valued member of the SkillZONE team and will be key to the development of the centre.
“It is also a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience and learn some valuable skills.
“If you would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer please come along to the information stand on 7th June.”
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “The new SkillZONE will help us to promote community safety and reduce serious injuries and deaths in homes, at work and in local areas.
“The volunteers will be a very important member of the team so if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to find out more about how you can get involved with Gloucestershire’s first interactive education centre.”

read more