Leamore Primary School pupils use radar guns at Safeside.

Leamore youngsters train safely for real life

Leamore Primary School pupils use radar guns at Safeside.

Earlier this month, Year 6 pupils from Leamore Primary School were given the exciting opportunity to learn in a very practical way about being safer citizens by spending a day at the ‘Safeside at Eastside’ centre in Birmingham.

Funded and managed by West Midlands Fire Service, Safeside opened in early 2009 alongside the new Fire Service Headquarters on Vauxhall Road, Nechells. 

The centre is a remarkable learning environment which replicates real life situations in a typical town environment styled along the lines of a busy High Street and its environs.  The aim is to provide inspiration and simple training to encourage visitors to think and act safely.


Owen Smith, Alex Snee and Jamie Hendy by the Safeside bus.
Owen Smith, Alex Snee and Jamie Hendy by the Safeside bus.

The site features a full size indoor street scene including a road crossing, a West Midlands bus, a train carriage, a canal, a car, a house and a police station.  Scenes also replicated include a court room, a dark alleyway, a Co-Op food store and a post office.

Young people and others visiting find that key issues of fire, road, water, travel and personal safety are covered along with input on vandalism, drugs and alcohol, the consequences of crime, environmental responsibilities and what to do in an emergency.


On arrival the Leamore pupils were divided into small groups and then taken into the Safeside Village where they were taken through a range of scenarios which could occur to any of us at any time.

Using the bus and a train carriage on hand, they began by learning about safety on public transport.  Then, inside the replica shop they were given lessons about restricted goods.

Queueing in the 'Co-Op' - Owen Smith, Alex Snee and Jamie Hendy.
Queueing in the ‘Co-Op’ – Owen Smith, Alex Snee and Jamie Hendy.

Proceeding into the house the boys and girls were given fire safety lessons, including a demonstration involving a room burning to nothing in under four minutes.  Domestic safety in the kitchen was also covered, and after leaving the house there was instruction on personal safety in several scenarios including at the zebra crossing and in the dark alley.


The afternoon also involved two workshops about road safety (where the children went outside and used a speed gun to measure the speed of passing traffic) and using public transport, and finished with an interactive quiz using keypads to answer questions on the issues studied during the day, with the success rate, whilst not quite being 100% , showing that a lot of valuable lessons had been learned.

Paul Mobberley of Leamore Primary School, Bloxwich Road, said:

“Safeside is an outstanding organisation, staffed entirely by volunteers.

“The scenarios are so lifelike you could actually be there and, with the children who visit moving to high schools in September, they may find themselves in them and will hopefully now be better equipped to deal with them should such situations occur.”

Leamore parents will no doubt be greatly reassured to hear that their children are receiving such practical and professional training as part of their busy school life.  The benefits are obvious, and it is to be hoped that school pupils across the borough will also have the same opportunity as Leamore boys and girls.

We only wish there had been such facilities available when we were their age!

For more information on Safeside at Eastside, follow this link to their website.

For more about Leamore Primary School, check out their excellent school blogs.

Photographs and information on the visit kindly provided by Paul Mobberley.