Road safety takes centre stage

Former St Leonard's pupil Will from Gibber with his sister Charlotte, who is in her final year at the Sixth Form, and Ben whose aunt was one of the scriptwriters for 'Josh Green Posted on Your Wall'.

Pupils from St Leonard’s Catholic School learnt about safe and sustainable travel in a lively and dynamic performance from former pupil and local TV actor Will Graham.

Focusing on pedestrian safety, ‘Josh Green Posted on Your Wall’ – performed by drama company Gibber, delivers a hard hitting message in a humorous way, which confronts and explores the common issues and consequences of irresponsible pedestrian behaviour.

The Schools Go Smarter theatre show has been visiting schools across the region to inform, educate and entertain year 8 and 9 students. The powerful and challenging piece of theatre, supported by a multimedia backdrop, brings to life the serious issues young people face on our roads or when using public transport.

The theatre tour coincides with Brake Road Safety Week 2016, and covers Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland. Delivering safe and sustainable travel messages, it’s estimated audience of over 8,000 pupils aged 13-14 years old have been reached during its six week tour.

Local TV actor Will is part of the Gibber team, which uses humour, multi-media and popular culture to help students understand the importance of staying safe on the roads. The fun and lively performance takes learning out of the classroom and into an environment where pupils can interact with the performers and learn in a more engaging way.

Delivered by Schools Go Smarter – Tyne and Wear’s sustainable transport programme – the response from both pupils and teachers has been extremely positive.

Simon Campbell, Head Teacher of St Leonard’s Catholic School said: "The students reacted very well to the performance, finding it engaging but also understanding the serious message.

"We were delighted to welcome Will back to his old school, and it’s great for him to catch up with his sister Charlotte, who’s in her final year at St Leonard’s in Sixth Form."

A former pupil of St Leonard’s, Will went on to study drama at Salford University, and has toured with various theatre companies, as well as making numerous television appearances. He recently played the lead in a production called ‘The Season Ticket’ at the Northern Stage in Newcastle.

Will Graham from Gibber said: "It's an incredibly important message and a privilege to get to interact with so many pupils, and deliver such a relevant message across the North East. We’ve had a great response thus far and of course I’ve had the added bonus of getting to visit my old school!"

‘Josh Green Posted on Your Wall’ is part of Schools Go Smarter’s theatre in education project, which uses drama and stage performance to teach secondary school pupils about safe and sustainable travel.

We've posted some photos of the performance in this Facebook album.