Whose Choice?

CfE Experiences and Outcomes

I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within and around me. This helps me to understand my own behaviour and the way others behave. HWB 2-04a.

I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible. HWB 2-16a.

1. Connecting the Learning - Explain to learners that sometimes we can make decisions quickly and clearly. At other times, we might think for longer and seek advice, particularly in a new or confusing situation. It can be difficult to know when to be confident about your own opinion when other people have different ideas! The following exercise will help you to understand your approach to making decisions.
2. Sharing the Learning Outcomes -

• I can give an example of a time when I made a bad decision that put me in danger and can explain what I would do differently in the future.
• I know that others can try and persuade me to do something that is dangerous and I know how to deal with this to keep myself safe.
• I know what type of decision maker I am and if necessary, can change this to keep myself safe.
• I can encourage others to stay safe near railways.
3. Active Learning - Ask learners to think about what kind of ‘decision maker’ they are. When they make a decision, what is the most important to them?

• Making sure I look good to all sides of the argument.
• Getting it over and done with as quickly as possible.
• Keeping other people happy.

Distribute Worksheet 3 ‘Whose choice is it?’ Ask learners, when it comes to making decisions, which one of these types of character are they most like?

Mr or Miss Independent
I tend to know my own mind. I’m pretty confident and clear about what I think. I sometimes need to make sure I listen to other people and take their views on board – but I know my own limits and how to stand up for myself.

In the Mix
I can dither a bit and worry about making a decision. I know it’s good to spend time weighing up the pros and cons. I need to listen to myself and trust my own inner voice.

The Butterfly
I’m enthusiastic and fun to be around. I like to go along with the crowd – but it can sometimes get me into trouble. Sometimes I should slow down a bit, and think before I take the plunge.

Next, you may wish to try a ‘silent debate’. Ask learners to think about a time when they made:

a) A good decision
b) A bad decision

In each case, what lead to them making that decision?
What were the consequences?

Ask learners to write their responses to the questions on post-it notes, gather them in after each question and stick them onto a large sheet of paper. Alternatively, ask learners to write down their thoughts and ‘post’ them in a ballot box. These can then be pulled out at random and used as part of the discussion.

Ask learners to think carefully about what they might need to change about their approach to making decisions if they are to stay safe in the future.

Accidents on the railway can happen whether you’re on your own, or with other people. Whether the accident is caused by an innocent mistake or the result of a deliberate act – it can lead to people being injured or killed. The following short stories are based on real-life incidents which may help you to set the scene for the subsequent discussion.

Mandy’s story
Mandy was playing on a bridge over the railway track when she found a metal pole and pushed it through a hole in the bridge fencing. The pole made contact with 25,000 volts of electricity in the overhead line. Mandy was badly burnt and is scarred for life.

Ed’s story
Ed was with a couple of friends at a train station. He and a friend stepped off the platform to pick up something they had dropped from the track, but Ed touched the electrified line and died instantly.

Prompt questions
• Have you ever been in a potentially dangerous situation without knowing it, like Mandy
• What did you do or say when you thought the situation might be getting dangerous?
• Has a friend ever persuaded you to do something you didn’t want to do, and it felt dangerous?
• How did they persuade you?
• Thinking back, how might you have done things differently to stay safe?
4. Demonstrating Understanding - Some ideas for follow-up activities which will allow learners to demonstrate their understanding of good decision making include:

• Write a story about a person who was influenced to do something they didn’t want to do. How did they feel? What did they learn?
• In small groups, create a railway safety drama performance which demonstrates good decision making.
• Using pre-cut speech bubbles, what advice would you give to a friend who was being pressured into playing by the railway when they didn’t want to? Write down in the speech bubble what you would say to persuade your friend to stay safe and not take a risk.
5. Review and Recall – Re-visit each Learning Outcome in turn to determine success. Any surprises? What will learners do differently when making decisions in the future?
Click here to view Whose Choice activity


ScotRail Safety Messages  
- Keep safe at the platform - stay well back from the edge of the platform
- Keep safe at the station - don’t mess around.
- Stay off the train tracks
- Use bridges to cross the tracks.
- Keep everyone safe - Don’t throw anything at trains or put anything on the tracks. Think about others!
- Respect railway staff - they are there to help and get you to and from school.
- Stay in your seat!
- Keep it clean - no graffiti, vandalism or litter.
- Keep it quiet - your voice and your music!
- Think about how your behaviour is affecting other people’s journeys.
- If you see trouble, don't be scared to report it! Text BTP number, use a help point or speak to a member of staff.

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