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Teachers: PSHE: Behaviour Risks

Last Updated: Tuesday November 14 2006 16:16 GMT

Firework safety

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Risks of behaviour


Students learn safety facts and devise a firework safety campaign.

Learning aims

  • Safe enjoyment of fireworks
  • Risks of fireworks
Ice breaker

News-based comprehension

Read out this story to the class:

Ask students:

  • During which hours is setting off fireworks illegal? 11am to 7pm.
  • How old do you have to be before you can carry fireworks in public places? 18.
  • On which occasions will the ban be lifted? Diwali, Guy Fawkes night, New Year's Eve.
  • What do the RSPCA want to see? More done to stop animals being distressed or injured by fireworks.
Warm up

Should fireworks be banned ?

Allow the group to respond to the comments posted by kids on the Newsround website.

Kids' comments:

1. I think they should be banned and only to be used in displays, far too many people are getting injured and nobody really pays any attention to the warnings so I think that's the only solution. Amber, 11, London

2. I think that fireworks are really fun to watch and they shouldn't be banned, but fireworks shouldn't be sold to teenagers without an adult. It isn't fair that because some people are stupid with fireworks, other people can't use them! Edith, 11, Cardiff

3. We do like watching fireworks but my dog and cat don't, they are really scared. They should just have proper, organised displays so no one else can buy them and they wouldn't be letting them off all the time. Bradley & Josh, 11, Doncaster

4. I think everyone knows the dangers of fireworks but they mess about with them anyway to look cool in front of their mates, I just think it's a shame a few silly people who mess around with them on purpose have to spoil it for everyone else! It's always the innocent people which get hurt, I think they should educate younger children on the dangers of fireworks so they know from an early age. Ann marie, 16, Basingstoke

5. I think it's going too far. They'll try to ban Christmas next! Tim, 13, Kendal

6. Fireworks aren't dangerous, the people using them are. A firework is basically a stick of dynamite or any other explosive. You wouldn't go back to an unexploded stick of dynamite would you? Simon, 15, Wrexham

7. You shouldn't be able to buy fireworks over the counter but council run fire displays should not be banned. It is my birthday on bonfire night and I wouldn't like to spend it in Hospital because a cheap firework had hit me. Nicola, 13, Thorne

8. You can't stop people from doing stupid things - if it wasn't fireworks it would be something else. Why should the stupidity of a few spoil the enjoyment of others? Ian, 13, Dartford

9. Fireworks are tremendous fun and for them to be banned because some irresponsible teenagers have messed with them is stupid. Why should we miss-out? Georgina, 11, Farnham Common

10. I like fireworks at home like any kid, but if banning them means kids don't get hurt, I'm all for it. People haven't listened to numerous warnings before, they're not going to start now. Anchal, 15, Bexleyheath

11. Fireworks are only dangerous in the wrong hands. Shelly, 13, London

To finish students should write their own statement.

Main activity

Firework safety campaign

Working in groups, students design a safety campaign that will educate students in the year below.

It will let them know about the safe use of fireworks.

It could include:

  • A five point code on safe usage.
  • A marketing strategy explaining how they will get kids to take this seriously
  • A draft of a pamphlet, poster, script etc
  • A breakdown of the cost - allow a 1,000 budget
  • Timings - when will the campaign take place
  • Which celebrity they would approach to front the campaign
  • Draft letter explaining to the celebrity why this is an important issue
If time allows the groups can present an outline of their campaigns

Extension activities

Prepare some of the pamphlets or posters to be used in the campaign.

Students devise a campaign on a safety issue of their choice.


Ask students:

  • Can anything ever be totally safe?
  • Who decides what level of danger is OK?
  • How do you feel about other people deciding what is too dangerous?
Teachers' Background

Visit the Blue Peter fact file for the full Firework Code and other facts about Guy Fawkes and fireworks. Click on the link in the top-right green box.

Injury statistics

  • In 1994-98 three people died and over 6,000 people required hospital treatment as a result of fireworks injuries.
  • There were 831 injuries in 1998 alone, most occurring at private parties;
  • 226 injuries resulted from incidents in the street and other public places.
  • A simple sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000C - 20 times the boiling point of water.
  • A rocket can travel up to 240km (150 miles) per hour. All kinds of fireworks need handling with extreme care.
Firework injuries in 1998:
  • Bangers = 130
  • Rockets = 168
  • Air bomb = 79
  • Roman Candle = 71
  • Sparklers = 129

Curriculum relevance

2f. Recognise and manage risk and make safer choices.

From the National Curriculum guidelines for PSHE at Key Stage 3.

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left-hand side.

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