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Braith and WaitChildren in Keighley will be safer this summer thanks to the work of Year 4 pupils at Merlin Top Academy.

As part of the work being carried out during the Children’s Year of Safety, staff from Merlin Top approached local artist Sian Hodson to work creatively with children to come up with some ideas on how to get safety messages across to their peers.

Sian Hodson said: “When I was asked to work creatively with year 4 children from Merlin Top on the year of safety, my first thought was to animation. I recalled the ‘Charlie says’ safety animations I watched on television as a child and the idea of a character called Braith was formed as the school is in Braithwaite.

We ran a competition where every child at Merlin Top drew their own Braith, and a winner was chosen with help of the School Council. The only problem was we had two close contenders, so we now have Braith, a cute little Penguin and Waite, a triangular safety cone. From the drawings the characters were made by needle felt.”

Five films were produced; Crossing the roadPlaying out safely, Home safety, Online safety, and Staying safe in the sun

The safety films will be launched, along with a series of posters just before the children break up for summer so that the children remember to 'Stay safe with Braith' . They will be uploaded to their youtube channel so that parents and others can watch them.

Headteacher Lesley Heathcote said: “Our children have worked really hard to develop the two characters Braith and Waite and come up with the storylines for each film. We are all really proud of their efforts.”

Cllr Adrian Farley, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families said: “I would like to congratulate all the Year 4 pupils involved in creating the brilliant animations. They will definitely help spread the safety messages that children and their parents need to be aware of, so that all our children are safe and free from harm at home, school or in our communities.”

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