PST 6 Phase 1 Signals and Pedestrian Crossings
The DSA classify your learner as a part trained for this pst.
Always keep in mind that this pst has two distinct elements, signals and pedestrian crossings. Many trainees go on for so long about signals that they run out of time to adequately cover pedestrian crossings. The SE would give you a poor mark for control of the lesson in this instance.
It's sensible to quickly deal with signals first, so that you can then introduce their use in relation to pedestrian crossings. By this, I mean not using hand signals or the horn to get pedestrians to cross!
After the initial formalities, you'll get into the passenger seat and the SE into the drivers seat. You'll stay there for the next hour.
Let's think, as always, where our learner is 'at' in their training . . .
Don't forget the 'empty box' syndrome. Although this is a phase 1 lesson, your learner will without any doubt have used a pedestrian crossing to some degree previously. They will have either driven over one on a lesson, walked over one as a pedestrian, or may have ridden a pedal cycle or moped over one. So, you can use any previous skills and knowledge to build on in this lesson.
Similarly with signals. The learner will have used signals as part of the ms-psl routine, so you'll just need to teach them the areas they are unsure of. Again, ask!
You'll usually brief the SE wherever you parked your car at the test centre.
Use the briefing to set the aims and objectives for the lesson. State the objectives positively, as it helps you to remember what the lesson actually is, and the learner knows exactly what to expect.
Once in the car, you'll brief the SE on use of the signals. This should be more of a question and answer session though. Remember 'empty boxes'?
After your initial couple of minutes or so on signals, you'll brief the SE pedestrian crossings.
Aim for a briefing of around 6 to 8 minutes maximum. If the briefing goes on a bit, the SE will more than likely prompt you to get on with it. Take the prompt!
The Marking Sheet
The areas shown on the left side of the marking sheet are those directly relevant to this pst. Please be warned . . .
You need to have an excellent knowledge of the pst relevant knowledge areas, but you will not get a green card based on an in depth knowledge of these areas. That is NOT the main part of what you are being tested on. You are being tested on your skills as an instructor, the areas on the right side of the form - the Core competencies and Instructional Techniques.
For this pst, the relevant areas are:
- briefing on pedestrian crossings / signals
- mirror, signal, manoeuvre
- speed on approach
- stop when necessary
- overtake on approach
- inviting pedestrians to cross
- signals by indicator
- signals by arm
- signals - timing
- unnecessary signals
You will need to try to cover these areas in the briefing or on the move, but don't get hung up if any particular skill isn't mentioned or tested. If it doesn't arise, the SE will strike a line straight through it and ignore it for the purposes of assessing your performance.
The simple fact is that these are the basic 'common sense' areas that you'd cover with a learner on a lesson anyway, so they should present you with no great challenge.
Remember, the highest mark you can get for the pas relevant areas, on the left side of the sheet, is 'satisfactory'. Not 'good' or 'excellent', but 'satisfactory'.
Never forget, safety overrides instruction. Never let your learner do anything dangerous, such as emerge from a junction without taking effective observations, or perform any manoeuvre in a dangerous area.
When you finish the briefing, you'll get the SE to move off
Think about your level of instruction . . . the SE will have some knowledge of this pst subject, but may never have been formally taught the correct procedures, so you'll need to teach actively to start with. Look back at the sub skills pages of the site to check your understanding and knowledge.
You'll be giving a full talk through, but only in the skills of this subject. For instance, don't teach the SE to move off unless you have to. The idea of learning to drive is that the learner can do it all for themselves when they pass the test. They'll never get there if you spoon feed them what they should already know.
Contrary to many trainers views, you can over instruct at phase 1. You should try to get the SE to negotiate pedestrian crossings and use good signals for themselves by the end of the lesson. After all, that's the objective!
Remember what the lesson subject is and don't change it into a different lesson. You would receive a poor mark for control of the lesson if you allow this to happen.
You will use the core competencies throughout the entire lesson.
Have no fears about 'nit picking' - if you see a fault, identify it and sort it. Remember, bad habits become very strong habits if left to grow. This does not mean, under any circumstances, that you pull the learner over every hundred yards to have 'a go' at them. You can deal with almost all phase 1 faults on the move, using good communication skills and by exercising your control over the lesson and the learner.
If you anticipate a fault, deal with it before the SE makes it. Please ignore the nonsense so widely talked about that the SE will mark you badly for the Core Competencies, unless you allow them to make the errors for you to deal with. Would you do that with a real learner? NO! So don't do it with the SE. Remember, part 3 is a lesson. Simple as that. Much better to fix it when you suspect it's about to happen, rather than to wait for it to happen. To do so could be dangerous, unprofessional and simply downright bad instruction.
Depending on the route the SE takes you, you'll have the chance to negotiate several pedestrian crossings during the main part of the lesson. By the end of it, your learner should be doing much of the work for themselves, with you prompting them.
Typical SE Errors
It really is impossible to define a list of the errors the SE will make, but think about the skill level of the learner that the SE will be role playing. The errors will be very similar to a learner at that level. You need to remain flexible in your approach and deal with errors in the way that you think best.
Again, it's impossible to prepare a 'script' or strict lesson plan, because the SE can take you down any 'route' he or she wishes, to test your instructional skills.
Typical errors would include
- poor use of signals in all situations - incorrectly timed or misleading signals
- errors in ms-psl on approach to pedestrian crossings
- incorrect use of hand signals - poking an arm out of the window with traffic approaching! stop this before it happens
- errors in ms-psl - out of sequence, mirror checks missed - especially when approaching a crossing
- waving or signaling to pedestrians to cross
- revving the engine whilst waiting for pelican lights to change
- failing to take any observations on approach to a crossing
- failing to anticipate the behaviour of pedestrians at crossings
- incorrect use of speed on approach
- failing to see the crossing at all
- using the wrong signal - left or right
- signaling to pass parked cars when unnecessary
- the list goes on and on . . .
Phase 1 errors tend to be procedural errors and co-ordination errors. In other words, typical learner errors in using ms-psl correctly or in road positioning, and also in the physical co-ordination of the controls of the car to achieve the lesson objectives.
At the end of phase 1, the SE will tell you that the lesson has ended. They will then make some notes on your performance whilst you take a look at your notes for the next lesson. Then, before you know it, it's straight on to phase 2 . . .