MANY teenagers dream of getting behind the wheels of a car for the first time when they turn 17.
But pupils at Royds Hall High School have been enjoying that experience a couple of years early.
A group of 15 Year 10 and 11 students were selected to take part in the special three-hour driving lesson.
The taster session covered all aspects of driving and road safety, including proper steering, braking effectively and avoiding potentially dangerous distractions like using a phone and texting.
The students were chosen to take part as a reward for excellent attendance and school contributions.
Instructors from the Learner Driver Training Centre at Moldgreen led yesterday’s practical session from the safety of the Paddock school’s car park.
Linda Wilson, the school’s pastoral manager, said: “The company approached us to do it and we felt it was a really great opportunity for the students.
“They were really excited about getting behind the wheel – at first they didn’t believe that it was going to be a proper car.
“It was about recognising and rewarding their commitment to the school as well as giving them a taster of what to expect when they are old enough to drive.
“While driving a car is important, they also need to treat it with respect and understand that a car can be a dangerous object.
“I think learning about driving early on is something we need to look at nationally. We will definitely be looking at running these sessions again.”
Talha Razzaq, 14, said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
He said: “It was excellent, definitely one of the best rewards we’ve had at school.
“For me driving is something I’m really interested in and I’m waiting to get to 17 so it was great to have a go now.
“The best part was when we had to put on special goggles to feel like we were drunk and had music blasted in car because it made us think about some of the consequences of these while we were driving.
“It’s definitely a good idea because it shows us what to expect in the future and teaches us to be a bit more cautious.
Alex Brown, 15, said: “It was amazing. A few of us were worried about crashing but we were really good in the end with going round the cones.
“It was good fun and something lots of people our age could do”.