Whitworth Park School- 3rd/4th/5th July 2017
Whitworth Park School in Spennymoor, County Durham welcomed the PMNW team for the very first time thanks to the generous support of Spennymoor Area Action Partnership whose sponsorship allowed three consecutive days of events covering Years 7, 8 and 9.
Thanks to the support and planning of the assistant head teacher Mr Stan Bedwell every aspect was addressed to ensure three well-run days.
Following the launch in the Main Hall each day there were 180 excited and apprehensive students filing out to their first workshops wondering what was to come.
This is what they experienced:-
1). Prison Life – a typical day in prison from reception to ‘lights out’ plus a visit to the mobile cell;
2). Street Scene – the meaning and consequences of anti-social behaviour were discussed followed by a role-play of the issues raised;
3). Choices and Consequences – a Q. & A. session involving either former male prisoners or serving female prisoners, or both;
4). Magistrates – the role of the courts and how decisions are debated and reached;
5). Hate Crime – a presentation on this very relevant topic which allowed students to ‘air their views’ and possibly challenge their perceptions;
6). Out of Control – discussions surrounding the true life story of a teenage boy who through peer-pressure and the need to feel part of a group ignored the advice of his mother – with tragic consequences;
7). Split Second – a presentation which only served to endorse how a moment of thoughtlessness can have tragic and far-reaching consequences for the perpetrator, the victim and their respective families.
Each day was concluded with a re-cap of what the students had learned and then prizes were presented to those students who had shown a high degree of interest and participation throughout the day.
Mr. Bedwell on behalf of the school gave this endorsement of the three days:
Having spoken to the head and pastoral leaders, I think this reflects our thoughts on the PMNW experience:
Year 7, 8 and 9 students at Whitworth Park School participated in PMNW over 3 days in July 2017. Not only did students find the various workshops stimulating, thought provoking and entertaining, but the experience helped us to fulfil a number of key objectives in terms of our PSHCE programme, such as teaching British values and raising awareness about what it means to respect for the rule of law. We were also able to improve students’ understanding of key aspects of the criminal justice system – what a magistrate does, what ‘probation’ means, what ‘swearing under oath’ is, for example.
Feedback from students and parents has been extremely positive, the general consensus of opinion being that the programme contains a number of key messages for life that children need to grasp. It was significant that by the second day, members of staff who had not been otherwise involved were keen to attend the sessions, as were office staff, cleaners and caretakers!
I have no hesitation in recommending PMNW to other schools as an excellent method of raising awareness of crime and safety amongst young people.
PCSO Hannah Lowes also commented:
I absolutely loved being a part of the three days (Even though I was just there in the background) the kids who saw me have a completely different attitude when they see me now which is such a nice feeling after the ongoing abuse we have had the last year. If you are ever back up here let me know as I loved being a part of something so positive for the youths, I wish I could do more stuff like that! Fingers crossed the three days have had an impact so that our school holidays are a little quieter as last year was rather busy!
If you could thank everyone for making me feel welcome and tell them that they were amazing. I have followed you guys on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the stuff you all do. Stay in touch!
Thanks to the full support of the school including the reception, IT, catering and site staff we were all highly impressed with our hosts.
Finally, thanks to the following for facilitating the workshops:
Magistrates: Olga Bainbridge, Jill Richardson and Lorraine Overton; Police (Hate Crime): PCSO Mark Lumsden; Prison Life: Sean Byrne, Dennis Williams and Dave Witt; Street Scene: Graham Chapman, Ian Revell and Larry Peacock; Choices & Consequences: Dave Bainbridge and Anthony Powell; Out of Control: Larry Peacock and Dave Witt; Split Second: Malcolm Parkes.
After three highly successful and rewarding days for the PMNW team and their partner agencies we now look forward to returning in September to address the Year 11 students which again is thanks to the support of the Spennymoor Area Action Partnership.
Phil Wilson – Crime Day Lead and Director of Community Liaison.