Consett Academy, County Durham Crime Day
The PMNW team travelled to Consett Academy, County Durham to deliver their sixth Crime and Safety Awareness Day thanks to the continued efforts of Mrs Allan who has supported us since the very first event.
The Year 9 students began in the Main Hall for the launch and then embarked upon a carousel of workshops which comprised of:
1). Prison Life – a typical day in prison from reception to ‘lights out’ plus a visit to the mobile cell which collectively helped to allay any myths or misconceptions the students may previously have held;
Teacher comment: “A real feel of prison life. Made students think of long term consequences of their actions. Very valuable”.
2). Street Scene – the meaning and consequences of anti-social behaviour were discussed followed by a role-play of the issues raised which resulted in crimes being committed;
Teacher comment: ” Excellent workshop. Getting an important message across in a brilliant + amusing way. Thoroughly enjoyable”
3). Choices and Consequences – a Q. & A. session led by a Prison Officer but also involving 3 serving female prisoners from HMP Askham Grange, openly discussing how it had affected their lives;
Teacher comment: “A really moving session that showed what a real experience of prison could be like. A genuine insight that the students were hooked by. Great presenters”.
4). Magistrates – the role of the courts and how decisions are debated and reached, some students taking a leading role as Magistrates, prosecution, defence, witnesses etc;
Teacher comment: “Well planned & prepared. Students got involved from the outset & participated well throughout. Good to see confident students participating in role play”.
5). Northern Power Grid – demonstrations/visuals of the making of electricity and its journey to our homes followed by the dangers associated with the misuse of electricity in all its forms;
Teacher Comment: “Excellent. Bob really likeable. Interesting and good enough to keep the kids interested and engaged. Great videos and visual props”.
6). Weapons Awareness – a workshop centred on gun, knife and violent crime and the consequences of actions surrounding knives and anti-social behaviour.
Teacher Comment: “Great visual props/resources. Engaging stories and good use of humour. Drinking game was great – really clear point and students enjoyed it”.
7). Alcoholics Anonymous – The personal story of an ex-alcoholic who had volunteered to come and share his story of despair, worry and alcoholism. A story normally told through the media, but having a grown man in the presence of the students brought the message home.
Teacher Comment: “Great, very open and brave session with students. Hopefully an eye opener for students what the consequences can be and what is available to help”.
8). 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.
Teacher comment – “Pupils clearly engaged the session and found it informative + interesting. The tasks were levelled for this year group perfectly and all pupils were encouraged to take an active part in the lesson”.
Without fail every teacher involved was very complimentary of the day and Mr Elsender, Year 9 Achievement Leader, said it was the best ‘Inspire Day’ he had ever been involved in. The Head of Year 9, Mrs Parker said “I would just like to thank everyone for an amazing day. I feel all pupils gained something today that will hopefully make them think twice about their actions. Personally I was moved by the honesty and open way that the three ladies told their stories. What an impact! Well done again for spending the day with us and spreading your knowledge to my year group. Brilliant !”
Furthermore Mrs Nelson, one of the Year 9 tutors, took the time to e-mail me with the following:
“I felt compelled to write to you regarding yesterday’s amazing workshops, which engrossed our Year 9 pupils.
It is often very difficult to include interesting life-skills work within the timetable but you, together with your professional team, sustained the interest of all of our pupils for several hours. Each time we changed workshop, I secretly thought that what was to come could not be as good as the previous presentation. I was wrong! There was no weak link: pupils were engaged whether it was by boisterous involvement in the ‘Street Scene’ or simply demonstrating their empathy and understanding by the questions they asked in the AA workshop.
Your staff continued to stimulate and enthuse by using a variety of different approaches and techniques. The diversity of topics, coupled with each very individual presentation, effectively conveyed messages that are essential for our pupils to learn. The inclusion of the three ladies who joined us in ‘Choices and Consequences’ was emotive but also an inspired approach to that particular workshop
Thank you so much for an inspirational day. My form class loved every minute and, I am sure, learned several valuable lessons from their day.
Many thanks once again to Mrs Allan for her attention to detail throughout the planning process which resulted in the event running smoothly. Also to the teachers and reception, IT, catering and site staff for their contribution to another successful day.
Thanks to the following personnel for facilitating the workshops:
Prison Life: Dave Bainbridge, Dave Witt and Gerry Corns; Street Scene: Ollie Woods and Kath Longstaff; Choices & Consequences: Graham Holgate and the ladies from HMP Askham Grange; Magistrates: Olga Bainbridge and Jill Richardson; Northern Power Grid: Bob Knox; Weapons Awareness: PCSO Adrian Richards; Alcoholics Anonymous: Gareth; Split Second: Gerry Corns.
Finally to the students in Year 9 who were a credit to themselves as well as the Academy. They were eager to learn and showed commitment, enthusiasm and respect to achieve their goal.
Many thanks to our partner agencies who, along with the PMNW team, displayed their usual commitment, dedication and professionalism to provide another excellent learning experience.
Phil Wilson – Crime Day Lead and Director of Community Liaison.