Year 8 learn that prison is not for them

On Tuesday 30th October, the team from the No Way Trust delivered Prison Me No Way for the third consecutive year as part of our commitment to high quality citizenship education. In total, 22 visitors led the day. Year 8 participated in the workshops with the intention to inform and educate pupils on the importance of making good life choices.

Pupils were highly engaged and prizes were given at the end of the day for those who demonstrated a keen interest. It was obvious that pupils enjoyed the day and have taken some life lessons with them. Our feedback is always overwhelmingly positive and the value of this day cannot be overstated.

To support pupils’ pastoral needs, their Form Tutors spent the day with them following an alternative timetable. Below is an outline of the workshops:

The Street Scene:

The back of the hall was transformed into a street with a shop. Ex-prison officers from the No Way Trust used role play and humour to guide pupils through everyday decisions and behaviour in public and challenged pupils to consider the impact that their behaviour might have on others. This included exploring anti-social behaviour and enabling pupils to consider how sometimes, unintentionally, their behaviour in public might have negative consequences on others and lead them into trouble with the law.

Prison:

This workshop was also delivered by former prison officers. They describe what life is like in prison, the purposes of prison and took questions from pupils. The most memorable part of this workshop was to visit the prison cell, constructed inside a box van and containing real prison furniture. Pupils are often surprised by the lack of space, privacy and dignity. Pupils also considered the importance of freedom, family and friends and how these are impacted by being sent to prison.

Choices and Consequences:

Pupils listened to the account of one of our visitors who is now a youth worker. His story is shocking as he describes the choices he made as a young person (from the same age as our pupils), his life of crime and how he ended up making more wrong choices culminating in his imprisonment. The real account is hard hitting but full of hope. The message is that wrong choices can often lead to more wrong choices and this can have disastrous consequences, not just for the individual but for their family and friends.

Respect:

This workshop dealt with some very sensitive issues related to respecting others but also challenging the idea that anything can be tolerated. This workshop was a challenging talk with reference to the law on issues related to extremism, hate crime and culture-related crimes.

Rail Safety:

This workshop was delivered by the Land Sheriffs (on behalf of Network Rail and Abellio Greater Anglia train operating company) and the British Transport Police. It included some hard-hitting messages about the dangers of trespassing on the railway and the importance of appropriate behaviour when using trains. It also dealt with safety when using level crossings. Pupils were also shown the enforcement van that is used to catch people trespassing or driving through level crossings when the warning lights are showing.

Red Cross

This workshop covered emergency first-aid skills including how to deal with a medical emergency when a person appears to be unconscious. The Red Cross facilitators attended with resuscitation mannequins to help demonstrate and to allow pupils to apply their knowledge and skills for themselves. Pupils learnt about CPR, choking and putting the patient into the recovery position.

We are grateful to parents for supporting this intensive and thought-provoking day.