Personal Safety Programmes for Primary and Secondary Schools
Burford Secondary School and the Ambassador Programme
What is the Ambassador Programme?
The Ambassador Programme has been designed by StreetWise365 and was piloted at Burford Secondary School in Oxfordshire.
The programme empowers teachers to work proactively and positively with hard-to-reach students within their School setting. The Burford students were educated through the latest and most up-to-date personal safety information, and as we know personal safety is an area of high interest to young people as they mature.
From their newly acquired knowledge, the Ambassadors created a personal safety workshop for younger children. This Workshop was initially delivered to younger students at the Secondary School, and then a series of workshops were delivered to the local feeder Primary Schools.
For once the students were recognised for their positive contribution that they were making both in School and in their communities.
Who was the Programme Aimed at?
Burford targeted a group of 16 Year 9 boys. These boys were showing a wide range of disengagement. From low levels of disruption to a number of students who were close to permanent exclusion. Of the 16 students who started out on the programme, 12 students completed it.
Aims of the Programme
The Burford teachers highlighted the following aims for the programme:
Student personal growth in a subject area of high interest.
Acquisition and development of coaching and delivery skills.
Greater positive identity and sense of belonging for the students.
The benefits to the wider community, the Secondary School and the local Primary Schools.
Positive engagement with parents of the students delivering the programme, which will help & support School/Parent relationships.
To give the School a resource to engage the harder to reach students.
Programme Setup and Student learning
After the introductory talk each student took part in an interview. In this interview, they were asked two questions.
1. What did you like about the Streetwise presentation?
2. What do you think you can offer the programme?
The programme was presented as being exclusive and to those who actively wanted to contribute in a positive manner.
A number of students did not get passed the interview stage or decided the programme wasn’t for them.
Once the group was established the students and teachers put together a ‘code of conduct’ contract that was signed by all parties.
The first task for the group was to design their Streetwise365 Ambassador T-shirts. This allowed the students to have a vested interest in the project.
As well as designing the T-shirts the group had to raise the funds to pay for them. This was achieved through a group letter written to their Head Teacher, Mrs. K Haig.
The initial sessions were classroom-based and the Ambassadors covered such areas as:
Defining personal safety.
Detection of danger.
The students were taught the latest physical skills that would allow them to move to safety in a physical altercation. These are the same skills used by the police and military around the world.
Whilst learning this new skill set, the students were challenged to adapt these skills to fit the workshop that they are about to create for the younger students.
The Primary Workshop
As a group, the Burford Ambassador students put together a personal safety workshop for primary aged children. The students decided on the scenario of being approached by a stranger whilst playing in the park.
The Year 5/6 students were taught to detect danger, defuse it, and when appropriate to take physical actions that moved them to safety.
The Ambassador’s visited the Primary Schools that they had attended when younger. The head teachers (who remembered the children well) were overjoyed to see them as young leaders able to deliver a workshop independently.
5 Schools were visited and over 150 students made safer.
The Ambassadors in Action
This video will give you an overview of what the Ambassador’s achieved.
This next video demonstrates some of the skills and attributes that the Ambassadors developed during the programme.
This event was an important conclusion to the Ambassador Programme. With the Ambassador’s present, we gave a short presentation of the programme to Teachers, SMT and Governors.
The presentation explained the programme and the 10-month journey undertaken by the students. The students explained the challenges that they faced and how they overcame these.
Those attending saw photos and videos of the Ambassador’s in action. To conclude the presentation the headteacher Kathy Haig presented the Ambassador’s with certificates of completion and their Streetwise365 T-shirts.
After the presentation the Ambassadors were treated to a special lunch in a private dining room at the School.
There were many challenges on the 10-month journey. To name a few:
- 16 disengaged students in the same working space.
- Low, self-esteem which initiated ego driven behaviour.
- Issues around teamwork and co-operation in the group.
On the number of occasions, the group had to be reminded of the contract that they have signed. The ego section was visited more than once and warnings were issued to individuals who consistently stepped out of line.
3 of the students were taken off the course as their behaviour was affecting the learning of others. One young person left of his own accord deciding that the programme was not for him.
That left 12 Ambassadors, who were able to work in a cohesive and co-operative manner.
The programme had a profound and positive impact in a number of areas:
1. It improved the Ambassador’s self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience. They learnt coaching and delivery skills and how to interact appropriately with others. They worked as a team and produced a project that made other young people safer.
2. Behaviour improved both in class and around the school.
3. Trust was built between the students and the staff. Together they were creating a programme that was having beneficial effects on others.
In conclusion: For the first time, many of these students were interacting with authority in a positive way. They were being part of the solution, rather than the problem.
Here are 3 testimonials for those who took part in the programme:
Students to date!
To date 3691 students have experienced the Streetwise365 Programme and Workshops.
Our aim for this year is to empower 10,000 students to be safe.
If you would like to find out how Streetwise365 can help your students contact us today.