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Posted on May 25th 2021
Metropolitan Police Hold Special PHSE Day for Year 7
Year 7 took part in a special PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) day this week, planned and delivered by the Metropolitan Police Service.
The day looked at some of the most important national and local topical issues and provided lots of information to students about how they can keep themselves safe.
Topics explored included County Lines, terrorism, illegal substances, sexualised behaviours and Stop and Search. See below for more details.
In one session, police constables Michael Wallace (pictured above) and Nsikan Etuk talked about how over 46,000 children across the UK are thought to be involved in County Lines operations – in which children are lured by drug dealers to carry and sell drugs outside of their own area.
PC Etuk told our boys boys about his own experiences of supporting children who had been groomed by being offered things like chicken and chips, money or PlayStation games.
“The dealers seem nice to you and offer things like this but it’s just to lure you in,” he told the boys. “It’s important we get the message to you so you can think smart and not get involved. If you don’t want to get involved and people are pressuring or forcing you and you come to the police we will treat you as the victim and you won’t get into trouble,” he added.
Days like this are useful because in the future you never know what’s going to happen so it’s good to know about these things. Damilare, Year 7
Another session focused on terrorism in the UK, looking at examples of terrorist attacks, the boys’ understanding of extremism, and how to stay safe if you are caught up in an attack.
Speaking about radicalisation, PC Chris Desbrow spoke about what they can do if they see that someone’s behaviour has changed and they don’t know why.
“If someone’s behaviour has changed and they are not like they used to be it’s always a good idea to tell someone like a parent or teacher,” PC Chris Desbrow. “It’s unlikely that it’s because they have been radicalised, but something is going on and it’s good to tell someone so that young person can get support.”
During the session the boys also looked at different scenarios for a terrorist attack and what they could do to keep themselves and others safe.
Early intervention is key
Speaking to us after one of the the sessions, PC Wallace stressed that the key is early intervention. “These things are happening to people younger and younger and we need to reach young people while they are at an age where they are more open to learning,” he said. “The young people are very switched on to what’s happening in the world today so it’s important for us to be real,” he added.
PC Etuk agreed that by the time young people get to 13-14 years old they see the world differently and interact with agencies like the police in a different way. “Year 7 is a good time to reach out to young people because you have a good chance of swaying them away from certain activities,” he said. “We highlight the truths so students have the information when they are making their decisions. We like to get the boys to reflect on some of the content we have presented to them, and you’d be amazed how much they absorb.”
PC Wallace and PC Etuk pictured with some of our students after their session on County Lines.
What students said…
“The sessions were good because they give us tips and suggestions as to what we should do if there is a terrorist attack. It means that if anything happens we know what to do to help people too, like if you’re tempted to do drugs or have anger towards somebody, you can prevent it.” Henry, Year 7
“It gave us good advice because we know what to do to make ourselves safe, and we also learned about drug use so that we can use that information and not do drugs. Days like this are useful because in the future you never know what’s going to happen so it’s good to know about these things, and get advice now so we know what to do when we’re older.” Damilare, Year 7
Here are three winners of the poster competition we did as part of the day. Well done Samuel, Michael and Henry!
Find out more
Here's a little more information about the topics discussed and what was covered.
County Lines & Gangs (Serious Youth Violence
‘County Lines’ is a term being used more frequently when discussing safeguarding in schools. But what does county lines actually mean? How can your child be safeguarded from being exposed to criminal exploitation?
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) or County Lines occurs when an individual or group takes advantage of a child or young person’s vulnerability in order to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive them into taking part in criminal activity. County lines is a type of child criminal exploitation whereby gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children specifically to sell drugs.
These children are often made to travel across counties, and specific mobile phone ‘lines’ are dedicated to this criminal activity. This session provided relevant information and tips to ensure that your child is kept safe.
The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SUBSTANTIAL. This means an attack is likely. Police and security agencies work tirelessly to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.
Students watched a four minute film, Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack, which set out three key steps for keeping safe’. They also learned about the government's key message that that if you are caught up in an incident to 'run, hide and tell' - guidance which can be applied to many places and situations.
Illegal substances (A, B and C) including Edibles
This session helped students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to appreciate the benefits of living healthily, promote responsibility towards the use of drugs and relate these to their own actions and those of others, both now and in their future lives.
It also provided opportunities for people to reflect on their own and others' attitudes to various illegal substances, their use, and the people who use them; along with its crimes and consequences.
Children of secondary school age often spend more time unsupervised, can be greatly influenced by their peer group and have more exposure to social media, the internet and technology. These factors can influence their understanding of what healthy sexual behaviour looks like. Are they aware of the differences between healthy sexual behaviours and those which are of concern? Do they know what to do if a child or young person has experienced sexual harassment and abuse or is displaying sexualised behaviour? This session enabled students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to recognise and report sexualised behaviour concerns.
Online safety/Money Mules/social media
Every school has a dual responsibility when it comes to e-safety: to ensure the school’s online procedures keep children and young people safe, and to teach them about online safety, in and outside of school; Specialist officers from the MPS’ Cyber Crime unit provided students with relevant guidance and safety tips.
Stop and search
As a young person it is sometimes felt that they are disproportionately affected by stop and search. This session aimed to explore their rights and entitlements, help students better understand stop and search and consider how to improve relations between students and the police.