Testimonials

 Feedback from St Matthew's Primary School - February 2017

 

When first told about the ‘gangs workshops,’ some of the children became really excited – perhaps, for the wrong reasons- about how exciting these lessons were going to be. The frank, insightful and honest approach to the sessions quickly changed the atmosphere of the room and children soon became aware of the seriousness of the subject matter. The five day sessions have been a real highlight for children and staff who have continued the discussion across the curriculum for a number of days afterwards. The real life experiences of course leader James really rammed home the dangers and perils of a ‘gang culture’ and lifestyle. “Don’t dip your toe Joe!” has become a catchphrase in our classroom when discussing all forms of anti-social behaviour.

All of the sessions were engaging and brilliantly thought out in terms of message and objective. The strategies they provided will certainly stay with me always as an adult and I am sure this message will resonate with our children for a long time to come as they negotiate life beyond the school gate.

Thank you so much for this invaluable experience.

 

Mr McNally 

 

 

Feedback Sefton Impact Jan 2017

 


Many thanks for the sessions you have recently run at the Dale Acre Site for IMPACT.
I thought your delivery style was absolutely brilliant. 
The pace, energy, sense of humour, content were spot on.  I noticed how well you were able to pick up on the pupil behaviour and their interaction with each other.  It worked well for lots of reasons, here are a few:
- The content was up-to-date and honest
- The pupils really identified with you because they responded to the fact you are speaking from real life experiences and your openness and willingness to share these was respected.
- It brought awareness to what happens to everyone involved and the real life stories showed how easily it can all go horribly wrong.
- You didn't tell them how to behave but you offered them opportunities to think and you planted the seed on what the real consequences could be.
- Your interaction with the pupils was amazing.  You observed everything going on and you shared this with them in a very honest way.
Absolutely brilliant and something every school should participate in.  From an Ofsted point of view it is exactly what they want to see.  Safeguarding our pupils has to be a number one priority.
Thanks so much - you know I learnt so much myself it was a real eye opener!
 

 Feedback from St Nicholas School November 2016

 

From the moment that James entered the room, our Year 6 children were gripped. Through his reassuring manner, he instantly created a bond with the children which allowed them to fully engage and feel safe to contribute and take part in all aspects of the workshop. 
The message was tough to take at times but left them in no doubt that being in a gang is not fun or exciting; it is dangerous and deadly. 
Each day, the children were excited about his arrival and were eager to begin the sessions. The week culminated with a writing session where children were able to share their learning through powerfully emotive letters they wrote to their families about hypothetical situations involving gangs. These letters were touching and sincere and demonstrated that the children had listened carefully and believed James' message. 
As the class go on with their lives, we hope they are now equipped with key strategies for keeping themselves and those around them safe. 
Thank you for your message James. We will always remember Peppa Pig because of you! 
 

 

Feedback from Crosby High School October 2016

 

James delivered his workshops around Gangs in October 2016 over four days. During that time he was able to hold the attention and interest of each pupil who attended and was also quite skilful at targeting individual pupils who needed to be

brought back to task. The content of the sessions was relevant and the language and style of engagement with our pupils positively impacted upon the learning outcomes.

As a school for young people with additional needs we are very aware of the high levels of vulnerability towards crime and gang lifestyle that our pupils face. James was able to speak directly to the pupils who attended and his clever mix of personal experience whilst working for the probation service as well as the real life stories of young people mixed up in gangs made for a powerful and preventative message. 

 

Some of the quotes from our pupils were;

"I didn't know that you could end up dead".

"I would always warn people about getting involved in gangs".

"I know that it's not 'grassing to the police if you know someone's life is in danger"

"We want James to come back and talk to us some more"

 Thank you letter from a pupil who completed the programme in October 2016

 

Dear James,

I would like to thank you for teaching us a lot about gangs. I really enjoyed the programme because it was very interesting and great fun. I especially liked the first session, when we talked about what a gang is and the identity of a gang.

 

First of all, I loved it when you taught us about joint enterprise, who knew that you’ll get put in prison even if you didn’t murder the victim, but you were there? At one point, we were just gazing at you, when all of a sudden… Bang! A picture of victims and the sound effect of a gunshot came onto the screen. I was hooked!

 

I also liked the part when Alfie had to go out of the room , came in , and had to come up with an excuse to get out of a situation where someone might get murdered , I had an excuse too (it’s my mum’s birthday).

 

The only improvement, I’d say, would be to act out more role play because I enjoyed that the most, but apart from that it was an amazing week. Thank you very much.

 

Yours sincerely,

Natasha xxx

 

Feedback from Mr Crawford - Class teacher at Jigsaw Pupil Referral Unit

Thanks so much for coming into Jigsaw this week, the children all enjoyed and learnt a lot from the sessions.
It was great to see the children so engaged in a topic which was clearly relevant to so many of their lives. The sessions were dynamic, and full of useful and important information for the children. They were given the opportunity to display what they had learnt and also learn in an interactive manner. The children were all instantly able to relate to you, and you used your skills as a excellent communicator to reinforce your message.
I am confident the children took on board what they were taught and hope that it will go on to inform their decision making process in the future.


Kind regards
Paul Crawford
Class 3 Teacher Jigsaw PRU
 

 Staff and pupil feedback from King's Meadow Primary School - October 2016

Many thanks for the delivery of your ‘GANGS’ sessions to our Year 6 class last week. It was a pleasure to have you as a guest in school. The children really enjoyed working with you and took a great deal from your sessions. Your passion and determination to ensure young people make positive choices and live safe, happy lives is commendable. On behalf of the children and staff at Kings Meadow I wish you every future success. Thanks again.

 

Mrs Sandie Lineton

Headteacher

 

‘James was amazing. He was aware of the children’s needs and the level of appropriateness. His approach was inclusive and caring – a natural teacher and communicator. His workshops were relevant and are needed in every Year 6 classroom’.

 

Gill Adkins (Year 6 Teacher)

 

Feedback from pupils:

 

‘He told us what would happen if we join a gang. I won’t ever join a gang’. Harry (Year 6 Pupil)

 

‘I don’t think anyone would join a gang after the lessons’. Lewis (Year 6 Pupil)

 

‘James didn’t make it scary – he made it interesting to learn’. (Ryan Year 6 Pupil)

 

‘James cared for people that he didn’t even know’. (Alex Year 6 Pupil)

 

Feedbac from Miss Murtagh Head Teacher - St. Oswald's Church of England Primary School

Thank you for your valuable input. I cannot express how much I appreciate the work you have done with our Year 6 class on the Gangs Prevention programme . 

 

There are some children who have family members already in prison or with criminal records. There are also some who have already found themselves in the situations that you shared with them. The work you have done with them has really made them think. They have all thought about the consequences of their actions and the choices they may make in future.

 

The boys I was gravely concerned about, have discussed some of the situations they have been in previously and how they would now do things differently in future. 

Feedback from Emma Hughes Year 6 Teacher - Springwell Park Primary School 

On behalf of Year 6 at Springwell Park Primary School I'd like to thank you for the gang prevention programme you ran last week. The children looked forward to each afternoon and were enthralled from the start to finish of each session. For such a sensitive and important topic it was brilliant to see the class so engaged. The effect gang life can have on innocent victims was a standout discussion. 

 

It is vitally important for the class to take the message on board and, up to now, it seems like they have. Your content and delivery got through to them and Aron in particular was over the moon with his prize. He couldn't wait to show it off to his mum at the gate after school on Thursday.

 

You have made a big impact on our class and were able to communicate with them on a personal level, rather than as an authority figure. I have also received positive comments from parents who had discussed the Gang programme with their child and could see the learning that had taken place.

 

The children in our school, who are around gang culture and street violence on a regular basis, will benefit massively from any future projects and we would love to be involved. I'm hopeful the class understand the danger of even just sampling the gang culture and look to avoid it as they grow up.  Thanks again.

Feedback from Claire Parker Teacher - Our Lady, Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School

Your GANGS sessions have been great with some excellent, valuable and crucial learning points for the children. I truly believe that your work has hit home with our year 5 boys and girls and that they have learnt and taken away some interesting information about gangs and the consequences of getting involved in that type of lifestyle. Your passion for what you are doing is clear to see and your approach to and with the children has been awesome. They have been focussed and interested in what you have had to say and loved taking part in the sessions. 

On a personal note, I have also learnt some things and had my eyes opened in more detail to this lifestyle and the consequences it can have. It has been a pleasure having you in our school and we really hope to see you again soon. Thank you James. 

Feedback from Miss Butler Teacher - Our Lady, Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School

‘Get Away N Get Safe’ GANGS Programme has been a valuable experience for both myself and my class. 

The children who I hoped the message would reach have learnt a lot and I have watched their perceptions change. I hope this stays with them into their teens and adulthood.

I find it very rare to watch a visitor engage my class as they can often go off task or their behaviour can sometimes become an issue and I have to intervene. This week however, you have grabbed their attention and their enthusiasm has been great to watch. GANGS is a course I feel all vulnerable (to gang culture) children should experience.

Feedback from the pupils of Our Lady, Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School

We wanted the children to give you their thoughts on the GANGS Prevention Programme so here they are…

 

‘James explains things to us and puts it in a good way’.

‘James has been learning us about gangs and it’s been dead good’.

‘James has helped us this week’.

‘It’s been about serious stuff but James has made it fun’.

‘It’s been easy to learn about Gangs with James’.

‘It’s been awesome, James made the lessons fun’.

‘The videos were serious but were useful’.

‘The lessons were really fun. Not just boys are in gangs, girls are too’.

‘It was fun, scary sometimes but real’.

‘I didn’t like the gory stuff’.

‘If you didn’t get something, James explained it’.

‘I wanted more gore’.

‘Can James come back next week/ again’?

 

When we asked the children for a show of thumbs to your sessions, the whole class gave you their thumbs up and they/we have loved you being here with us. 

Feedback from Charlotte Barton Head Teacher - Progress Schools Limited

We want to thank you again for spending the week with us. It has been an enlightening time for many students and has allowed us to continue to change the way they see certain behaviours and actions.

 

Look forward to having you back next year for the next cohort.

 

Keep up the good work!

Feedback from The Staff - Progress Schools Limited

Thank you for coming in James and giving our students a lot more information on gangs, including how to avoid getting involved, what joint enterprise is and how someone may be involved in it without realising, and giving them an insight on how victims and their families can be affected by gangs.

 

You have also allowed them to realise the consequences of being involved in that type of lifestyle and diminished any presumptions they had prior regarding gangs being a desired path to join. You have kept them engaged with your own knowledge and stories of various cases and also have allowed them to see the demise of some high status gang members which has allowed them to change their outlook on the subject. This is a brilliant project and the GANGS Programme uses different types of media and stories with various points of views to keep the students engaged and listening. 

 

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The GANGS (Get Away 'N' Get Safe) Gang Prevention Programme is owned and run by RJ Lifeskills Ltd.