The North East Education team has been working with Burnside College this academic year. Read on to find out about our activities.
Joanne Keeligan, PSHE Co-ordinator at Burnside Business and Enterprise College, reports on the range of anti-racism activities her school has taken part in thanks to Show Racism the Red Card.
After attending a course hosted by Show Racism the Red Card, I was delighted to be asked to take a group of students to the Langdale Centre as part of 'Me and My World' Week. We took a group of around 20 targeted students to work with the facilitators. The students were challenged, asked questions, given time to think and were provided with a comfortable, non-threatening environment in which to share their views and ideas. From this, it became apparent that we had a few students who could benefit from some more targeted work with a smaller group and thought about who could facilitate this.
Following on from the positive work I had seen done with our young people and from the course I had attended, I asked SRtRC if they could come in and work with our staff. I planned a training day with a PSHE focus and SRtRC facilitated a group session. This involved challenging our school procedures, giving advice on how to report racist incidents and indeed clarifying what would constitute a racist incident. The feedback from staff was excellent and the session was highlighted as being needed on a whole school basis.
The targeted work began with a school group of year 7 & 8 students as mentioned above. The group did not once feel picked on or singled out and again, were given a non-threatening environment in which to speak. [Education Workers] Laura and Lizz were very good at adapting their planned work to best suit the young people. The only way in which the targetted work can be measured is by looking to see if any further racist incidents were reported involving these students... as of yet there have been none reported and hopefully there will not be any in the future.
SRtRC were invited to participate in one of our curriculum enrichment days and were very accomodating in managing to set up a timetable meaning they were able to work with every single year 8 student present that day. Our students took part in a range of different activities which allowed them to think about and share their own views on racism. The final assembly showed how much they had taken on board throughout the day - wer were all impressed by their comment, answers and questions to the panel at the end.
The targeted year 7 & 8 students were taken to St James's Park, Newcastle, where they gladly volunteered to help out at the Show Racism the Red Card Awards Ceremony. They enjoyed working as part of the organisation and for some of them it was an opportunity to really shine. I saw some of the group put themselves forward in situations they would normally shy away from and they really flourished.
I work with a lot of outside agencies in my role as PSHE Coordinator and I know that their work can be invaluable. In the case of SRtRC, they have not only formed a fantastic relationship with our young people, they also impressed the staff with their knowledge and expertise. There are many teachers who really do not like having to tackle topics of this delicate nature with the young people and SRtRC have helped us all in one way or another through the work they have done. Other members of staff have arranged further sesssions either with our older students or with our younger members of staff and again, all feedback is positive. There are many organisations that I would only use for a specific purpose or with certain people however with SRtRC I am always confident that they will deliver sessions to suit our needs and withour any personal agenda. I look forward to seeing what work we can do with each other in future!