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Students learn ‘the truth’ about staying safe

STUDENTS have been considering the bitter truth in an initiative designed to help stay safe and flourish in the modern world.

Experts in the fields of sexual health, cyber safety and drug, alcohol and substance abuse spent the day working with Year 9 students at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham.

truth1The Truth Is roadshow aims to reduce risks as young people are exposed to the complexities and possible pitfalls of modern life.

After watching a special video the students were divided into three groups to take part in a carousel of workshops covering teenage pregnancy, contraception and sexual health, internet safety and substances awareness.

The advice sessions were delivered by Middlesbrough Council’s Teenage Pregnancy Unit counsellor Ralph Jordinson, Platform young people’s drug and alcohol worker Michael White and Linx Project youth worker John Burns.

The legal and physical dangers of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, legal highs and other substances were outlined as part of the first workshop.

The second addressed sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies while the last looked at cyber safety including social media, personal security settings and the potential for strangers to use fake profiles to groom victims.

Ralph said:

Young people live in an increasingly complex world driven by rapid developments in technology where it is easy to fall foul of the dangers.

“I was impressed with the students’ knowledge of the potential pitfalls and hopefully the day will reinforce the need to take care.”

Pastoral head at The King’s Academy Jackie Hurst added:

It is important to raise awareness of these issues and to talk about them. Young people can be exposed to them more easily than adults often realise, so we need to ensure students are made aware of the dangers and possible consequences.”

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Careers Fair 2015

Students were helped to understand the importance of the link between classroom and career at an event at a Middlesbrough school.

The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, combined parents’ evening with its annual careers fair supported by 39 employers, training organisations, colleges and universities.

careers 2After speaking to teachers in the main hall, students from Years 9-13 were able to talk to exhibitors and take away information to help them plan their future after school.

Those already in the academy sixth form were keen to find out about under-graduate courses from advisors from all the region’s universities, while others were interested in vocational courses at further education colleges and post-16 training opportunities.

The armed forces and companies offering apprenticeships were also represented.

Jackie Hurst, the academy’s head of careers and work experience, said:

We have a very successful sixth form, but unlike many other schools with sixth forms we are pleased to welcome colleges offering post-16 study in order to show our students the range of options in an impartial way.

“While many of our students study A levels and go on to university, it’s not for everyone. We have the full range of ability, talents and interests among our students, and we aim to help every one make the right choice for them as an individual.”

careers 1Every student in Year 11 is offered a one-to-one discussion with the 0-19 careers advisory service, as well as time with staff in the academy.

Penny Laverick, multi professional careers support officer for the NHS in the North East, who was attending for the first time, said:

There are over 350 different careers within the NHS from accountancy to graphic design, plumbing apprenticeships to the more obvious clinical roles, and it’s that range that we try to promote.

“The King’s students asked very intelligent questions in conjunction with talking to the universities about relevant courses. They’re starting to connect the school curriculum with career pathways.”

Lisa Smith, of Shape Training, said her organisation helped remove any barriers to learning and managed work placements to help young people get ready for the world of work, while the army discussed the range of opportunities following training at its college in Harrogate.

King’s Academy sixth former Sophie O’Rourke, 16, said:

I’m thinking about doing nursing at Northumbria University because it seems to have very good facilities and now I’ve found about the grades I need to get.

“It’s interesting talking to people from the other universities too though to find out more about them.”