RUCST deliver event to protect children from the harms of hate
Pupils learned about dangers and harms through interacting with performers and participating in group work. And Miller Bear made a half-time surprise guest appearance for selfies.
Two hundred Year 6 Pupils from Brookfield Academy, Brinsworth Whitehill, Coleridge, Swinton Queen and Wath Central primaries attended a series of workshops at Magna on 9th February. In Magna’s voluminous Big Hall they learned about the dangers of carrying knives and online risks; the impact of bullying and hateful speech; and the threat of radicalisation.
The event, which also provided pupils the opportunity to work alongside pupils from other schools, was introduced by Emma Ellis, the council’s Head of Community Safety, with workshops delivered by Odd Arts, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust and anti-violence campaigner Alison Cope.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Councillor Saghir Alam, said: ‘It was really encouraging to see how avidly the young people got involved, and to hear the insightful questions they put to facilitators. They are a great asset to the town and a credit to their schools.’
Anthony Bayou, RUCST’s Youth & Inclusion Manager, reported that the excitement of the children on the day was as apparent as their eagerness to get involved: ‘It was great to see them working and learning together and their feedback comments show how much they valued and got out of the workshops. A lot of hard work goes in to planning days like these so it’s fantastic when it pays off,’
In her closing remarks, Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People explained: ‘We must be open to the views of others’ and think about them at length, rather than acting in a rush. In doing so, we grow as individuals and learn about ourselves as well as about other people.’
Each pupil who attended was given an exercise book for use back at school. The cover of this was designed by two Swinton Academy students. It is something the children can use in class, which will remind them of the event as well as of the harm that bullying and hurtful speech can cause.
The Harms of Hate event at Magna was a collaboration with Rotherham MBC’s Community Safety Team.