Swindon school's leading role in making streets safer

By Barrie Hudson - 28 February 2023

  • Three of the Year 10 pupils who worked on the Safer Streets project - from left: Eva Subba, Uzziel Mendonca and Morgan Clift

    Three of the Year 10 pupils who worked on the Safer Streets project - from left: Eva Subba, Uzziel Mendonca and Morgan Clift

Lawn Manor Academy pupils were invited to the premiere of an important film-based teaching tool developed to make Swindon a safer place.

As part of the wider campaign of Safer Streets, Lawn Manor Academy was selected by Prime Theatre, in conjunction with Create Studios and Swindon Borough Council, to create a series of films available to all schools across Swindon which address some of the challenges young people face.

As part of their research in developing the films, Prime Theatre came into the school and conducted a series of discussion and drama workshops to get an in-depth insight into what it’s like to be a young person in Swindon.  

They worked with a class to delve into their worries and concerns especially when they’re out on the streets and going about their daily lives.

The thoughts and experiences of the students have now been turned into three short films, which were premiered to the young people at Lawn Manor Academy.  The films cover issues including unwanted attention on the street and bullying through social media.

Sally Owens, Head of Drama at Lawn Manor Academy, said: “When Prime Theatre contacted us and explained what they wanted to do, we were really keen to be part of it.  

"During the workshops, the students were very honest about their concerns and the dangers they face on the streets within the community.  They were really passionate about it.  

“This was the first time they have seen the finished films and used the resource and they thought it was very engaging and relevant to their lives.   

"Overall, it’s an excellent tool to helping young people to identify issues within a situation and equip them with the tools and confidence to tackle and challenge what they experience.”

Year 10 pupil Uzziel said: “I felt the Safer Streets project was very informative and it enables young people to reconsider the impact of their or others’ actions. It also highlights what is harassment, which many young people today would just accept as the norm." 

Fellow pupil Morgan added: “The films made it clear these types of harassment aren’t one-off events and it’s reassuring to know you aren’t alone and there are people to talk to.”

Jayden, who was also part of the group involved in providing the insight for the resources, said: “I too have experienced harassment through text messages but didn’t see it as that. Now I know it’s not okay”.

Helen Morley, Creative Arts Programme Lead for Prime Theatre said: “It's been brilliant working with the pupils at Lawn Manor. We've been incredibly impressed by the maturity, empathy and insight they have shown when working on these difficult issues. 

"The films are directly inspired by the brilliant scenes and characters Lawn Manor pupils created with us and Mrs Owens last year, so it was a real privilege to be able to premiere the resource at the school.”

The films will be officially launched in the coming weeks and available to all schools across Swindon.  

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