School’s 999 Week Under Way

A group of teenagers is spending the week learning about the work of the islands’ emergency services during the fourth annual 999 Week.

The event was introduced to meet school curriculum citizenship requirements and is more interactive than classroom teaching.

Organiser Shirley Graham says it would be hard to host a similar programme in the mainland because of the numbers of pupils that they would need to accommodate. Here, with just 21 pupils in the year, the numbers are manageable.

She says that in just one week of the islands’ programme, they deliver a whole year’s worth of the national curriculum requirements.

The year 9 pupils from the Five Islands School will work with visiting police experts who will host a drug and alcohol awareness discussion this morning.

After lunch they’ll learn about domestic abuse and healthy relationships. Most of the sessions will be held at the Army Cadet hut on The Garrison but on Thursday they’ll spread out across St Mary’s as they simulate the search for a missing person.

Shirley says it’s important that the pupils gain an understanding of social issues and learn good citizenship.

The pupils will learn techniques for searching for a missing elderly person and the skills they learn could prove useful, especially in Scilly where there is a large population of elderly visitors in the summer.

The pupils on the last four annual sessions have said they did enjoy the courses.

Shirley said they get feedback from the pupils at the end of the course and that’s generally very good. She said it’s important to find out what they enjoyed and what they didn’t so they can alter the way the material is delivered in the future.

The youngsters on the sessions are identifiable by distinctive boiler suits and yellow jackets, which Shirley says gets a mixed response from year to year. This they appear to like the uniform, she says!

The costs of the programme have been supported from the Council’s Extended Schools budget.