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Friday, 1 June 2012

Primary school pupils lead gang violence assembly

This is Local London
June 1st 2012
By Hermione Wright »

Primary school pupils delivered a special assembly on Wednesday focussing on the importance of tackling gang violence and knife crime.

Pupils watch the assembly in St Michael's Primary School on Wednesday

The difficult topic, called Gang-busters - Chill Don't Steal, was chosen by the pupils after they were allowed to focus on any subject of their choice for the spring term.

Children from St Michael’s Primary School in Bounds Green Road, Wood Green, and St Ann’s Primary School in Avenue Toad, Tottenham, worked on the project after a ballot found 70 per cent of pupils at both schools were worried about gangs.

The research also found 21 per cent of pupils to know gangs personally and 15 per cent admitted to thinking about joining a gang in the future.

A recording of the assembly will be shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum next month to show people what the schools have achieved.

Members of the school council, in Year 4 to Year 6, read out their findings to the rest of the school and rapped about the importance of joining “a good gang” rather than getting involved in violence.

St Ann's pupil, John Paul Townsend, 9, who took part in the assembly, said he has enjoyed the project and is looking forward to their work being shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Teacher Annette Manley, who has led the project, said: “The children found from the survey they were worried about gangs and they had concerns that they might be made to join a gang so they wanted to do an awareness campaign about not being pressured to be in a gang.”

“It is quite a touchy subject – you don’t want to worry children but it is a real issue in the borough, and it was really nice bringing the two schools together.”

The topic was part of the Go-Givers Making a Difference Challenge, which encourages children to take part in projects which are of most interest to them.

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