Citizenship – drugs project Essay

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Description of Citizenship Activity

Describe how you participated in a school or community based activity.

The activity was (please select as appropriate): School based

a. Describe the activity

A Drugs Project in which we had to find out about:

1) The Drugs situation in our local area: Croydon

2) Which drugs our Year 8 and 9 students are most in danger from

3) Some information to be given to Year 8 and 9 students to tell them about the dangers of drugs.

b. Describe your role

I contributed to my group by doing a survey for Year 8 and 9 pupils. I helped produced the questions and review the answers from the survey. I then went into a Year 8 and then a Year 9 classes to inform them why we required them to fill in the survey. I also completed research some research on my chose topic, which was Alcohol. I then designed some information sheets and games about alcohol and helped the group decide which materials would be better to use for younger pupils

Student’s declaration: I declare that I have produced the work involved without external assistance apart from any which is acceptable under the scheme of assessment and is recorded.

Signature:

Date:

Teacher’s declaration: I declare that the student’s activities have been kept under regular supervision and that, to the best of my knowledge, no assistance has been given apart from any which is acceptable under the scheme of assessment and which has been identified and recorded.

Signature:

Date:

Centre Marks

Section 1: Planning (AO3) max mark 10

Section 2: Activity Log (AO1) max mark 10

Section 3: Communication (AO2) max mark 10

Section 4: Evaluation (AO3) max mark 10

Total: max mark 40

Response Form

Section One: Planning

* Describe how you planned the different stages in your activity

* Outline your contribution to the activity

* Refer to the contributions, views and experiences of others.

Planning Stages:

The Citizenship teacher first told us about our Coursework topic. It was to be an educational group activity and we had to give the Year 8 and 9 pupils in our school information about drugs and the dangers of drugs. This was because in our local area, there is not much information suitable for young people and we thought it would be good idea if we could find out some useful information that would help pupils younger than us avoid problems with drugs. Furthermore we felt that it is important that younger pupils have an understanding about Drug and there dangers, so when they come across a situation involving a drug abuse, they would be aware of the dangers and the circumstances.

Firstly, our teacher wanted us to go into a group which had a mixture a girls and boys. The members of my group were: John, Mark, and Jessica. We chose to work together as a group because we are all friends and we work well together. We then chose a team leader and this was done by taking a vote; this is because it is the fairest way of choosing a leader that everyone it happy with. John was voted as our team leader, because he is very organized, responsible and creative, theses are qualities which a good leader should have.

Our first assignment was to create some questions about drugs for a survey. We needed to know what Sear 8 and 9 students knew about drugs first. We then gave the survey to all younger pupils in Form time. We then took some time out to analyse the results and this helped us decide what we needed to research and gather information on. We researched the internet and a site called: www.talktofrank.com which told us that the most common drugs used by 13 and 14 year olds, which were: tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and solvents. So we decided to concentrate on these 4 areas. We then researched our own topics and we then looked at each others work and decided between us what we thought were the best ways of getting our information across to Year 8 and 9 students.

Your Contribution:

I contributed by helping to work out 15 questions for Year 8 and 9 students. We decided as a group that 15 questions were more than enough because they might get bored with too many questions. I helped by suggesting some questions I thought would be good and also commenting on other people’s ideas. Our teacher then chose the best survey and I went with 2 other people to a Year 8 and a Year 9 form rooms and I helped explain to them why we wanted them to fill in this survey, why it was going to be anonymous and what we were going to do with the results. I then helped some other people to sort out all the answers, so that we could look at what they knew and what drugs we needed to teach them about. I helped to add up the answers for some of the questions. I then helped my group to analyse the results and then to change some of the research so that we covered more of the things the pupils didn’t know.

I then did my own research about Alcohol. I chose this topic because I read in the newspaper that alcohol is becoming a big problem for young people and it can cause major liver damage to young children if they start drinking at a young age. I looked at lots of internet sites, booklets I found out health clinics and the library, some videos we watched in class and some books in the library. When I had finished my research, I made an information sheet about alcohol and also did some word games and a short power point presentation about the dangers of drinking too much Alcohol. I also helped Mark with his duties because he had been absent and had got a bit behind.

Contribution of Others:

The other people in my group contributed in the following ways:

– John was the team leader and he word-processed the survey and made sure it was handed in on time. He also tried to keep us working hard and not messing about too much.

– Mark came into the Year 8 and 9 classes with me and was a great help when we were explaining the surveys to the students. She helped me with some ideas about the activity sheets too.

– Jessica helped us all with internet sites because she is really good on the computer. This saved us a lot of time looking at sites which weren’t any good for the age group we were targeting.

Overall we worked really well together and we co-operated most of the time to get things done and meet out deadlines. Jessica was slightly inpatient at times and something was work off task in IT rooms but she finished the work in the end. We had a few problems when Mark had some time off but we all worked a bit harder so we didn’t get left behind. We managed to sort out our problems without too much arguing and in the end we finished everything on time. We thought it was a good idea to work in a team to get this project completed because we learnt things from each other about drugs and about how to get things done as a group.

Section Two: Activity Log

List the separate activities in which you took part and outline how you revised or changed your plans at each stage. You may continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

Activity

Group/Individual

Date

1) The Citizenship teacher explains about our coursework assignment. He said we were going to learn about the drugs situation in Croydon and then we were going to educate younger pupils in our school facts about drugs and the dangers.

Group

December 2008

2) We chose our groups members and then we had to decide on a team leader. We then got together and made up 15 questions to ask Year 8 and 9 students about their knowledge on drugs.

Group

December 2008

3) Mark and I went into a Year 8 and a Year 9 Tutor groups to explain about the survey. There were supposed to be four members of our group demonstrating the survey to the students however, two people didn’t turn up, so we did it on our own.

Individual

December 2008

4) My group helped the teachers to collect all the answers from the survey and Jessica helped to put them on the computer.

Group

January 2008

5) When we looked at the results of the survey, we learnt that the students were unfamiliar with what drugs actually were; so we considered putting a sheet about prescription drugs into our information section.

Group

January 2008

6) We were given time in lessons to use the IT rooms to use the resources on the internet to do some research on our topics. (continued on extra sheet)

Individual

January 2008

7) We went back into the classroom to check what we had done so far and to plan what we still needed to do. We watched a video ‘Teenagers and Drug Abuse’ about drugs. It gave us an idea about the ways of getting information across to younger people and the peer pressure created in different neighbourhoods.

Group

January 2008

8) Our group had a talk from two people from Beacon Support in Croydon. That is an organisation which helps families who are affected by drugs. They gave us lots of information about different types of drugs. We were told about the drugs which are most common in our area, especially for 13 and14 year olds. We were glad that they cover the four topics we had chosen were thought to be the best ones by the women from Beacon Support.

Group

February 2008

9) More time in IT rooms to continue with research. We took notice of the talk we had last week to think about the facts we needed to get across to pupils.

Individual

February 2008

10) Talk from Police Officer about local drugs situation and drugs law. He concentrated particularly on drugs law and young people.

Group

February 2008

11) Back into the classroom to decide together if the information and activities we had done so far were fun and exciting enough.

Group

March 2008

12) We watched a TV program ‘Panorama’ about the drug related crime in teenagers.

Group

March 2008

13) We reviewed all our work, made any last-minute changes and handed it in to our teachers.

Group

March 2008

Analyse what was involved in each activity (the people involved, what you were trying to achieve etc). Describe how the importance and influence of citizenship issues is shown in your activity.

1) Our teacher discussed the importance of us doing this specific project. He said that drugs were a big problem in Croydon and there weren’t many opportunities for people to come into schools to teach students about the dangers of drugs. He also said that the resources we had in school for teaching Year 8 and 9 pupils about drugs were really out of date and he asked us to design something more suitable for younger pupils which is more up to date. He thought we could do more exciting games and activities that younger pupils would enjoy and when we looked at the booklets he had, we also thought we could produce better leaflets with the students could understand and find appealing. We thought that teaching students about drugs would be better coming from students like us who are Year 11s because pupils would listen more to older pupils than they would to adults or teachers. We have been taught that helping others and taking positive action is part of Citizenship, so we understood how important this was.

2) Our teacher asked the class to get into mixed groups of roughly 4 members per group. I chose a people who I work well with and know very well. We were asked to vote for a team leader democratically and we did. We then planned the survey. We had to think as though we are 13 again to come up with some ideas for the questions and what type of information we needed, bearing in mind the pupils age group. This wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be because things were slightly different when we were 13; as there weren’t as much drug abuse accruing around us when we were 13; however in this day in age, drug abuse is quite high in young teenagers.

3) Going into Tutor Groups was a good idea because we got chance to explain what the survey was all about to the students. Also because the other two didn’t turn up, Mark and I had to assist each other because we were both quite nervous. We found it easier with just the two of our and we were very happy with the outcome. The year 8 and 9 pupils behaved very well and listened to what we had to say and all participated with the survey. I really underestimated how seriously the Year 8 and 9 students took us. Our teachers said that the idea of doing this came from another Year 11 group; so someone must have put a lot of thought into the best way of doing this product and approaching younger students. It was also very beneficial for us to talk with our target audience and we where pleased that we have help younger pupils understand more about drugs, and hopefully helped them think twice before getting involved in any drug related crime. Doing this project made us feel that we were doing something good to help real people in our social community.

4) I didn’t really have much to do in this part except from helping to sort out the question; however, I found it interesting to ask pupils’ about their opinions and views about drugs. We gave the students the chance to tell us what they want to learn about drugs and how they would prefer it to be taught to them. After the discussion with the younger students, we then decided to alter and enhance some of the games and activities after the survey.

5) For example: some of the younger pupils didn’t class alcohol and tobacco as drugs; so we expanded on it and explained how they come under the same category. We also explained about drugs prescribed by the doctor, because many students didn’t believe that they were proper drugs. When many students think of the word ‘drugs’ they think of illegal substances such as: cannabis and cocaine, and they forget about the prescription drugs.

6) Going into IT rooms was very good because it gave us time in school to do some research. The internet is useful because it is quick but our teachers warned us that not all sites are accurate so to be careful about where we got our information. I also used computers to design a PowerPoint presentation because usually children like to see something bright and colourful on the whiteboard, as a change from paper. We sat together as a group and then we could share information and websites, which was quicker. We also shared information with people in other groups who were doing the same topics so each group helped the others. In this way, we all helped each other.

7) Sitting down as a group was good because we looked at what we had done so far and then planned the next stages together. We looked at each others work and gave each other advice. We also realised that we had got too many word games like word searches and so we changed some of them for other activities, so that Year 8 and 9 pupils don’t get bored. Watching the video was good because it was about teenagers in other neighbourhood pressured into taking drugs so it reminded us what age group we were working for. It also dealt with social problems, like the ones we have discussed in Citizenship lessons.

8) The talk from the Beacon people was really good. They used plain language and told us some good information about drugs in the Croydon area. They also told us that we had chosen the right 4 drugs to concentrate on for young people, so we know we are teaching them about the first drugs children use. Learning about how they help people in our community was very interesting and useful, especially as they are a voluntary organisation.

9) Using IT rooms was good at this stage because we had a clear idea of exactly what we needed to research and just got on with it our task. The only problem was that the computers in the IT rooms didn’t always work, so we had to share computers, which was a little annoying. But at least we could work on our own and the choice of what to include was entirely down to us.

10) The Police Community Officer came into Assembly and talked about the drugs situation in Croydon was really interesting. Although this area isn’t as bad as some parts of London, it still has drugs problems. It was interesting to find out about the laws about cannabis in particular because many of us were surprised by what he said so we made sure we put this new information into our work. It was good to get to know our Community PC Steve because we don’t see many police on the streets any more.

11) Almost everyone had finished their work and so we put it all together to see what it looked like. Jessica hadn’t done enough on his information sheet so John made him do some more. She didn’t want to but she did in the end so that she didn’t let the team down.

12) The documentary called ‘Panorama’ was a TV program about drug related crime in the London, and the impact it have in gang culture and teenagers. I was really up to date and showed 13 year old sniffing aerosols so it was right for our target age group. We discussed it afterwards in our group and we all thought the boy who made his younger brother sniff aerosols acted really badly. He should have looked after him, not talked him into sniffing too.

13) This was where we looked at everyone’s work, made sure it was as accurate as we could make it, checked that the games, activities, etc were good enough for Year 8 and 9 pupils and that everything was finished. We all looked at everything we had done and although Jessica was a bit negative about it, the rest of us were really pleased with what we had produced. Our Citizenship teacher said we had to try and make a difference with this work and we hoped we had done this by giving them more up-to-date and less boring drugs information. I think that our target audience will like this better than the booklets the school had used before.

Section Three: Communication

List of supporting evidence

List the support material and resources you used or produced as part of your work for the activity. Show the variety of support material used (eg written, tape, photographic etc).