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Community Cohesion 2: Keeping Safe

Holy Cross School

Lorian Mead, NHS Kingston
Lloyd Mead, Lambeth College
Lawrence Williams, The Holy Cross School


The cross-agency project described in this paper builds on the success of an earlier collaboration, called “Healthy Eating”, by the same team of participants (See JAT 3.1 March 2009). Personal safety has become an issue of national importance, and here we outline the aims and objectives, the project development, and our plans for the future. A film brief was provided by NHS Kingston Occupational Therapists (OTs), as there was a need within the organisation for training resources, for adults with learning disabilities, about keeping safe in a range of different settings. The film DVD commission provided by NHS Kingston was specific to their own personal safety resource needs, but it had sufficient flexibility to allow the Lambeth College students to develop many personal skills, and to give Holy Cross Year 12 Media students and Year 9 Technology students the opportunity to be creative.

Key words:
cross-agency links, personal safety, AS level media, ICT tools for learning, creativity

NHS KingstonParticipants

NHS Kingston
Lorian Mead (Head OT, NHS Kingston)

The Holy Cross School
Lawrence Williams (Head of Creative Development)
AS Level Media Students: Danielle Beaumont
Grace Moppett
Nicole Mifsud

Lambeth CollegeLambeth College
Lloyd Mead (Tutor)
Lambeth College students (City and Guilds)
Amal Ossable, Ugonna Onyebalu, Gifty Hammond, Shazia Akhtar,
Louise McMullan, Sarita Smith, Christopher Wilkinson

A. Project aims


NHS Kingston

Holy Cross School

Lambeth College

All the students who took part in the project from Lambeth College are on the 16 - 19 Preparation for Vocational Skills course for City and Guilds, Entry level 1. The entry requirements for this course are that all the students have to have a learning disability, with an entry 1 or 2 in Numeracy and Literacy Skills.

Students at Lambeth College on the Preparation for Vocational Skills course

B. Project planning

A project planning meeting with all three partners was undertaken in September 2008. NHS Kingston stated their interest in commissioning the DVD, and outlined their need for training resources, for adults with learning disabilities, that could be used to provide positive visual images in order to reinforce skill development in keeping safe. The inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the development of the DVD was an integral component of the project. The DVD also needed to cover the areas of the existing keeping safe work. A record of the planning decisions made at this meeting can be found at the end of this report in the planning details section.

Script development
The outline for the DVD was further developed in an additional meeting between the occupational therapy service and Lambeth College. During this meeting a list of key components for each scene was developed to balance the needs of the occupational therapy service with the interests and abilities of the Lambeth College students. For example, some scenes were non verbal and some voice-overs were incorporated.

The outline provided by NHS Kingston was specific to their own service needs, but it had sufficient flexibility to enable the Lambeth College students to be creative, and to use their own knowledge and experiences. This flexibility was incorporated to enable maximum participation in the project from students with learning disabilities who also had a range of learning and verbal abilities.

C. Project development

Lambeth College Student Experiences

The students did their planning throughout the first half of the Autumn Term. This initially involved a wider discussion about keeping safe based on the individual experiences of the students. Once the topic had been introduced and students had familiarised themselves with areas of promoting personal safety; the project was introduced as an opportunity to further support their learning. At this stage, information was given to the students that when it came to filming they could choose whether to opt in or not. As in the previous project accessible video consent forms were used to support students to make informed choices.

The students then considered the components of the project, and, through topic work, considered the props the script would need, and the potential locations, in addition to practising role playing within a range of scenarios. The students took it in turns to act out the different scenarios, and to try out different roles, in order to see who felt comfortable at acting, and who the best actor for the part might be. This was done through the students appraising each other’s performances, until it was agreed who would be taking which part. As different students did the acting, different interpretations of how to be safe arose. This, in itself, led to useful further discussion about ways to keep safe.

Preliminary filming at Lambeth College
The filming took place at the College and gave all involved a chance to get to know each other, and to demonstrate their acting skills. The Lambeth students acted through the different scenarios in the College in a familiar setting, so that they felt comfortable. A few weeks later, the students were able to watch the film, and this was a chance to review and reinforce their work around keeping safe.

Preliminary filming at Holy Cross
The students then went to the Holy Cross School to see the community setting where the final filming would take place. This visit aimed to familiarise Lambeth College students with the locations for the final filming, in addition to meeting the Holy Cross students again. Students from Lambeth College were also given a tour of the Holy Cross site and shown where the editing of the DVD would take place.

Final filming
On day one of final filming, Lambeth College students were arrived at Holy Cross and asked whether they were feeling confident, and a final check was made as to whether they wanted to go ahead with the filming.

Holy Cross students gave a demonstration of the professional equipment that had been hired for the final filming. Lambeth College students gave an overview of the scenes that had been rehearsed and “walked through” some scenes, so that the positioning of the cameras could be finalised. Scenes were then filmed and often small differences would occur during the 1-2 min clips, which resulted in the need for each clip to be filmed at least three times.

On day two of the final filming the Holy Cross students paid a return visit to the College to film the “shop scene”. We had two actors to buy food from a shop. This took at least five takes, due to other things happening in the shop! Also, on this day, the sound recording for the previous day’s filming was added.

After the filming
The Year 9 Technology/ICT students at Holy Cross created PowerPoint slides of similar scenarios to the “Keeping Safe” film. This is detailed below. These files were then used at the College to reinforce the learning steps around keeping themselves, their property and possessions, safe.

Although not all the students are in the filmed scenes, the whole group took an active part in the perusal of the scripts, and made amendments, or provided props and scenery. The making of the film has kept an important topic fresh in the students’ minds, with continual reminders.

Conclusion (Lambeth College)
Through taking part in the project, Lambeth College students were given the opportunity to participate in a multi-agency project in which they were key partners. All those doing acting roles stated that they really enjoyed taking part in the filming, and working with the group of students from Holy Cross. Within the classroom, most of the students were interested in the topic of keeping safe most of the time. These lessons involved a better level of engagement than other lessons the students participated in. This could be due to the students being able to have visual feedback of their own performance and other students were able to contribute their feedback as well. This led to broad discussions about students’ personal experiences and students were given positive feedback from their peers when they were making safe choices. It was also noted, and of interest to the tutor, that this academic year fewer students lost personal items, including college passes, than in the seven previous years of teaching experience at the college.

Project Development – The Holy Cross Perspective

At Holy Cross, the project began in September, 2008 when the aims and objectives were decided. Following a preliminary visit by the Lambeth College students to Holy Cross School, and some trial filming, it became apparent that the school cameras would be unsuitable to produce the high quality needed to create a professional, finished result. In response to this problem, the NHS kindly offered the school a budget of £300 to hire a suitable professional quality camera, and sound boom.

Holy Cross Media Studies Students getting to grips with a Sony PD150 camera

In March 2009, Holy Cross AS level Media students took possession of a Sony PD150 camera, on hire for several days to allow familiarity with the equipment, and a further two days of filming. Lambeth College students, who had practised their roles in the filming, arrived at the school on March 4th to work on the final shoot. They filmed seven scenes in all. Then, the following day, the AS Media students travelled to Lambeth College in order to add the voice-over necessary to make sense of the outdoor filmed scenes.

Meanwhile, Year 9 Technology/ICT students at Holy Cross were busy adding two further dimensions to the project:

Flash Cards – a creative dimension to the project using ICT tools
Using a creative mix of images from the “ToonDoo” cartoon web site, and text files added into a PowerPoint, Year 9 girls made a series of “Keeping Safe” flash cards to support the project. Following a strict Technology design brief, they made a series of coloured cards sets, each set showing:

a. a scene where three things in the picture could be seen to be unsafe

b. a second “card” in which the problem was circled in red (example below)

An illustration of a bedroom with safety hazards circled in red

c. a third card with the safety issue resolved

These pages were then printed out in colour, and laminated for durability. Moreover, because they were in digital format, aspects were then animated in a variety of ways, and the files were also saved onto disc. This meant that they could now be used on an interactive white board for further training purposes, using kinaesthetic learning techniques. This work may provide us with a lead into the next project, specifically on kinaesthetic learning.

Alternative visual dimension added, with animated images

A cartoon versions of an actual filmed scenario

In order to act as a lively introduction to the more serious filmed scenes on the final Keeping Safe DVD, and to deploy a second visual learning skill, cartoon versions of the actual filmed scenarios were created, in a similar way to the Flash Cards, described above. The text used by the Lambeth College students in their acting was added into the PowerPoint pages as “thought bubbles” and/or speech bubbles, to show the thinking processes needed in keeping safe in different situations.

On reflection, however, it was decided that this cartoon element, while lively and creative, should be kept separate from the main DVD, rather than being incorporated into the filmed version.

In this way, the project as a whole explored new ways of using visual learning techniques:

The Holy Cross AS Media students then spent time editing the scenes, and produced a final DVD to pass on to the NHS, for actual use in their local training. All three parties benefited enormously from their involvement in the project. Grace comments, “This was a wonderful project for our group to be involved in. Not only were we able to meet three of our AS Level Media course requirements, but we were also able to work with people from Lambeth College, as well as creating a resource that will actually be used to support safety issues in our local community.”

Occupational Therapy Perspective

The occupational therapy service was involved in the initial stage of the project planning, in the development of the script and in viewing the draft DVD. Throughout the project the occupational therapy service had a consultancy role, and identified opportunities to experience and participate in new occupational roles e.g. as actors, directors, narrators. These included:

Planning details


And on the disc, in separate sections:

Film structure

Costs of hiring a high quality camera:

Scenes to be filmed


This has, once again, been a highly successful cross-agency collaboration in which our experience of working together has been both reinforced and enhanced. All three parties have completed what they set out to achieve:

The next area for us to explore is kinaesthetic learning, and the ways in which the differing skills of the current team can be deployed to develop collaborative materials in this area.

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