St.Stephen's School

Year 6 Tate and Lyle Junior Citizen Trip

Year 6 were very fortunate, to have received the opportunity to visit the Tate & Lyle sugar factory, based in Silvertown. As a year group, we can say that it was an experience that we all looked forward to. To our despair, we did not make or taste sugar.

However, we took part in the Junior Citizens scheme, which is a two hour immersive experience that has eight different scenarios of when to call 999 or 112. These were mainly for the transition to secondary. There were a few key lessons that needed to be made aware of to us: ‘Bus and Train Safety’, ‘Gangs’ and ‘Online Safety’. 

Most children will be using public transport to go to senior school, so it was imperative that this was taught. Year 6 were taught how to avoid being pickpocketed, where to stand when awaiting a bus or train and how to report something that is making you feel uncomfortable.

For the gangs scenario, we were told that there is something called the ‘Chicken Shop Grooming’, where total strangers offer you free food. Over a course of time, they gain your trust and suddenly turn on you, telling you that you are in debt. This leads to the child selling drugs to find a way out of debt, but is always in more, after every dealing. Some children have been stabbed, due to failed payments and is something that nobody should experience.

Finally, there was Online Safety, an issue that is all around the school. It was so important to cover this topic as people can be incredibly inappropriate online. We learnt that we do not have to post everything that happens in our life or complain about everything. In fact, our 17 year old tutor has not posted anything since January 2016. We also learned that we cannot really confirm who someone is, just by them saying that they are. In many instances, we talk to strangers online and we don’t even realise. Our digital footprint is forever, and things that we say or post online, may come back to us in a way we would never expect. Our personal information stays with us and us only.