February 3, 2017: St Augustine’s High School
For the second year we delivered a workshop to around 200 Year 8s on their Democracy Day. This year the focus was entirely on human trafficking, introduced at assembly by Anthony Brown (Medaille Trust) and Steve Burton (St Augustine’s). As previously, Steve had done an enormous amount of work researching the subject in the context of our UK democracy. In the next two sessions, students designed posters and did a petition to support the Transparency in Supply Chains Bill which has it second reading in the Commons on 24 March. The petition got around 500 names and will be presented to Nigel Evans in advance of the hearing. In the final session a prize was awarded to the group with the best poster.
29 January 2016
St Augustine’s, British Values Week, Democracy Day
Thanks to Meriel Woodward for the photographs
We had a full day at St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, Clitheroe last Friday. Year 8s were to develop their campaigns for a proposed “law” which was going to be imposed on young people. Our group was to campaign for support for a law to tighten up British companies’ responsibility for ensuring their supply chains were free of slave labour, particularly children.
Starting with the full year 8 of 209 pupils we showed a film on Modern Day Slavery. We then moved with our class to the task of the day.
We played Matt Redman’s inspirational song 27 Million https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0L7NH48BWE
and charged the group with rewriting the words to cover three verses:
- Slavery in the 19th century
- Modern Day slavery
- Western complicity
27 Million is a rap song and one pupil picked up the guitar chords very quickly. Different groups in the class worked on the verses and choruses using papers, newspaper articles and the Caritas in Action Curriculum Key Stage 2. Another group made posters and another group went around the school seeking support for a petition.
We didn’t get a video of the actual performance and the final version of the words may not be precisely the ones we photographed and transcribed below.
27 Million (St Augustine’s Year 8 version)
Then he took a grip
Started to sweat
The scaring sounds of a lashing whip
Bloody floor soaking wet
Trapped in fear
Can’t think or hear
The end is so near
Can’t get away
He has to stay
No one to come and save the day
Chorus (largely unaltered from the original)
We got to rise up
Open our eyes up
Be their voice
Be their freedom
Think about how your food is made
Slaves are used, they get no money, no sleep, no home
They’re beaten, mistreated used and abused
The slavemaster is the boss
He makes money from people’s pain
He doesn’t care, to him they are nothing
He will pay with his freedom and time
Brave people will stand up and see that this happens
Big companies like Tescos need to open their eyes
Throwing away food is like stealing from the table
Today it breaks my heart
That homeless people die of cold
It doesn’t even make the news
In this country children do have food
Christian words are easy
Acts are needed
Bravery, Mercy, Love and Care need showing by us
We are the hands, feet, eyes and body of God on earth
Compassion is what is needed
The group performed their song to the full group of Year 8s.
What impressed us most was the ability these children showed in grasping the issues, understanding that modern day slavery exists, and that we are personally responsible in the way we live our lives.
We met with Michael Wright, Head Teacher, Catherine Gunn, Head of RE and Lucy Newton to talk about activities with a trafficking theme during Anti-Slavery Week and Year of Mercy. The school had a big agenda for Anti-Slavery week with a number of activities planned:
- On screen Medaille logo on pc screens
- Prayer every day
- Enterprise programme – based on the talents parable – 200 children aiming to turn £5 into £10 for Medaille
- A missionary theme for the week
- Medaille Education Pack lessons used for the RE curriculum and across the curriculum
Michael also referred to their Values Week in January 2016 which would be another opportunity to highlight the issue of human trafficking