St. Patrick’s College in Ballymena gives NexusNI gold star for training

Paul Jordan, Head of Pastoral Care for St Patrick's College in Ballymena, highly recommends training from Nexus for schools.

Paul writes:

"As Head of Pastoral Care in St. Patrick’s College Ballymena, I invited Nexus representative Judith Boyle, during this current school year in October 2014, to present a series of Internet Safety talks to two separate year groups, Yr 9 and Yr 11.

These presentations were excellent in terms of the use of materials and range of subject matter and content explored which was very appropriate and tailored to the needs of the different age groups. The presentations were extremely engaging, pitched well to pupil’s ability and level of understanding.  The content of the presentations, methodology employed had I felt just the right balance between the virtual and group interactive activities.

Judith from my first contact by telephone was extremely informative and thankfully was able to suggest appropriate programmes for the school based on her experience of working with other schools. When we arranged to meet in our school again, I was impressed by her knowledge, enthusiasm and awareness of the area of Child Exploitation, legislation and its relevance to education and importance to the children. Again I have to say her expertise and friendly accommodating approach was very helpful and much appreciated.

In regards to the presentations which were given to pupils, the facilitator was able to inform, challenge and educate the pupils in an interesting, calm and engaging manner, engaging even the most challenging pupils. I think this in part was due to her professional skills, pedagogy skills and experience of education, sensitivity and personality.

The participation and consequent feedback from students showed that they enjoyed the sessions, appreciating the presentations, but importantly it also revealed a lack of awareness of some about staying safe; safety on the internet and their perceptions and understanding of what Child Exploitation is. What was very valuable was the insight the facilitator offered on the methods used to engage and groom young people used by predatory individuals.  In this regard the presentations have been crucial to our Pastoral Programme and Child Protection within the school.

The presentation and content was in keeping with our school ethos.

The school hopes to continue the link made with Nexus and Judith in the near future. Hopefully again we can access and offer more presentations and training to other year groups.

Child Exploitation and Child Abuse has become a serious social and criminal activity which is continuously highlighted within the care agencies and education services engaged in supporting young people. I feel it is important that those agencies that provide training and support are maintained to offer this important provision and to impart their knowledge not only to children and the vulnerable, but also those frontline staff, teachers etc. who work with children. Nexus has been a valuable support in this regard and I wish the organisation continued success for the future.

I would have no reservations in recommending to other schools to engage with Nexus and would commend the calibre, commitment and skills of Judith (Boyle)."

Written by Paul Jordan, Head of Pastoral Care, St Patrick's College, Ballymena

For more information on this free training available for schools, click here.

Alternatively find out more about the range of education programmes available through Together For You.

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