News and events News Coventry schools work together to educate and inform Two neighbouring Coventry schools have joined together to teach pupils about the dangers of knife crime and the importance of making the right choices after a tragedy in their community. St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and Moat House Primary School in Wood End welcomed anti-violence campaigner Alison Cope to hold workshops with both children and parents. The events were prompted after 16-year-old Jayden James was fatally stabbed in the area of the two schools. Alison, whose son Joshua Ribera was murdered in 2013 in Birmingham at the age of 18, works to share the story of her son’s life and educate young people about the consequences of youth violence. She delivered powerful workshops to Year 5 and 6 children at the two primary schools to teach them about the dangers of knife crime, making the right choices and what actions they can take if someone they know is armed with a knife or other weapon. Alison also spoke about her son, who despite making some bad choices in life, went on to become the youngest unsigned grime artist to have a number one album but died after being stabbed in the heart. She then delivered a hard-hitting workshop to parents to raise awareness of youth crime, teach them what signs to look for and advise them on how to address any issues. Alison said: “It’s very rewarding to visit schools to deliver such crucial messages and share my story to help prevent knife crime in the future. It is excellent to see St Patrick’s and Moat House working together to address an important community issue. “The sessions for the children were all about teaching them to make the right choices while pitching it at a level which doesn’t scare them, whereas the parents session was a lot harder-hitting and went into more depth to raise their awareness of the issues. “The children were very engaged and asked some insightful questions, and I hope to return to the schools in the future when some of the younger children have progressed into Years 5 and 6.” Andrea Sherratt, Principal of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, which is part of the Romero Catholic Academy, said: “We decided to organise the workshops after what happened to Jayden in the area around our two schools. “We wanted to join together to support the children and educate them about the dangers of knife crime, equipping them with the skills to make the right choices and also teach them important lessons about safety. “Alison has dealt with the death of her son and very much spoke from the heart. She delivered a powerful message about the implications of carrying a knife and the effects it could have not only on the individual but also their family members.” Alasdair Black, Headteacher at Moat House Primary School, added: “The workshops were a very good way to form links between the two neighbouring schools and provided us with an opportunity to learn side by side. “Alison delivered some important messages to the children, while using examples that they could relate to such as video games. “The workshops are tailored to the individuals taking part and were pitched at exactly the right level for our Year 5 and 6 children, and it was also excellent to be able to involve some of our parents who took part in a separately tailored workshop.” Caption: Alison Cope (centre) joins Andrea Sherratt, Principal of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, and Alasdair Black, Headteacher at Moat House Primary School, and children from the two schools.