Why pupils got involved in sex, drugs and drink

PUBLISHED: 11:48 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010

PUPILS are about to do battle – for an award that recognises civic-minded young people. Five pupils from Verulam School in St Albans, have been nominated for Young People of the Year (YOPEY) awards for giving teenage boys education on sex, drugs and alcoh

PUPILS are about to do battle - for an award that recognises civic-minded young people.

Five pupils from Verulam School in St Albans, have been nominated for Young People of the Year (YOPEY) awards for giving teenage boys education on sex, drugs and alcohol.

And they are up against four pupils from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden who were put up for the award for helping Zambian school pupils and teaching their own school about life in Africa.

The winners of the award stand to gain £1,000 in prize money.

Sam Killin, Peter Sutton, Aimee Wood, Jack Sparrow and George Allcroft; from Verulam, led sex education lessons with 14-year-old boys, and drugs and alcohol lessons with 13-year-olds boys. The five volunteers had training sessions before giving the classes.

Their teacher Pam Burrage said it took an exceptional student to take the time to study the material and then teach Year Nine boys how to handle condoms and learn about sexually-transmitted diseases.

A lot of skill was needed to handle a classroom of 14-year-old pupils without a teacher.

Peter, aged 18, said the boys he taught identified with someone young which made them easier to reach. He added that as someone who was considering a career in teaching, it had been a valuable experience.

Heloise Smith, Beth Barratt, Caitlin Archer and Jim Thompson from Sir John Lawes School, were nominated for teaching their fellow pupils about life in Ndeke High School, Zambia.

Sir John Lawes pupils share an online blog with Ndeke students on which they compare school life and the four pupils took information from the website to use in their own classes.

Last year Sir John Lawes students went to visit Ndeke School and handed over donations which they had raised themselves, mobile phones and helped them with computer classes. Caitlin, aged 16, said she investigated Ndeke's water supply, and the way that it could be cut off at any time, and was able to do a presentation to pupils at Sir John Lawes.

She said: "It was so different. Children were quite happy with the little they had compared to us. That made me appreciate what we have in this country."

To nominate someone aged between 10-25 for an award go to www.yopey.org

The deadline is tomorrow, February 15, and candidates must live, work or study in the St Albans district.

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