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No Knives, Better Lives

No Knives, Better Lives is a Scottish Government funded initiative which encourages young people to consider the dangers of carrying a knife as well as the consequences for their future, and the lives of their family and friends. The aim is to give young people good reasons not to carry a knife and encourage them to get involved in other activities.

Designed to consider the dangers and devastating consequences of knife crime for individuals, families and the wider community, On a Knife Edge is a challenging and eye opening programme aims to educate and encourage young people to reflect on the reasons for carrying a knife, the legal consequences and the physical and emotional consequences of knife crime.

There are also a number of featured themes that will look at Street Violence, Violence at Home, Violence and Substance Misuse and Positive Alternatives to Handling Conflict. It is important that relevant school partners and agencies are involved with the programme so that No Knives, Better Lives is not delivered in isolation.

On a Knife Edge Schools resource

The No Knives, Better Lives “On a Knife Edge” resource is designed to provide teacher support and a range of activities that will help young people consider the issues surrounding violence in Scotland and help them to make better, more informed choices.

The resource is made up of a series of suggested units and associated activities, planning formats and an overview. The themes and activities provide a selection of ideas to enhance learning and teaching and can be adapted to suit the needs of your young people.

Objectives for teachers and other practitioners

Objectives for young people

On a Knife Edge and the curriculum

This programme aims to embrace the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, helping young people to become Effective Contributors, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Successful Learners through embracing an issue that is real and relevant in their lives.

On a Knife Edge supports many of the themes within Curriculum for Excellence Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes. The programme enhances many of the experiences and outcomes found within the Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical Wellbeing, Planning for Choices and Changes, Substance Misuse, and Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood frameworks and supports the following core experiences and outcomes.

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On a Knife Edge toolkit training

The On a knife Edge toolkit training is being delivered by Fairbridge Training building on their successful delivery of Sharp Solutions toolkit training in 2010-11. The training aims to bring alive OAKE by taking part in activities from the toolkit and reviewing the delivery and learning for each activity for teacher and young people. This approach aims to equip teachers with the  confidence, knowledge and skills to deliver On a Knife Edge for their young people having experienced the activities themselves.

The programme is based on a full day’s training – a sample programme outline is available to give an idea of what is possible. Fairbridge Training are happy to be flexible and work with the local steering group’s needs to deliver the On A Knife Edge training for teachers in their area.

Who should attend?

The OAKE resource is pre-dominantly aimed to be delivered in a classroom setting and could be delivered by teachers, Community Learning and Development practitioners, Youth Workers, Campus Cops and other school staff and delivery partners.

What is the NKBL steering groups’ role?

There is a responsibility for the NKBL steering group to commit to support the training delivery in your area and get behind the programme to ensure it is rolled out. You will need to consider how best to deliver the training for your area and to recruit 10-20 delegates to attend the training, provide an appropriate venue refreshments and lunch. A member of the Fairbridge Training delivery staff will contact the lead contact prior to the training by phone to introduce and discuss the delivery of the OAKE training.

Following the training, there is a responsibility for OAKE to be cascaded and used by staff in your area. It would also be helpful for evaluation purposes to provide feedback on how the resource is being used with young people using examples where possible.

Web based resource

Following on from the training there will a web based resource for practitioners to access that will build on the On a Knife Edge toolkit. The aim here is for further ideas, behavioural theories, supporting materials, hints and tips and FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) from the toolkit training to be added and accessed by all practitioners in a way that fits with their day-to-day workload commitments.

This will assist in the wider delivery and cascading of the OAKE schools resource across Scotland as part of No Knives, Better Lives campaign.