Watch Over Me

The Watch Over Me film clips are broadcast quality drama that is based on real life. The drama in the film clips are designed to engage students, promote discussion and help create their own strategies for dealing with risk. It is a classroom tool that stimulates discussion and helps everyone feel safe to talk about the most challenging issues affecting our personal safety.

The programme is designed to be used over a number of weeks and consists of two titles 1. ‘Values versus violence’ and 2. ‘Relationships and Choices’.

Each title offers short film clips and a support guide is provided.

A journal or pages from the journal can be downloaded and printed.

At some point in the lesson, the student will be asked to write or draw in the journal.

The ‘journal’ is private and will not be shared with others unless permission is given, however, it will be read by the teacher at the end of the lesson and then kept in a safe place.

It is good practice to ensure all staff who are working with the films have watched them before they begin work with young people as some of the storylines covered in the clips also bring up issues for adults. The film clips are powerful and sometimes cause young people to disclose sensitive information that will require immediate reporting, therefore it is advisable to inform the designated child protection officer in your school that you are about to start using the programme.

Before using the clips, it may be helpful to set some ground rules for everyone about discussing their feelings.

The film clips are designed to stimulate discussions and the characters can be used to draw out young people’s fears, prejudices and concerns.

It is important that the class know that there is nothing that they cannot say or discuss in the lessons, but understand that their thoughts and feelings might be challenged by others.

The lessons are all ‘discussion’ based lessons, and there is no element of marking required.

When the students are informed with facts, then they can discuss their choices and the
consequences of their actions.

It is also important that they understand who they can go to for help and how to ask for help.

When working with Watch Over Me, it is really important to know and understand the characters in the film. It is through the characters that you will be able to communicate with young people and also discuss sensitive issues safely without appearing to judge. It is important that as an outside professional you are able to help young people understand real-life situations that could put them at risk, but always help them to understand their choices and how they make choices in every situation. It is also important that they understand consequences and how their choices will always have a consequence.

For Police officers, this programme is not a ‘standard delivery’ of police lessons on the law or drugs etc. Whilst experiences of all of these things will be invaluable, this approach to learning about safety and choices provides a more fundamental opportunity to develop the life skills of young people without hectoring them. It recognises their status (and yours) and can lead to impressive personal development.

If you can share some of your own experiences with the class this will help you to build up trust. For example, former Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, speaking about road safety says: “One fact which is often quoted to me is that the biggest killer of teenage girls is their teenage boyfriends driving their cars.”

Challenging questions can always be answered with humour and honesty and there is no doubt that this investment of your time and skills will lay a powerful foundation for the next generation and a safer and less crime-ridden society.