I was extremely privileged this morning to see a preview of the forthcoming Channel 4 adaptation of Roy William's play Fallout, with a small group of students from my school. The play follows the aftermath of a stabbing of a teenage schoolboy, with a strong performance from Lennie James, as a police officer called back to 'his ends' to investigate the murder. As the 'gang' begins to unravel, the issue of how to resolve the crime becomes more complex, as James deals with suspects, witnesses and fellow officers in a downward spiral of frustration and violence. You can watch a clip here.

As the film ended the students burst into a spontaneous round of applause and their responses to a discussion with Roy, and a journalist from the Sunday Telegraph, were fascinating. The vast majority commented on how 'real' the story was, that the language and content reflected back to them an experience not too far from their own. Worryingly, nearly all of them knew peers who were carrying knives 'for their own protection', despite an awareness of the potential for increased risk of harm. Their suggested solutions to the vexed issue of 'street crime' ranged from the authoritarian - 'there should be curfews' to the benevolent - 'young people hate being shouted at, so talk to them as equals'. Ultimately it was agreed that there aren't any simple solutions, but the provision of facilities for young people was imperative.

Fallout is on Channel 4 on Thursday July 3rd at 22.00

Posted 27 June 2008 at 6:56 PM | Comments (1)


I would like to give a huge thanks to Sanam Mirza, a History teacher from 'oop north' somewhere, who sent through some absolutely brilliant resources for the 20th century section of the website. There are 6 lessons which form a great little scheme of work on the contribution that Black and Asian people have made to the UK. Apart from the lovely presentation across all of the units, the most important aspect of these resources is that they will really engage pupils in the work, which is so vital for getting a deeper understanding. The other exciting element is the lesson on Noor Inayat Khan a fascinating woman who was a British secret agent during the Second World War, particularly as I am well aware that the Asian representation on the website is lacking and needs to be developed further.

So, anyone else who is out there lurking, and has got some resources that cover any aspect of Black and Asian British history, then please please send them in. You can email them to me at any time or just drop me a line and tell me your thoughts on the website.

Posted 5 June 2008 at 8:27 PM | Comments (0)