Suitability: Key Stage Two
The story describes the experiences of two friends, Sam and Alex, who become
involved with an group of older children playing in the park. Eager to impress
their new friends, they go along with their risk-taking behaviour, but when this
begins to involve substance misuse, Sam is made to feel excluded from the group
because he won’t join in. He worries about the safety of Alex and the others, and
doesn’t know what to do. He tries to make them behave with consideration for
their own safety and for his feelings, but they will not listen. Eventually he is
encouraged to confide in his teacher, who acts to ensure the safety of his
friends and helps put Sam’s friendships back together again.
Schools have a responsibility to help children understand issues underpinning
substance misuse and peer pressure, but as children will have different levels of
life experience, it can be difficult to introduce the subjects comfortably. Out of
Control is designed to assist teachers in addressing this sensitive area of the
PSHCE curriculum. This storytelling project is the product of a collaboration between Gripping Yarns, Hampshire Education Inspection and Advisory Service and a steering committee of teachers and headteachers from Hampshire schools.