• (L-R) Vice Principal, Joe Kenyon, two Merseyside police officers, students, Helen Abbot, head of Drama, and Sam Hett, teacher, with props used for the performance

Rainford High students raise awareness about dangers of ketamine

Performing arts students from Rainford High have created a short drama performance about the consequences of ketamine use, as part of a St Helens-wide competition. 

Merseyside Police partnered with St Helens Council, St Helens RLFC and the NHS to create a campaign that warns young people of the dangers of ketamine, after recognising an increase in young people using the drug in St Helens. 

St Helens community inspector, Stacey Pope, launched a competition, giving local schools the task of putting together a play or song to educate other students about ketamine and its issues with the winning school receiving £500 cash prize. 

Criteria for the performance included: 

  • The demonstration of how young people fall into using ketamine 
  • How it is affecting them and their peers 
  • The dangers of ketamine 
  • Issues around gang involvement as well as violence that also comes with the use of the drug 

Students in Rainford High’s performing arts department were excited about the opportunity and used drama as a way to educate and inform their peers about the issue. 

In previous years, pupils have achieved huge success with other productions such as The Wizard of Oz! and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, which was performed at The Met Theatre in Bury. 

Secondary and sixth form students worked together to create their piece ‘No to Ketamine’.  

Seven students from Year 10 made up the cast of the performance and Year 13 student, Lindsey Byrne, wrote the script. 

Year 10 student, George Haggerty said: “I think it is really great that our school is taking part in this performance, students will learn a lot about the risks and dangers surrounding ketamine, and the performance will hopefully help some people.”  

Lindsey Byrne said: “As my long-term goal is to be a writer, I was really pleased to have the opportunity to create and direct this important piece with such enthusiastic students who portrayed the message clearly.” 

Staff and students are looking forward to sharing their project with local community. 

Miss Hett, a drama teacher at Rainford High, said: “We are excited to be performing this piece to each year group in assembly so that we can spread the message about the dangers of ketamine across our school community through the power of drama.”  

Curriculum manager of drama, Mrs Abbott, said: “We are really proud to take part in this initiative with the police due to it being such an important message to communicate.  

“This underpins everything we do in our school ethos, Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps, Everyone Succeeds. 

“What is great about using drama is that it has the ability to portray topics in a very visual way and to provide a context for the information given.” 

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