First hand stories of violence and gang culture left pupils at Langley Academy determined to fight back against knife crime last week.

It was not the sort of thing usually found on the school curriculum.

But pupils at the school in Langley Road had already taken part in the Make Your Mark campaign, voting for knife crime to be debated in the House of Commons by members of the Youth Parliament.

Pupils also helped create an exhibition called #knifefree commemorating some young people who have lost their lives to knife crime across the county, looking at their aspirations and the impact of loss on their loved ones.

To coincide with the exhibition the school welcomed speakers from three organisations that tacke the problem head on - Forgiveness Project, Reach Every Generation and Aik Saath last week.

They spoke about their experiences within gang culture, the justice system and how they have turned their lives around. One speaker Jacob Dunne killed a stranger with one punch during a night out. He talked about the transformative effect of restorative justice and how communicating with the victim’s parents encouraged him to make positive changes in his life.

Langley students reflected on what they heard. They each wrote on a butterfly shape what it would mean to them if Slough was free of violence. The hundreds of butterflies will be added to the #knifefree exhibition at the beginning of next term.

Assistant headteacher Ashley Johnson said: "We are proud of the maturity shown by our students in exploring this complex issue. The safety of students at The Academy is of paramount importance and I would like to thank Aik Saath, Reach Every Generation and The Forgiveness Project for helping to shape our young people into productive citizens equipped to tackle societal challenges head on."