A SHORT stay school in Worcester is taking the opportunity to use whittling, the art of carving using a bladed tool, to educate pupils about knife crime.

Across Britain there has been a rise in young people being found in possession of knives and other concealed weapons.

Newbridge Short Stay School in Midland Road, Worcester, teaches students permanently excluded from other schools.

Executive headteacher Ian Enwright, said he and staff wanted to be 'proactive and give the kids of the school the chance to learn how to use a knife sensibly, whilst instilling safety and the legality surrounding knives.'

He said: "We have for a long time discussed knife crime as part of the curriculum but with a knife in the child's hands the conversations are more freely commenced.

"We are discussing the issues surrounding knife crime whilst whittling as the young people we work with often have questions regarding the topic.

"I would say that all young people need the opportunity to learn about knife crime, what to do if you suspect someone who is carrying and the penalties surrounding knife crime.

"These lessons vary throughout the year, but close to Christmas the students opt for far more sessions as they like to make presents for friends and family."

Outdoor learning teacher Nick Lee teaches the school's children to carve a range of different items safely, including spoons, owls and stars.

"They will talk about the dangers of knife crime, the prospect of time inside jail and what is deemed as a weapon in the UK," said Mr Enwright.

One pupil at the school said: "I like carving because I feel chilled out when I do it, and understanding the laws and sentences around knives in the UK is a bonus."

Alongside the work done by the teachers at Newbridge, the local community support officers and policing staff came in and ran a knife arch workshop, which looked at how, when, and where the police will be looking for knives and concealed weapons.