Our Lives - Scottish Book Trust


Our Lives - Scottish Book Trust

Poems and stories by the residents of Kibble School

© 2011 The Contributors


Sponsors: Scottish Book Trust, Learning and Teaching Scotland,

Kibble English and Art Departments

Printing: Wm Culross and Son Ltd, Queen St,

Coupar Angus, PH13 9DF

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not

necessarily reflect those of Scottish Book Trust or Learning and Teaching Scotland.

This is what to expect when you arrive in a secure unit.

You get your own room when you first come in. It’s a boys’

secure only.

It’s run by staff and not guards. There is a school we attend

every weekday. It starts at 9:30 and finishes at 4:00. We get

breaks in between.

In the secure unit we have a swimming pool and a small gym

but don’t have weights. We also have a seven-a-side football

park which was included in our other story, OUR TEAM. There

is a small court yard in our unit.

In the morning we get up at 8:30 during week days for school.

After school we have dinner at 4:45. After dinner the cutlery gets

counted to make sure it’s all there. Then we do our homework.

We also have to do our own laundry and our own dishes.

At night we get to go to certain activities, e.g. swimming,

football, I.T. suite and gym. In swimming we get a lot of

activities. We have large hamster balls that inflate in the

water and you run in them. We also get kayaks for our pool.


We also do a lot of cooking in the secure. Every Friday we do

hospitality and we cook a three course meal for four members

of staff.

Being in secure might not be the place to be but it can

certainly help people. We have programme workers who put

you through certain programmes like anger management, and

how to tackle offending behaviour.

From my point of view being in secure is hard but staff,

family, friends help. In some circumstances your fellow young

offenders can help as well. But being in secure surprised me.

It gives you many chances to secure a better life for yourself.

Your first impressions do surprise you. I thought it would have

been a lot more plain, intimidating, and rough.

The advice that I would give is Do Not Get Your Self Put In

Secure. Another piece of advice would be if you are in secure

and a new arrival comes in keep busy, keep your head down,

get on with it! Do what is asked of you. And make the best of

the second chance you will be given.

My proudest moment in secure has been writing a letter to

Alex Ferguson and asking if he had any training tips for us.


He replied to my letter within the week and, although he

couldn’t make it in person, he sent a DVD. My other proudest

moment is helping to organize the Christmas Fayre where we

raised over £800 for charity. This goes to show that you

shouldn’t stereotype us because we are in here.



Illustration by DMcK


In secure it’s just like the jail

This is not a tale

Everyone thinks you’re going to fail

In secure release seems so far away

It’s hard to get through everyday

No one listens to what you say

This is not the way

No say no choices you can make

It all gets taken away

Just wish it would all go away

Friends seem so far away

Waiting for a letter to brighten up my day

Why did it have to be this way?

All my freedom took away

But it is my fault at the end of the day


Leaving is fast approaching even though

I don’t know where I am going to go

Going back to my home town

Trying not to let it bring me down

Back with my friends, hope they understand

I don’t want to go back to that place ever again.



In the Safe Centre

A day inside the unit is ok. The staff help us cope with being

in a secure environment but they are sound so be cool with

the staff. Be good because it helps you get out earlier. If you

behave you can get mobility which is when you get trips. I

now get unsupervised visits home because I only have 10

days to go.

The worst thing about being in secure is some of the other

younger boys who are annoying. Another bad thing is that

there is no smoking. This is also an all boys unit.

I do not think I have learned anything from my time in here.

I would have been better at home. I would tell people coming

in to prepare themselves and to behave.



Illustration by DMcK

My pet cat is called Tink, and Pepsi lives with him. He is one

year old and I have had him and his sister for one year. Tink is

grey and white. I play games with him. I like folding a crisp

packet into a triangle and throwing it. He runs after them

because they reflect light. He brings crisp packets to me instead

of dead birds and I feel happy. This means he likes me and

wants to please me. He is definitely a member of the family.


I was very scared. My heart was beating so fast I thought I was

going to die. I fell through the floor. I was feeling very scared

and upset. I then found a secret door and I went through the

door. It was dark and dingy. I walked for five hundred yards.

All the while I was terrified of what would happen to me.


That same day my social worker came to my house and said I

was getting taken into care. I was very upset. The care home I

got taken into was called Ferndale. It wasn’t far from my

home. I got in there about 6 o’clock but I wasn’t scared about

going because I knew everyone in it … I was in there for three

weeks and then I got moved to the Kibble. I was scared about


coming to the Kibble because I didn’t know any one at all. I

got moved to the Kibble about 8 o’clock at night. I was very

shy when I first came in but after a few days I was fine and I

had made some friends. My best friend is Ross.


Once upon a time there lived a little boy called Sam and he

was an orphan. He was only twelve and he had been in the

orphanage since he was seven years old. His mum and dad

died in a car crash. But one day his luck changed, two lovely

couples came to the orphanage to have a look for a child.

When they came in the room where all the children were kept,

Sam seemed to catch their eye. They walked over to Sam and

had a chat with him. They liked Sam and his personality.


I can’t remember much. I think I’ve got short term memory

loss. I’ll tell you why I think I’ve got a short term memory.

When I’m in my room and I’m putting up my posters, I always

forget where I put my Blu-Tack and it really annoys me.


My name is GC and I am going to tell you about bullying. You

can get all sorts of bullying. You get verbal and bullying i.e.


hitting someone. Most bullies come from gangs that are normally

around your home area. They seem to assault most people. I

don’t hang around in a gang because you just end up getting into

trouble and picking up serious charges. I’ve seen a lot of people

getting bullied and thought, I would hate to be them. That’s a

shame – it’s not nice to bully people. Most of the bullies have all

been bullied themselves or they have to show off. But don’t

because it just makes you look like an idiot and you’ll get a bad

reputation. I was never bullied. I was just cool with everyone and

didn’t make any enemies. Well I can’t say that because everyone

does. I didn’t really bother them. I just avoided them.


Kibble open school has made me a better person. My attitude

and aggression has changed for the better. I have achieved

leave and contact with my family. I have achieved a better

standard of work that I didn’t think I could achieve. In

English I never had a chance of even getting to my exam but I

now see a general Grade in the final exam in May. My mum is

very proud of my work in school and I see my future at college

and working in care, like unit staff. My unit staff are role

models because they are positive and they have helped me

through my bad moments.



Looks like a Gorilla when he’s running across campus.

And acts like a monkey when he climbs up trees.

Like the colour red because he feels lots of emotions.

Like a daisy because he sneaks about all the time.

Like thunder because he makes a lot of noise.

Like Taz because he spins about.

Like PE because he likes to run about.

Like sunny weather when he’s happy.



On Wednesday 28th April I went to Loch Lomond on a fishing

trip with Charlie. We left between 8.30 and 8.45. Charlie

took us on a short cut. We were hoping to catch pike at Loch

Lomond. We had herring bait and we chopped up brown trout

as well. I had a twelve foot Ron Thomson pike and carp rod.

The weather was okay for fishing. We also went to a small

island at Balmaha. We had to get a small wooden ferry. We

nearly caught some pike but they just wriggled away at the

last minute. We had packed lunches with us. It was quiet to

start off with but then other people started fishing.

I enjoyed this trip but next Wednesday I would like to go sea

fishing on a boat.


I want to be a carpenter/joiner because I like working with

wood. I am good at making things with wood and plastic. Mark

is a good teacher because he shows me practical things. I want

to make money but I would love to build a house and do all the

electrics and plumbing myself. I want an eight bedroom, four

bathroom house with all rooms having an en-suite.



Illustration by BF

I’ve been jogging every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I do

about six and a half miles on average. I start at Glasgow

Green through Clydeside then I get to the SECC. I turn up the

tunnel and go through Anderson to end of the toon. Then go

to Royston back down to Calton.

My brother and his friend do the gym and go jogging so they

are well healthier than me. Sometimes it’s too tough for me to

do because I think about bad things. You have to keep a clear

head and also I smoke so it doesn’t help with jogging.


I have been in secure units for four years on and off. One of my best

achievements was gaining lots of qualifications. I got many different

unit passes, especially in catering. When I left secure last November

I moved to an open residential unit and I began a work placement.

My proudest moment there was loading a flat bed trailer with

twenty-seven pallets in under forty-five minutes by myself. I felt

excellent as this was a big achievement. No one else has been

able to reach that target. Usually it is a two-hour turn around. I

was brought up in a working environment and I like to work

hard at things.



The whole summer was great, especially quad biking and

fishing. I felt rotten when I was told that I had to go back to

school. I am now in school and getting used to it. I can’t wait

until I get out of here in two months and go back to Dundee

to be with family and friends.


I want to work hard at school and do well. I like P.E. the best

and enjoy playing as a Goalkeeper (GK). I currently, at the

moment, want to be a mechanic because there are a lot of

cars in the world that need fixed and I should make a lot of

money working as a mechanic.



Illustration by BF

I think ‘Stand by Me’ is a thought-provoking film because it

makes me think about the risks that I could take when I am

older. The theme of the storyline makes me think about the

life I am living now and how it affects me – these issues are

leadership, family, bullying, death, friendship and most

importantly growing up. Rob Reiner makes the characters

realistic and more independent thinking and the characters

are really good because they work in a team and are really

good friends. I like the mixture of music that they have put

throughout the film.


There is a scene in ‘Stand by Me’ which shows Gordie’s

vulnerability when he starts crying because his brother died

and he never cried at his funeral. But really he is still grieving

for his older brother. He just does not know how to show it. In

this scene Gordie puts himself down a lot by saying ‘it

should’ve been me’ which is him saying he should have died

and not his brother because his brother was so much better

than he was. This scene shows that Gordie has low self

respect. The director uses sad music to emphasise this.



I do sympathise with Macbeth although he could have turned

the other cheek because it was his wife persuading him and

not just a random guy. He has to show her that he is loyal and

trustworthy and prove that she can believe in him. Also the

witches had influence because they heaped pressure on him

by saying he was going to be “Thane of Cawdor” and he had

to prove himself worthy.


At the end of the ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’, Griff died and

Ted helped Colin get back to Australia. Colin gave Ted a pink

scarf to remember him by. I found it sad at the end because

Colin needed to be near Luke because he was nearing death.

I liked the story because it was realistic.


My favourite singer is Bob Marley. His music helps me in

secure because it is so laid back. It helps you to relax and the

lyrics, all about love and not fighting, really make me think. I

have also learned to play ‘No Woman No Cry’ and ‘Redemption

Song’ on the guitar during music class. Next, I would like to

find out more about his life because he is one of the legends

of music.



Illustration by MO’B

As a keen football fan, I like to play as well as follow the

sport. One of my greatest memories is playing in the Govan

Fair Cup in 2008. This was a good chance to show my ability

in top games.

I got involved with the school football team. When I was 13 I

was just learning. At the age of 13 my inspiration was Henrik

Larsson. He was my idol at Celtic when I was a boy. This was

because he was a real goal scorer and also he was a good

man in the community. He never set a bad example to young

boys wanting to be professional footballers.

I played as an attacking midfielder. I didn’t score many

goals for my team but the ones I did score, they meant a lot

to the team. I was more of a playmaker. I wore the shirt

number 7. This meant a lot to me because my hero Larsson

wore 7 for Celtic.

The day of the Govan Fair Cup was exciting. We had to go to

school but everybody was talking about it. After school our

minibus came and picked us up and took us to the Ibrox

complex. When we got there it was busy. There were lots of

cars parked outside the complex.


When we went into the complex we went to the changing

rooms. Our manager gave us a good team talk and gave us the

team. As I waited anxiously he revealed the team. After a few

names my name got shouted out and I picked up my number

7 and got ready for the game.

At the tournament we sailed through the first few rounds.

When we got to the semis, this was our hardest game. We

struggled for the first few minutes, then I got my goal. That

made it 1-0, then our main striker scored another. That was

2-0. Then the whistle went.

The final game came, we had a good team talk. The final

kicked off. We faced a good side in the final. We struggled

the full game until the ball came to me on my left foot. This

was my chance to prove I was one of the best. I struck the

ball with all the power I had in my left foot. I looked up and

the ball curled right into the top corner. That felt absolutely

amazing. It was the best goal I have ever, ever scored. All my

team mates surrounded me then the whistle went we had won

the cup thanks to me.



This is the story of our football team. In our team we have six

players + one staff. We play nearly every Wednesday against

other residential schools.

We only play home games because we are locked up. Also our

games get recorded so we can improve in our game and skills.

All our team mates are supportive, skillful, responsible and

trustworthy. We wear blue and white football kits and boots

and shin guards.

It is very good to be a part of the team. We have only lost one

game and drew one and won five. Our top goal scorer has

eight goals. He is fantastic. The captain has scored two goals.

He is a great role model. Our two goalkeepers are brilliant.

They also take turns out field and have scored two goals

between them.

Our two centre backs are also fantastic, stopping everything in

their path. Our centre midfield does a great job, stopping

chances and creating chances. The Coach has a great role in

our team. He has done so much, so thanks Coach.

By DMcK and DB


Illustration by DMcK and DB

Moray Is .............


The river flowing quietly.

Visits to Cooper Park to feed the ducks.

Going to the shops in Elgin St. Giles Centre.

I wonder if the old man and his dog are still in the fishing shop.

Climbing up Ladyhill to see the view.

Visiting Forres Mechanics Stadium.

Horse riding in Garmouth. Sinbad and Sporran were the

names of the horses.

Family living in Forres.

Dufftown–Malt whisky capital of the world.

Eating fish and chips at the Captain’s Table in Findhorn.

Snow blocking the road at Tomintoul.

That’s what Moray means in Scotland.



Kibble has been around for 150 years in one

form or another. It is seen as a school for bad

boys but hopefully this book will show that

although we have problems, people should

not stereotype us as they don’t know our

backgrounds or the reasons for our behaviour.

Here are some bits and pieces of our writing.

We hope you enjoy reading it.

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