Miss Abigail’s thought for the week: keeping children safe
We have been lucky, this week, to spend time being trained by Ineke, a senior training and development consultant from the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) in the UK. 60 Nadeen School staff are now formally trained in safeguarding children and Shanee and Elaine have trained as designated safeguarding officers.
A number of parents have attended one of the two parent workshop sessions with Ineke, focussed on keeping our children safe. A brief summary of these discussions:
- Create a climate in your home where children can talk to you about anything, without fear of judgment or dismissal
- Be a model of someone who is sometimes vulnerable, sometimes sad or angry or scared or worried, so that your children see how you deal with these things and also feel that you might understand if they admit to feeling that way
- Have tight boundaries in place around use of the internet (see below)
- Be curious and interested in what children do with their friends, what they talk about, what is important to them
- Make sure that your children have a voice – that they know that what they say will be believed, valued and taken seriously
- Make sure that children know their rights in relation to their body, touch, etc. (A good rule of thumb is: what is covered by your swimming costume = your private parts and no-one can touch you there.) This NSPCC video is an accessible way to start those conversations with little ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lL07JOGU5o
- Making conversations about these sensitive topics seem like no big deal – not big, heavy / difficult conversations (even if you aren’t feeling casual about it!). Starting this message when children are very young will help them to grow up feeling that this is just ‘part of what we talk about’.
- Wrapping children in bubble wrap won’t protect them from the risks and dangers of the world (real and/or online). However, teaching children the skills of critical thinking, decision-making, managing risk, etc. can enable children to deal with dangers more safely that may inevitably come their way.
There are lots of great resources available for families to develop awareness of e-safety and keeping your child safe online. We are really lucky to have Adam H in our school as he is a real expert with things like this (and is very happy to talk to parents who might have concerns). Here is a link to one great site that may be helpful:
The NSPCC have an excellent website with lots of advice about keeping children safe. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/ . I highly recommend taking some time to explore it.
If ever you have concerns about the safeguarding of your child, please feel that you can come and discuss it with Elaine or Shanee (as our designated safeguarding officers).