At Northdown, both the physical and emotional safety of the children is extremely important and plays a key role in everything we do: from Safeguarding procedures, to risk assessments, to the curriculum: including working alongside the NSPCC to deliver 'Staying Safe' assemblies and workshops. Below are the key aspects of what we do and how we do it in order to ensure children are safe and feel safe at our school and when they go out into the world.
Safeguarding is clearly a key part of our day to day work and we take this responsibility very seriously. Our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is updated at least annually. All staff and governors received updated safeguarding training.
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for child protection is Mrs Jo Short. Jo has overall responsibility for Safeguarding at Northdown together with Mrs Sally Potter. At Northdown we have others trained in Safeguarding, who in the absence of our primary Safeguarding Leads, are qualified to deal with all Safeguarding concerns: Mrs Lorraine Smith, Mrs Tracey Thompson, Miss Cara Adelsberg and Mrs Natasha Matthews.
We are always here to give advice, including online safety. If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact the School Office who will signpost you to the appropriate member of staff.
There is currently a great deal of media surrounding 'Clown Craze' sweeping across the UK following the craze in America. There is of course a concern that young children could find this very disturbing as it appears people dressed as clowns attempt to jump out on passers by.
Should this occur, then children should treat this as they would with all strangers. It is important that they report it to a parent or carer who can then contact the relevant authorities if they feel it is necessary. The website below has some good advice for children regarding 'Stranger Danger' although it is not specific to this latest craze.
Being a parent always seems to mean lots of worrying, especially when it comes to keeping your child or children safe. All parents worry about different types of abuse and how to talk to their children about some of these issues. The NSPCC have a really useful website called 'Talk Pants.' This site teaches children important messages, like their body belongs to them and they should tell an adult if they're upset or worried. There are activities for children on there and also advice for parents. Below you will see a link to the website and also a leaflet for parents providing some useful advice.
As parents, we often worry about what our children are accessing on tablets and computers. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell how suitable something is. I have come across a website that parents and carers might find very useful. It does give you some information about different apps, what other parents and children think and rates some of the risks. You can access it by following the link below.
Information for Parents to help children play safely.
There has been quite a few articles in the media recently regarding this new gaming sensation. Clearly a games which gets people up and active will have many benefits but it is also important that parents are aware of the possible risks that could be associated with this game so that they can support their children as necessary and enjoy it in a way that is safe.
Safer Internet have written a short feature about this new game which does provide some advice to parents.
BE NET AWARE
As parents, we often worry about what our children are accessing on tablets and computers. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell how suitable something is. Here is a website that parents and carers might find very useful. It does give you some information about different apps, what other parents and children think and rates some of the risks. You can access it by following the link below.
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. The DFE are currently launching a new campaign 'Together We Can Tackle Child Abuse.' https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse
If you are ever concerned about a child, the link will provide you with the necessary advice on how to report your concerns.
BE SAFE, BE SEEN!
Now that the clocks have gone back, it is starting to get dark earlier and earlier. It is really important that children can be clearly seen by motorists and cyclists to keep them as safe as possible when they are walking to and from school, or out playing. There are lots of small reflectors, reflective strip stickers or snap bands for wrists and ankles which can all help children to be seen clearly.
Below are a couple of websites where you can find more information about 'Be Safe, Be Seen'. We would recommend that you explore the website yourself first before sharing it with your child so you can pick out bits which you feel are the most appropriate.
Once again, Bonfire Night is nearly upon us. It is such a wonderful time to have fun but we want all our families to keep safe at this time. Therefore, it is very important to follow firework safety guidelines as this will help you to make careful choices, be safe and still have great fun.
Be Safe on Bonfire Night
Never play with fireworks - They are explosives and can hurt you.
Always keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions on the box.
Only adults should light or hold fireworks.
When you are watching fireworks stand well back.
Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
Fireworks will frighten your pets, so keep your pets safely indoors.
If you are given a sparkler:
Always wear gloves. Hold it at arm’s length. When your sparkler goes out, DON’T TOUCH IT. It could still burn you, so put it in a bucket of water.
Never let off fireworks in public places such as streets or parks.
For further advice about firework and bonfire safety, there are many websites. The website link below does provide some additional safety information.
RADICALISATION & EXTREMISM
I know some of you have concerns around recent events in the news regarding radicalisation and extremism.
As a school, we have duty to be very aware of how radicalisation and extremism can impact on our children and families. Therefore, with this in mind, I would like to make you aware of some of the measures the school takes to keep children safe.
Those with extremist views will often try and express their views through social networking and the internet, such as YouTube clips etc. We have a firewall in school which is recommended by Kent Education Authority which helps prevent social networking sites being accessed in school and limits websites and images.
We have an Extremism and Radicalisation Policy which helps set out how staff should deal with concerns and there are a number of signs identified with radicalisation which staff can be aware of and alert to.
Our school strongly promote British Values, one of which is Tolerance. We bring this into assemblies, Circle times, when dealing with inappropriate behaviour and any other opportunities within our curriculum to ensure children understand tolerance and respect for others. RESPECT is also one of our School Values.
Staff have had some training relating to Radicalisation and Extremism and are aware of what to look out for. The school has lockdown procedures for any such relevant emergencies.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Be aware of what your child is accessing on the internet and with gaming as extremists can often try and get their message across through this media. Check games, websites and social
Networking sites are age appropriate and give children the confidence to share their worries if they see something inappropriate.
Model Tolerance in your own lives wherever possible. Children are significantly influenced by their families so if you are modelling respect and tolerance, this will help them to understand these concepts and build on what we teach them in school.
Inform our Child Protection lead, Mrs Potter if you have any worries or concerns. We are always happy to talk. If you are unsure about parental Settings on computers and tablets, or firewalls for devices, then please feel free to ask the school for advice.
I hope this helps.
New legislation has come out on October 1st 2015 regarding smoking in enclosed vehicles. The legislation states (www.gov.uk)
‘It is illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicle) with anyone under 18. The law changed on 1 October 2015, to protect children and young people from the dangers of second hand smoke.
Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence’
The law applies:
to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof
when people have the windows or sunroof open, or the air conditioning on
when someone sits smoking in the open doorway of a vehicle