As a school community, our greatest priority is keeping our children safe. We work closely with Hertfordshire Families First to ensure that families needing support get early help and will refer families to children's services where there is a concern about suspected neglect or abuse or may refer families for early help through other agencies, often on a more local level. Our Child Protection Policy can be found on our policies page and is summarised in our guide to safeguarding.
In order to achieve the very best possible outcomes for themselves and so that they can form and sustain healthy relationships and contribute to society at large, they need to be able to thrive and grow unimpeded by anything or anyone that might cause them harm.
As they grow from babies to toddlers, through childhood and into adolescence, children become more and more independent and need to develop the skills to identify and evaluate risk as well as how to deal with the unexpected. They cannot do this without the help and support of the adults in their lives.
The NSPCC website provides a range of useful information about helping children to stay safe in a variety of different contexts, from stranger danger to substance abuse. Their video below, Pantosarus, can be used as a talking point with children to help them understand about boundaries and about how to keep themselves safe. Age appropriate information for children can be found on the Childline website.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) is the area of the curriculum in which pupils are explicitly taught about keeping themselves safe and healthy and we use the Jigsaw scheme for this. More information can be found here:
Staying Safe Online
IT in the 21st Century has an all-encompassing role within the lives of children and adults. New technologies are enhancing communication and the sharing of information. Although this presents the latest and future generations of children with a raft of opportunities and possibilities; as adults, we have a responsibility to ensure that children and young people are kept safe from harm and develop the necessary skills to keep themselves safe in the digital world.
This is particularly the case if children are playing games where they can interact with other users, be it through a phone, tablet, computer or other gaming device. Children should not have use of social media (such as WhatApp, Facebook or Instagram), all of which have a minimum age requirement of 13 or above.
Additionally, some games (be they on gaming devices, such as XBox, or those played directly on the internet) that are intended for use by children do allow an element of interaction. In these games, children can talk to other users by typing on screen or through the use of a headset. Clearly these other users should and may well be children of a similar age, but it is equally possible that young people or adults may be posing as children and may use the game for inappropriate contact with, or even to groom, vulnerable children.
More information can be found by following the links in the resources section (right) and in the videos below.
Be SMART Online!
The UK Safer Internet Centre has devised these rules to help children stay safe online:
Keep your personal information safe
Friends made online are strangers; meeting them can be dangerous
Accepting files can be dangerous. If unsure, ask an adult!
Not everyone or everything online is reliable or trustworthy
Always tell an adult if something online upsets or worries you
In addition, the children at High Beeches have added the following:
Online Safety Resources
Online Safety Websites