To be blunt, if we’re not doing this, we’re not doing our job. Maslow’s hierarchy of need suggests that if a person’s physiological and safety needs are not met, there is no way that children will have any form of self-fulfillment. Ensuring your child is fed, warm and rested is a joint responsibility we share with you. Ensuring they are safe falls directly to us when they are in school and we take a firm approach to this. A number of our policies are centered solely on this; child protection, safeguarding, e-safety, social media and educational visits to name but a few.
In addition to this, we risk assess carefully things like use of the adventure climbing frame, visits both within and outside the school grounds, areas of the classroom, PE lessons and many, many more! However, safeguarding and protecting your child go way beyond this; beyond the physical boundaries we have on site and the policies we hold.
It goes to the fundamental root of our relationships with you as a family and with your child. That’s why it’s so important that we know not only your child but you too. When we first visit our new Year R intake or our new 2 year old or pre-school children, we visit them in their homes. We are subconsciously saying to the child “we are trusted, we value relationships, we want to know you, your parents trust us”.
Sitting across both pre-school and school is one system designed to safeguard all children on site. All staff, from lunchtime kitchen staff through to the office staff and headteacher are trained in child protection and safeguarding. A ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ oversees the child protection and safeguarding provision in school, ensuring that referrals are made for support for families and childre as and when necessary; good liaison is made with outside agencies and families and fundamentally, that every child is protected from harm.
Mrs Jefferies (headteacher) is the school’s DSL.
Mrs Cooper is the school’s deputy DSL.
Mrs Evans (Pre-School leader) is the pre-school deputy DSL.
We encourage you to come and discuss any concerns with us in school. We are very conscious that we are in a privileged position to know most families from very early on in a child’s life and we are keen to work as partners with parents and the wider family. As well as the comprehensive safeguarding procedures in school, you might well know of or be aware of times when things are not going right for children within our community. If you as a parent have any concerns about a family or a child’s safety and wellbeing, we encourage you to discuss the matter with one of the DSLs listed in the ‘systems in school’ section. You can always refer the matter directly to Hampshire on the HantsDirect phone line: 0300 300 0117. You may need to leave a message on this line but someone will get back to you and the matter will be investigated. The HantsDirect team are our first port of call too and they are hugely experienced in all safeguarding matters. See more on Hampshire safeguarding here.
Of course, it’s not just us that have concerns about children; children sometimes have concerns about other children too or need to talk to an adult about something that’s bothering just them. They are incredibly astute and know their friends well so they know if there is something ‘not quite right’ and often show concern if their friend is not their usual self.
In school, we have a number of ways of children supporting other children beginning on the playground with peer mentors. Older children taking an active role in supporting others in emotional and safety issues. More can be found out about the peer mentors by visiting their page under the ‘Our Community’ link.
We also have a ‘bother box’. This special box sits just outside Mrs Jefferies’ office and is where children can post their worries, safe in the knowledge that it will be dealt with promptly by an adult. This helps if there is no adult handy for them to talk 1:1 to or they need advice from a more senior member of staff. Mrs Jefferies and Mrs Cooper check the box regularly and children can detail their issue, state which member of staff they would like to talk to and we make it happen – simple!