Safety and Resilience

To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

Resilience enables an individual to identify discrimination; to make a stand against bullying, aggressive and disrespectful behaviour and to seek support.

Schools have a key role to play in helping children and young people to develop their resilience and in keeping them safe. Schools can provide a safe place where children and young people can easily speak to trusted adults, report problems, access support and enable them to resist risky behaviours and recover from setbacks.

An education programme should be used to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe, informed decisions in a variety of environments and settings. This could sit within existing PSHE or RSE classes.

By the end of primary school pupils should know

  • How to keep safe and about people who can help them stay safe
  • Recognise what is fair and unfair, kind and unkind and what is right and wrong
  • Common dangers encountered when travelling to and from school
  • Recognise when people are being unkind either to them or others, how to respond, who to tell and what to say
  • Listen to other people, and play and work cooperatively
  • Identify and respect the differences and similarities between people

Internet safety and harms

  • that for most people the internet is an integral part of life and has many benefits.
  • about the benefits of rationing time spent online, the risks of excessive time spent on electronic devices and the impact of positive and negative content online on their own and others’ mental and physical wellbeing.
  • how to consider the effect of their online actions on others and know how to recognise and display respectful behaviour online and the importance of keeping personal information private.
  • why social media, some computer games and online gaming, for example, are age restricted.
  • that the internet can also be a negative place where online abuse, trolling, bullying and harassment can take place, which can have a negative impact on mental health.
  • how to be a discerning consumer of information online including understanding that information, including that from search engines, is ranked, selected and targeted.
  • where and how to report concerns and get support with issues online.

Basic First Aid

  • how to make a clear and efficient call to emergency services if necessary.
  • concepts of basic First Aid, for example dealing with common injuries, including head injuries.

 

By the beginning of secondary school pupils should know

  • The nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours (including cyber bullying), and how to respond and ask for help.
  • Listen and respond respectfully to a wide range of people
  • Feel confident to raise their own concerns
  • Recognise and care about other people’s feelings
  • Respect others with different sexual orientations
  • See that their actions affect others
  • The consequences of carrying a knife
  • The dangers and risk of gangs
  • Different types of abuse including bullying, domestic violence, coercive control and trafficking

Internet safety and harms

  • the similarities and differences between the online world and the physical world, including: the impact of unhealthy or obsessive comparison with others online (including through setting unrealistic expectations for body image), how people may curate a specific image of their life online, over-reliance on online relationships including social media, the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them and how to be a discerning consumer of information online.
  • how to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by those behaviours.

Basic First Aid

  • basic treatment for common injuries.
  • life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR.
  • the purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed.

Safety

From Primary school upwards educating children to keep safe in different environments and to be aware of the dangers should be delivered in a sensitive and engaging way. Links below contain free educational material ranging from road safety, internet safety, knife crime and gangs, abuse (from sexual to bullying), safeguarding and radicalisation.

For instance, we know nationally, girls worry more or feel more afraid to go to school than boys, although there is less difference between the proportion of boys and girls saying they have been bullied in the last twelve months. This, with the increasing trend of violence and knife crime, of an average secondary school, some 60+ students could be affiliated to a gang means that schools need to recognise and address both bullying, gang and knife crime within their own environments. Policies, education and training can help towards this but should not be so rigid that there can be no compassion shown to an individual who may have underlying poor mental health or other mitigating factors, which has impacted on their poor decision(s).

The research evidences strong links between children being abused through child sexual exploitation and other behaviours such as running away from home or care, self-harm, teenage pregnancy, truancy, substance misuse and bullying. We are also aware children with special needs, looked after children, children leaving care, migrant children, unaccompanied asylum seeking children, forced marriage, those involved in gangs, where there has been a history of abuse, those with parents who have any of the following; disabilities, mental health problems, drugs or alcohol misuse or domestic violence are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

Historically, in Cambridgeshire, Facebook is the most prevalent platform used by perpetrators. This is followed by WhatsApp, Snapchat, Skype, Kik, Instagram and Oovoo. Live streaming video, Oovoo and Skype has become more common in Cambridgeshire as this type of platform only saves for shorter periods of time making it difficult to gain evidence of any exploitation. Children do not appreciate the levels of risk, which is further supported that children targeted via online routes, often do not display evidence of previous vulnerabilities which makes identifying them more problematic.

In both CSE and domestic abuse, the development of inappropriate relationships is of particular concern and problematic due to there often being small age-gaps between the individuals which can also have presence of coercive or controlling behaviour. In the ‘Further resources and links section’ are links to the local safeguarding team and here is the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme which helps to give a generation of children the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect.

Resilience

The Department for Education (DfE) state that in an average class of 30 15-year-old pupils:

  • three could have a mental disorder
  • ten are likely to have witnessed their parents separate
  • one could have experienced the death of a parent
  • seven are likely to have been bullied
  • six may be self-harming

The DfE acknowledge schools have a role to play in supporting their pupils to be resilient and mentally healthy and that schools have a duty to promote the wellbeing of students. This is further supported by Ofsted highlighting that children and young people themselves want to learn more about how to keep themselves emotionally healthy.

Becoming a ‘Compassionate School’ is pivotal to achieving a happy, resilient learning environment. You will then be well positioned to support children and young people overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – stressful events occurring in childhood that either affect a child directly or affect the environment in which they grow up. To get more support in this area, please see the links below and/or contact us.

Building resilience is a preventative approach which increases the chances of school aged children, of safe, happy, healthy lives and relationships.

This includes teaching about the wider world, this embraces the internet, the reasons for and the trends in society, appreciation of different cultures, about radicalisation and the importance of safe guarding yourself.

Your workforce

  • Schools should be supported to up-skill their staff on current local and national safeguarding themes and how to access support.
  • Given access to free resources to provide appropriately aged engaging interventions to promote safety and resilience.

Engage student voices

  • Enhancing children and young peoples’ opportunities of providing responsible peer support.
  • Create safe environments

Evaluate and monitor

  • Evaluation and monitoring can provide motivation by showing the activity or support is effective, meaningful and purposeful. It can also provide the school with evidence of good safe practice.

For a guided assessment in this area or for tailored support for your school, contact us.