Safeguarding in the Curriculum
Safeguarding is at the heart of everything we do here at St Mary’s. ’Care. Believe. Succeed’ is our school mission statement, and purposefully written with ’Care’ at the start. We want our children to care for others but also themselves. To do that, we must endeavour, in every aspect of the curriculum to ensure safeguarding is embedded across all subjects. Our broad curriculum gives our children opportunities to experience life in all its diversity, to acquire knowledge, understanding, and skills that significantly impact personal development, behaviour, and welfare, and equips every child with the knowledge and skills required for personal safeguarding.
Our PSHE curriculum covers all areas of Safeguarding through each of the strands to a different degree, however, some go into more detail. At St Mary’s we adapt JIGSAW to meet the needs of our children (see pages 45—48 of our curriculum document for further details). We are sensitive in our teaching and recognise that some more sensitive subjects need to be taught at an age-appropriate level, or at a small group or 1:1 level where a more urgent need arises. Staff at St Mary’s plan to constantly challenge children to think deeply about safeguarding matters and their own personal physical and mental wellbeing. We value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
We give all our children opportunities across the curriculum to explore values, personal rights, responsibilities, and equal opportunities that develop moral concepts that impact positively on safeguarding, promote British values and prevent radicalisation and extremism. There are many opportunities throughout our learning in school to explore safeguarding issues.
Practical safeguarding opportunities are planned into the curriculum. For example:
- Poolside and water safety through swimming lessons
- Visits to school from medical staff
- Visitors from industries
- Work from local voluntary sector services particularly around safe transition to Secondary school
- Plays and shows
- Planned day trips and residential trips
- Online safety taught throughout the curriculum
- Social stories to support children to understand what should be done and considered during curriculum events
- Safe use of technology including password security and privacy settings
We have developed an open and safe learning environment in which pupils express their views, seek help, and help others. The promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity, for pupils and staff, helps prevent any form of direct or indirect discriminatory behaviour. We work hard to ensure our children at St Mary’s have opportunities to embed our six core values, that link to our Christian ethos.
Our children learn to not tolerate any prejudiced behaviour. Our behaviour policy promotes making good choices and exhibiting good learning behaviours. Class times is used as time for sharing ideas, addressing concerns, and promoting our important school values.
Collective worship time and PSHE are both used to promote personal safeguarding matters and explore themes. For example, we talk about anti- bullying including cyber bullying and British values including how these values are promoted in our multi–faith society. Staff and children are quick to challenge stereotypes and the use of derogatory language in lessons and around the school. Our school reflects the diversity of pupils’ experiences and provides pupils with a comprehensive understanding of people and communities beyond their immediate experience including the role of women in society and different family groups.
Throughout the curriculum, there are planned opportunities to promote all forms of equality and foster greater understanding of and respect for people of all faiths (and those with no faith), races, genders, ages, disabilities, and sexual orientations, through their words, actions and in their influence. Opportunities are created in a variety of subjects to address areas of safeguarding, for example, themes are highlighted through texts we use in English lessons; personal safety is taught when using equipment in PE; Geography/ Science discussions take place regarding our role in the world and safeguarding the planet.
Time is taken at the beginning of every new school year to reaffirm school values, expectations, and rules for being part of our St Mary’s Family. This good start to the year, with everyone clear about their roles and responsibilities, sets the tone for the rest of the year and leads to excellent safeguarding outcomes.