helping children to feel safe and secure at school

In order for children to feel happy and be able to fully engage with their learning, it is essential that they feel safe and secure at school. It can be too easy for us as adults to make assumptions about children’s understanding of safety and it is important to clarify this with them to ensure that they fully understand what we are expecting them to do in schools. It is important that school staff lead by example by their own behaviour and ensure that clear explanations are offered to children. When a child is running whilst holding a pair of scissors they need an example of the alternative behaviour you would like to see along with an explanation of why they need to change their behaviour. For example, “Please walk when you are carrying scissors because if you trip or fall you could hurt yourself and I don’t want that to happen.” Be careful not to have expectations about children’s understanding or awareness of safety because of their age. Some children have no sense of danger because they may never have been made aware of it. These children may look confused when explanations about safety are offered to them. By acknowledging that you don’t want a child to hurt themselves or that you want to keep them safe, may come as a surprise for some children who may be physically or emotionally hurt by adults outside of school.

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