Child Safe Standard 7: Empowerment and Participation of Children
Glengala Primary School has adopted a whole school approach to the empowerment and participation of students:
- Empowerment – by encouraging and valuing student voice
- Participation – by providing opportunities for students to have a say about issues and concerns that affect them.
Becoming a Child Safe school means developing strategies to communicate and engage with all children who are involved with our school. It is important to ask our children when they feel safe, and when they feel unsafe. As ‘Trusted Adults’ we encourage, listen and support our children when they speak up about issues of safety and wellbeing. By enabling opportunities for participation of our children in our school we are:
- demonstrating our commitment to upholding the rights of children
- strengthening our commitment to the children in our school
- building the communication and leadership skills of children – through our Student Leaders, Junior School Council, Green Warriors, ICT Leaders, Buddies and Peer Mediator programs
- building cultural understanding and respect
- enhancing the safety of children.
We teach our children about their rights and our school values in an age-appropriate manner, and we support them to recognise what abuse is, to understand it is not okay and to know that they can do something about it. We talk to our children about safety; both physical (the environment around them) and psychological (feeling valued, respected and cared for).
At Glengala Primary School our whole school approach to promoting the participation and empowerment of children comes through our delivery of a rigorous guaranteed and viable curriculum (aligned with the Victorian Curriculum), policies and procedures. We work on the premise of primary prevention in giving our children strategies through the following whole school programs/approaches/policies:
- Internet Use and Social Media Policy
- Sexuality Education
- Building Resilience – Social and Emotional Learning (Bounceback)
- Drug Education
- Buddies and Peer Mediators Programs
- Transition processes
- Behaviour Management Processes and Policy
- Attendance Policy
- Student Engagement and Wellbeing Policy
- Lunchtime activities
As a school, we implement strategies such as the following to promote the participation and empowerment of children:
- providing children with child-appropriate and accessible information about:
- what child abuse is
- their rights to make decisions about their body and their privacy
- that no one has a right to injure them
- how they can raise concerns about abuse
- ensure information and processes for reporting concerns are accessible to all children, for example by having procedures that are able to be accessed and understood
- ensure information and processes for reporting concerns are culturally appropriate for all children
- consider access and culturally appropriate language, photographs and artwork for Aboriginal children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and children with a disability when drafting communications materials
- translating school organisational information such as School Newsletter into relevant community languages, when required
- gathering feedback from children through surveys such as the Student Attitude to School Survey regarding their connectedness to peers, safety and wellbeing and implement improvements based on this feedback
- enable children to express their views and make suggestions on what child safety means to them
- provide professional learning for staff on methods of empowering children and encouraging children’s participation
- raising awareness in the community about children’s rights, for example through staff conversations with families and communications such as websites and newsletters
Glengala Primary School empowers children to articulate what they are learning, how they know they will be successful, how well they are going and what their next steps are for learning. We involve students in their education, engage them in their learning and assessment and empower them to learn by setting individual learning goals. These goals are developed, reviewed and monitored in collaboration with the classroom teacher and school leadership team. The goals are specific to each child’s learning, to enable them to grow and improve.
Students and teachers refer to the school values on a consistent basis. Our school values are
Our values are student-centred and are communicated regularly to the whole school community. We teach these values explicitly, link them to lessons and they form the central tenet of our Behaviour Management processes. We recognize our values through student awards each week. Our evidence-based approach allows every student to be empowered, and to participate in their education. Students are critically engaged in their learning, their progress and their next steps for learning.
Student Engagement Policy http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/participation/Pages/policydev.aspx Sexuality Education Catching On-line Safe Schools Hub for Students http://www.safeschoolshub.edu.au/home
Healthy Together Achievement Program http://www.achievementprogram.healthytogether.vic.gov.au/
Building Resilience: A model to support children and young people http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/resilienceframework.aspx
Resources to support child abuse awareness and prevention
Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum
School Staff see: https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/pages/Teacher.aspx (Edumail password is required before searching Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum)
Parents see: http://education.qld.gov.au/parents/school-life/child-safety-curriculum.html Child Wise Personal Safety Education Program
This document is scheduled to be reviewed every two years, or earlier in response to a significant incident if it occurs.
Date of next scheduled review: October 2018