This a programme developed by the NSPCC designed to safeguard children who have additional needs. The resource contains a programme of six sessions with activities and resources that can be selected and used as appropriate to meet a wide range of needs and abilities. There are many practical activities and engaging methods that can help pupils to learn effectively. There are stories to help pupils understand physical abuse, bullying, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect – all the stories have positive outcomes. There is guidance available to help teachers deliver this programme and take the time needed to ensure the safeguarding messages are effectively delivered
We offer this programme where appropriate to children in years 5 &6 in consultation with parents
‘Speak out. Stay safe’ is a programme that has been put together by the NSPCC and Image in Actionthat helps provide children with knowledge and strategies for dealing with abuse and how to stay safe. It was designed for pupils with special education needs and provides different possible learning methods to help pupils to engage with it.
The programme uses a ‘safe circle’ strategy to help pupils understand who are their trusted adults they are able to talk to should they have any problems. Throughout lessons children are able to discuss who is in their safe circle, including adults both from home and in school.
The programme also provides child characters which the pupils become familiar with. Throughout the lessons stories are shared about situations that happen to these characters. The stories cover the five different types of abuse and have illustrated pictures to show alongside the story, such as a kind grandfather giving a hug or a shouting parent. These help pupils realise what is happening to the characters and seeing the reactions on the faces of the illustrations encourages them to discuss what they are feeling and why.
We have identified specific pupils who would benefit from the programme, these are children working at a receptive level of P8 or above and are mostly in upper Key Stage 2. The character Mr Green is a green speech bubble who is there to remind pupils that they can speak out to anyone in their safe circle. Each child taking part in the sessions has been given a Mr Green card to keep so that they can give it to someone if they want to talk about a problem. Staff in school are aware of this and so are ready to assist should they be presented with one.
During sessions a total communication approach is used, including sign and visuals such as traffic lights and symbols whenever appropriate. Lessons are adapted depending on learning needs, for example if a pupil engages and learns using scripts then they have been created to help develop understanding. Where appropriate acting and role-play have been used to re-enforce learning and to help pupils show their understanding. For example, pupils may be asked to act as if they are shouting “Stop!” to someone who is being unkind to them or they may role-play helping a friend who is upset.
At Delamere school we have added some sessions to the programme based around ‘stranger danger’ as we feel is it so important for pupils to understand how to stay safe when dealing with unfamiliar people. We are also planning some sessions on internet safety as we are aware that more pupils have access to online facilities and need to understand how to use it safely.
Understanding your own emotions is very important in development of self-awareness and is something we discuss a lot during lessons. Over the course of the programme pupils have become more self-aware in terms of their emotions, being able to use more appropriate language to describe feelings and bring up examples of when and why certain emotions may occur.
We have also found that pupils feel more confident to talk about their own personal experiences over time. For example, when talking about situations where they may feel scared or if discussing when someone is not being kind to them, they may talk about when something similar has happened. These are excellent opportunities to discuss feelings, reactions and how to deal with situations.
Some of the key messages taught over the programme such as saying “No” or “Stop” and telling someone in your safe circle when you have a problem, are embedded over time. Over the sessions when pupils speak about what they would do in situations they regularly mention these key messages. Also pupils have gained a greater understanding of what a ‘safe circle’ is and who is a good person to talk to if there is a problem to discuss.
If we have recapped topics during the programme to embed further learning, pupils have been able to talk about previous discussions to show their learning. For example, they have been able to discuss what happened in a story to one of the characters and why the character felt a certain way.
Discussions with class teachers around what pupils do in sessions and progress they have made take place which allow the BSquared analysis tool to be updated as appropriate. Whilst running the Speak out Stay Safe programme, we have had some parents who have fed back to say that they are happy their child is taking part and have spoken about their learning at home.