St. Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Stay Safe Policy
This policy was devised in line with current recommendations and guidelines from Child Protection Guidelines & Procedures (DES) 2017 and Children First (TUSLA) 2017 relating to child abuse prevention and child protection.
St. Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock teaches the Stay Safe programme, a personal safety skills programme designed for use in Irish primary schools. It was researched and developed by the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (CAPP).
The programme aims to reduce vulnerability to child abuse and bullying through the provision of a personal safety education programme for children at primary school level.
It is developmentally structured to enable primary school teachers to deliver an abuse prevention education that addresses personal safety issues such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as bullying and stranger danger. The importance of building confidence and self-esteem and developing assertiveness and strong clear communication is emphasised throughout the programme. The role of schools in prevention education is increasingly being recognised as imperative to the reduction of vulnerabilities of children to bullying and abuse.
Under Child Protection Guidelines, all schools are required to fully implement the Stay Safe programme (DES circular 65/2011) within the context of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum.
The Stay Safe programme has been updated, and the revised Stay Safe programme will be implemented in our school.
The aim of the revised Stay Safe programme is to teach children personal safety skills so that they can look after themselves in situations that could be upsetting, unsafe, frightening or dangerous. The programme also teaches children the safety skills to protect themselves from physical and sexual abuse and emphasises the importance of telling a trusted adult. As well as reducing children’s vulnerability to abuse, the Stay Safe programme aims to increase well-being and resilience by giving children knowledge, skills and strategies in an age-appropriate manner, using developmentally structured lessons and resources to empower them.
In St. Brigid’s N.S., the Stay Safe programme is taught as part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum.
Pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class will participate in formal lessons from the Stay Safe programme.
The programme will be taught every year during the first term as part of the SPHE strand units,
Self-Identity (Year 1) and Safety and Protection (Year 2).
Teachers may decide to revisit topics at other times during the year if the need arises. Every effort will be made to ensure that the programme’s messages are reinforced whenever possible.
Lessons from the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) and the Walk Tall programmes will also be used to teach the strands of the SPHE curriculum.
It is considered good practice to inform parents in advance of the commencement of the Stay Safe programme and to direct them to www.pdst.ie/staysafe
for any further information. To that end, all parents/guardians receive an email early in September informing them of the starting dates for each class level.
Included in that email is a link to all the Stay Safe lessons at each class level.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to become involved by discussing the lessons with their child/children. Worksheets based on the lessons taught will be sent home to be signed.
In the event that a parent withdraws their child/children from the Stay Safe programme, a written record of this request will be sent to the principal and kept on file.
Staff have been facilitated to attend CPD training on the revised Stay Safe programme.
Continued professional development for teachers and other staff members, including members of the Board of Management, will be facilitated.
The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of this policy and amend as required. The policy will be reviewed in 2022 or earlier, if necessary.
This plan was fully reviewed, approved and adopted by the Board of Management.
Signed: Chairperson of Board of Management
Date: September 2019
Signed: Principal/Secretary of Board of Management
Date: September 2019