We train our students to keep themselves and others safe in a range of situations, including preparing them for life in modern Britain and local issues such as knife crime. Our curriculum is designed to address key issues at important times in a young persons development, from friendship issues in Year 7 to sex and relationships in Key Stage 4. Please see below for information on how we tackle the three main issues we (local and national schools) currently face; knife crime, radicalisation and the impact of social media.
We work very hard to ensure our young people do not become a victim of knife crime, either directly or indirectly. We have offered a range of strategies to our young people this year to help keep them safe:
- Assemblies and form time activities focusing on the impact of knife crime, as well as local advice on where to get help (local police, local authority and staff contact details shared).
- Targeted work supported by the local authority with some of our young people who may be at risk of knife crime.
- Work with the safer schools team and advice shared with all students, including a knife arch where all of our students were searched as they arrived to school (with no knives found).
Children can be exposed to different views and receive information from various sources. Some of these views may be considered radical or extreme. As a school, we share information with the local authroity prevent team if and when we have concerns involving any of our young people.
Challenging and tackling extremism is a shared effort (HM Government, 2013). Adults who work or volunteer in faith organisations have a responsibility to protect children from becoming radicalised and/or being exposed to extreme views. All staff at Oak Wood School receive annual prevent training, helping them highlight the key signs of extremism and how to safeguard our young people.
The main issue we find when tackling social media issues as a school is that the event has usually already occurred by the time we find out. For example, if an inappropriate message or photo is shared on social media, we only find out when a student chooses to inform us - often too late to stop issues. That is why we are focused on:
- Training our young people in safe and sensible online behaviour
- Building positive relationships with other members of the school community, where issues and discussed and addressed in person
- Ensuring students know what to do when they see anything online that is not right. This includes reporting the issue to the social media company, telling a parent and/or passing this information on to the school.