Keeping Your Child Safe
‘Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, every day’.
Our first and foremost priority is to keep your child safe and healthy. Under the new OFSTED framework safeguarding is a key indicator of what constitutes a good school. Keeping your child safe means:
- The health and safety of all children
- Making sure that the adults who work here have undergone safety and security checks
- Protecting children from deliberate harm
- Being an anti-bullying school
- Being proactive against racist behaviour
- Being proactive against attempts to indoctrinate children in to any form of extreme ideology
- Protecting our children from harassment and discrimination
- A positive approach to behaviour management including the use of physical intervention safely, when necessary
- Meeting the needs of children with medical conditions
- Providing first aid
- Protecting children from drug and substance abuse
- Children enjoying safe educational visits
- Caring for children’s personal needs
- Keeping children safe when using the internet and making sure they are aware of cyber bullying.
- Making sure our school is secure and safe
- Being a ‘listening school’.
- Ensuring they know who to go in school if they have a problem
Your child and their health & safety are our number one priority. We employ the following strategies to keep your child healthy and safe:
All staff receive appropriate training in Safeguarding and Child Protection to ensure that they are aware of the school’s procedures for child protection and their responsibilities. We have a written policy and procedures for Child Protection complying with Local Authority guidance. The Designated Teachers for Safeguarding are Louise Nichols (Executive Headteacher), Lisa Clarke (Deputy Headteacher) and Ella Jones (Assistant Headteacher). The designated governor for Child Protection is Gillian Brady.
Recording and Reporting Racist Incidents
‘Under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and Home Office Code of Practice on reporting and recording racist incidents (2000) schools are required to record and investigate all racist incidents and to report them to the Local Authority on a regular basis.Definition of a racist incident, as recommended in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report 1999: ‘A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.
Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism
In line with the DfE's Prevent Duty advice (June 2015) we are committed to actively promoting the fundamental British values of democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs. Our core mission of diversity permeates all we do. We place a strong emphasis on the common values that all communities share such as self-respect, tolerance and the sanctity of life. We work hard to broaden our students' experience, to prepare them for life and work in contemporary Britain. We teach them to respect and value the diversity around them as well as understanding how to make safe, well-considered decisions. We recognise that we have a responsibility to protect children from all forms of extremism and this forms an integral part of our Safeguarding Policy. This includes the use of internet filtering systems in school, to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when using the internet. If you have any concerns regarding radicalisation and extremism please contact one of our Safeguarding Officers (Louise Nichols, Lisa Clarke and Ella Jones) at the school.
Collecting your child during the school day
Please try and make appointments out of school hours if possible. If you have to collect your child during the school day for a medical or dental appointment, please write a note to the class teacher or let the office staff know in advance.
If your child is ill
Please keep them at home and notify us by 9.30am on the first day of any absence so that we know they are safely at home with you. We have a policy of contacting parents / carers if we haven’t received a message by 10am. If your child becomes ill during the day they will be monitored and we will telephone you if we feel it is necessary to do so. Any cuts and grazes resulting from normal play in the playground will be dealt with by our first aid trained office staff, learning support assistants or mid-day assistants. Any bumps on the head will be reported to the child’s teacher and parents / carers will also be notified. We ensure that several members of staff have First Aid certificates and our fully qualified First Aiders are Laura Philipson, Lauren Saffrey, Rose Francis, Julie Philipson, Sheila Simon, Lisa Allen, Patricia Grant, Gulay Bozdogan, Mark Penn, Rima Begum, Christine Small, Gwen Campbell, Katrina Cadogan, Nicola Wright, Melissa Gregory, Melissa McCalla, Amma Cofie, Shona Church, Darrel Phillipson, Coujoe Ryan and Jackie Brand.
If a child is receiving on going medication, please complete a medication administer form, which can be obtained form the school office. Prescribed medication cannot be administered by school staff without prior agreement: please visit the school office to discuss this. Medicine and tablets must never be given to a child to be brought into school. We will ask you to fill in an Individual Medical Care Plan if your child has medical needs. Please advise the school if there are any changes to your child’s health which the school should know about.
Shortly after starting school our Reception children will see the health care professionals for health checks and parents/carers have the opportunity to discuss any worries that they may have with them. Health checks are carried out at various points during your child’s education.
See our Health and Welfare page on this website.
For the sake of safety we request that jewellery should not be worn to school, with the exception of small stud ear-rings and watches which may be worn at the owner’s risk. Smart watches (for example Kidizoom and Apple) can distract children from learning and so should not be worn at school. The Local Authority regulations state that all jewellery must be removed for P.E.
Our fire bells are tested regularly and a fire drill is held each term to ensure the swift evacuation of the building. If you are visiting in school and the alarm sounds, please leave by the nearest exit and assemble in the cage in the large playground.
Once a year the school welcomes representatives from the local Fire Brigade who come to talk to KS1 and KS2 children about Fire Safety
As part of our Travel Plan we have set a target to continue to increase the number of children walking and cycling to school. We ask parents / carers to support us and ease traffic congestion by walking your child to school, or by encouraging them to scoot or cycle; this provides an ideal opportunity to teach your child about road safety and traffic awareness. There is a bike shed for bicycles to be kept in and an additional shed for scooters to be kept in. Zig-Zag lines are in force around the school so, if you do travel by car, please park well away from the school entrance for the sake of the safety of our pupils. Road Safety Officers visit the school on an annual basis to ensure that all children are aware of how to stay safe as pedestrians. As part of the level 2 cycle training children in year 5 and 6 are taught how to cycle safely on quiet roads and about road safety awareness.
Safety in the playground
Before and after school
Parents/carers are responsible for children in playground before the bell rings unless the child attended breakfast club and then the breakfast club staff are there for them. Please do not allow your children to ride bikes or scooters once in the playground at the beginning or end of the school day. Please do not bring dogs onto the school premises ever.
During school hours
We have very clear rules about behaviour and use of play equipment in the playground. Supervising adults are outside with the children every playtime and lunch time and additionally Playground Buddies are present in the infant playgrounds to help ensure that playtimes are a happy time for children in Reception and Years 1 and 2.
No Smoking Area
Our school building and grounds are a designated No Smoking area so we ask for your co-operation in extinguishing cigarettes before entering the site.
The school was built or has been adapted with security of pupils and staff in mind including:
- perimeter walls, fencing and gates
- fenced nursery playground for our youngest pupils
- a sophisticated intruder alarm
- a modern effective fire alarm system
- evacu chairs on the first and second floors
- door entry system with electronic signing in procedure for all visitors and staff
- all staff wear ID badges at all times
Although we want to have an open door policy we must balance this against the safety of pupils and staff and we request that parents / carers respect this.
Visiting the school
Any visitors to the school must sign in and out as a visitor and wear their badge at all times. Our staff are trained to challenge anyone not following this practice, so we apologise in advance.
At the beginning and end of each day there is always at least one member of staff at the school gates to make sure that children stay safely inside the school playground once they have been dropped off by parents in the morning and do not leave without an accompanying adult at the end of the day (unless they are older pupils with permission to go home unaccompanied).
Relationship and Health Education
As part of the national curriculum age appropriate sex and relationship education (RSE) is taught. All parents receive a letter before the subject is covered explaining the topic and how they are taught. Years 5 and 6 also cover drug misuse through various outside agency input (i.e.: Police, Healthy Choices through Sport programmes, Community Officers)
We have excellent relations with our local police and community officers who regularly attend our school events and are invited in to different classes to talk about a variety of topics.
Children in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 go swimming for the first half of the autumn term and the summer term every year. They are accompanied by 2 members of staff who remain poolside during the lesson and closely supervise the children in the changing rooms. The children are taught to swim by fully trained instructors.
Risk Assessments and School Trips
All school trips involve the undertaking of a risk assessment and our children wear high visibility tabards clearly identifying them as Gayhurst Community School pupils, on all educational trips. Adults also wear high visibility vests.
It is the responsibility of the whole school to ensure that school is a bully free zone. We are proactive in promoting a caring and positive ethos between all members of the school community. We have an anti-bullying policy with very clear procedures in place in the event of an incident involving bullying. We follow the Jigsaw scheme of work and through teh 'Celebrating Difference' units children learn about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilites of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help. Every year we focus on anti-bullying week and involve the children in anti-bullying questionnaires and competitions. Children also can come to school dressed in a blue top on the chosen day to support anti-bullying week.
Our learning mentors sometimes works with individual children and small groups to help resolve friendship issues and also runs anger management groups for children who need support in this area.
E-Safety is taught as an integral part of the Computing Curriculum throughout a child's time at Gayhurst as part of Digital Literacy programme of study. To maintain safe internet use in school we have clear rules for responsible use, which are covered with the children and are displayed in classrooms.
We have filtering systems in place to prevent children at school accessing websites considered to be unsafe or inappropriate, and encourage parents and carers to recognise the importance of being aware of the online material and websites that their children are accessing at home.
Each member of the Senior Leadership Team and all teaching staff have received CEOP (National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation Online Protection Command) training, delivered by a CEOP Online Safety and Computing Consultant. As a result each staff member works in conjunction with the latest advice and guidance on the online safeguarding of children. We work in collaboration with parents to address any online issues that concern particular children.
Further information on how to help support e-safety at home is available for parents and carers on the left hand menu of this page.