Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility at Unity Primary Academy
We want to enable all pupils to feel safe and cared for whilst at school, and to ensure that they have a safe place and safe people to whom they can turn to. All adults involved at Unity Primary Academy are fully equipped to fulfill their responsibilities in effectively promoting the safeguarding and welfare of all of our pupils.
Children are subject to possible risk at home, school, in their local community and environment, and we recognise that in order to effectively safeguard our pupils and promote their welfare, we need to understand any specific issues arising in the local area that can affect the risk posed to them. Therefore, children will have access to a broad and varied curriculum where they can learn , and ask questions about things that are worrying them.
We welcome local and national charities such as The NSPCC, Essex Fire and Rescue and The 2 Johns to strengthen children's understanding and resilience.
Speak out Stay safe
1 in 5 children in the UK have suffered abuse, robbing them of their childhood. That’s why we welcome the NSPCC every 2 years,to give all children the knowledge they need to stay safe from harm and to speak out if they’re worried. The NSPCC have made a special virtual assembly with Ant and Dec and David Walliams in partnership with the Department for Education.
At Unity Primary Academy we are committed to being an inclusive school, providing the best possible standard of education for every child. Our PSHE curriculum helps pupils to celebrate similarities and differences in others no matter what their background.
Hate crime is when somebody offends, makes fun of, bullies, puts down or makes someone feel uncomfortable because of:
- Where they come from
- Their skin colour, religion or culture
- A disability/ illness
- If they are a girl or boy (gender)
- Who they choose to like/be friends with
- What someone looks like
Any sort of hate crime is not tolerated. We promote a non-judgemental environment where everyone can be respected and treated equally and where everyone is kind, caring and feels safe. We have robust policies in place to tackle hate crime and bullying and we understand these issues need to remain a high priority to protect and educate our children
How to talk to children about racism
We often make the mistake of avoiding difficult subjects, believing that our children are too young to understand, or wanting to protect them from such things. But in fact, the earlier we start the conversation, the better. Children are being exposed to racism and opinions around it all the time – particularly once they are online – so we need to prepare them for that. The important thing is to talk to your children in a way they understand and let them lead the conversation.
What is racism?
Racism feels like a strong word and no one would consider themselves racist. When we think of racism, what might immediately spring to mind is intentional, angry or violent behaviour against different groups of people based on their race or skin colour.
But racism isn’t always like this. Even when people don’t intend harm, they still might be making judgements based on race that can lead to unintentionally racist behaviour.
Ten tips to help your child understand racism
1) Learn about it yourself first – It’s easy to shy away from talking about something you feel like you don’t fully understand yourself. It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and be aware of our own biases that can affect our words and actions around our children.
2) Hold yourself accountable – as we know, we are our own best role model for our child and acknowledging your past mistakes, engaging with educational sources and passing these onto your child set a great example for how they can unlearn negative behaviour.
3) Set an example and speak up – If you overhear someone telling a racist joke for example, speak up and let them know that stereotyping is harmful. Let your children know that they should feel okay to speak up as well.
4) Examine your own racial bias – This might feel uncomfortable, but is an important part of setting an example to your child. Does your friendship circle or the people you work with represent a diverse and inclusive group?
5) Find out how racism is covered in your children’s school – You can use this to start a conversation and also discuss what the regulations are to prevent and deal with racism.
6) Talk to your children about racism and differences – explain that racism is a system of unfairness rather than an isolated event and that it has a long history in our country. Understanding movements for equality around the world can also highlight how far we’ve come and how much further we still have to go.
7) Make talking about skin colour normal – Try to avoid saying “I don’t see colour” – it’s the barriers that people have as a result of this, that we don’t always see. Being honest and talking about why everyone isn’t always treated the same is important.
8) Encourage your children to ask questions – Children are naturally curious and should feel comfortable to come to you with any questions they may have, in the same way you would encourage them to ask you about topics like mental health and sexuality. Check what their question is before answering by asking questions, so you can make sure you’re giving them the information they want and avoid confusing them.
9) Seek out books, films, and toys to help start conversations – Especially those that portray people from different racial and ethnic groups in varied roles.
10) Be open – The subject matter of racism is uncomfortable to talk about, but it is important to explain to your child that it is painful to experience as well. Identifying the emotions that we are feeling and questioning why we are feeling them is a good place to start.
How to start an age-appropriate conversation with children
At around age three, children are aware of race and skin colour and able to ask questions about it – encourage your child to come to you with questions that you are open to answer. As they reach age five, children tend to understand the concept of fairness pretty well, so it is a good starting off point to talk about racism as being unfair and unacceptable and that’s why we need to work together to make it better.
While children develop their ability to talk about their feelings more as they grow older, they are equally also exposed to more things that they might not understand. Find out what they know by being curious and asking questions. They might be learning things at school, hearing things on the playground or seeing things on TV. If you talk openly, you can build trust and encourage them to come to you with concerns and worries. Discuss media together, for example, you could look at how different groups are portrayed in the news and negative stereotypes in films.
Designated Safeguarding Lead
If you have any worries about your child, or someone else's child it is important you speak out. We all have a responsibility to keep children safe from harm. We have a designated safeguarding lead on site at all times. We are able to speak with you and give you help / support and signpost you to other agencies if needed to. If a child is at immediate risk of harm please call Essex Police on 999 or 101. Essex Social care are also able to talk to you anonymously. Call 0345 603 7627 and ask for the CHILDREN & FAMILIES HUB PRIORITY LINE Emergency Duty Service (Immediate Out of Hours Response) No: 0345 606 1212 (Mon - Thurs 5.00pm – 8.45am, Fri 4.30pm – Mon 8.45am Inc. Bank holidays)