Safeguarding

The safety and well-being of our children is at the heart of our vision for all children, and enables our children to fulfil their potential, develop a love for learning and flourish as individuals and proud members of our Skyswood team.

Safeguarding is ‘everybody’s business’ and we have created a positive environment where our children feel safe in the school playground, develop care and respect for each other, and are comfortable to talk to adults should they have any concerns or worries both in and out of school.

Social and emotional well-being has the highest of profiles within our school and all staff are committed to the well-being and positive emotional development of all children. The school is proud of our close partnerships with parents and families and promote an ‘open-door’ policy where parents are encouraged to come forward and speak to staff should they have any concerns. Our safeguarding policies reflect our commitment to safeguarding; from safer recruitment through to our Positive Behaviour Policy, Child Protection Policy, Health and Safety Policy and e-safety. All staff are familiar with Keeping Children Safe in Education and there are robust procedures within the school to immediately address any safeguarding concerns.

Skyswood Primary and Nursery School is committed to the safeguarding and well-being of all children and this is reflected through our safeguarding policies and our ethos and practices throughout the school. An enhanced DBS check is required for all posts prior to commencement and volunteers also receive appropriate induction to ensure that everybody at Skyswood is clear about our policies and procedures for safeguarding.

The DfE define safeguarding as:

– Protecting children from maltreatment;

-Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development.

-Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care:

-Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

Keeping Children Safe in Education, as updated in September 2021, states that, in addition to the three yearly cycle of safeguarding and child protection training, all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

At Skyswood Primary and Nursery School, all staff are trained Child Protection and the Designated Senior Lead for safeguarding (Mr Bob Bridle), alongside the Deputy DSL (Mrs Caroline Rich) deliver regular updates using materials provided by Hertfordshire Child Protection School Liaison Team, in line with the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB) procedures and national guidance. Staff will immediately share any safeguarding concerns with the DSL or Deputy DSL and all safeguarding or behavioural concerns are recorded through CPOMS and immediately addressed. 

Staff are also informed of updates and changes to legislation by email and staff briefings. Training in STEPs (The Hertfordshire therapeutic approach to behaviour in school) has also been given to all staff, with appropriate refresher training on an annual basis. All staff take a positive responsibility for safeguarding and receive appropriate training. Our MSA staff meet regularly and, with due consideration to confidentiality, are made aware of relevant safeguarding concerns in order to effectively monitor the well-being of all children and provide additional support to vulnerable children where necessary.

Positive behaviour is modelled from the moment our children arrive in early years. Our staff are mindful that our children arrive in school with a wide range of pre-school and broader life experiences and are quick to identify any children or families who may benefit from additional support. We work closely with external agencies, such as St Albans Plus, who can provide the school with professional advice and services such as mentoring, counselling or family support.

Our Year 6 Play Leaders support younger children during lunch breaks and are excellent role models for our younger children.

Our caring ethos is consolidated through our P.S.H.E curriculum, assemblies, and regular opportunities for children to work together collaboratively, including talk partners, group activities, buddy reading and wider school responsibilities, such as our School Council. 

Pupil voice is of great importance to everybody at Skyswood Nursery and Primary School. Each class is seen as a School Council in itself. All children get the opportunity to discuss ideas and make a positive contribution to the ethos and development of our school. School Council representatives meet every month with the head teacher. Classes organise pre-School Council meetings to ensure every child’s voice is heard, and post-School Council meetings where the class representatives feed back on key initiatives and projects within the school.

Teachers are aware of the significance of their day-to-day feedback to all children and understand that positive self-esteem enables children to feel safe, take risks, apply a growth mindset to their learning and recognise the importance of care and respect for all. Great emphasis is placed on ‘effort’ and our growth mindset philosophy. Praise and rewards are sensitively and carefully judged to ensure that all children feel equally valued. Our support staff are a major strength within the school and our children are comfortably and positive when working alongside teaching assistants or learning support assistants. Support staff play a strategic role within the school and we have established a stigma-free learning environment where our most vulnerable children receive the appropriate level of support but all children benefit from opportunities of working alongside support staff.

The school have a no-tolerance approach to any form of prejudice or bullying and our commitment to providing a fully inclusive learning environment is clearly evident throughout the school.

 

Arriving at School
Children come straight into the classrooms as they arrive between 8.45 and 8.55 a.m. Registration takes place at 8.55 a.m. Children should not be on the school premises earlier than 8.45 a.m. or return before 1.00 p.m, if they go home for lunch. Prior to that time children are the responsibility of parents/carers. Children should not be left unaccompanied before this time.

Playground apparatus and equipment should not be used at the beginning of the school day. At the end of the school day, parents may allow their children to use the tyre park and larger apparatus as long as parents take responsibility for their safety and supervision. Children who are not attending after school clubs should leave the premises by 3.45 p.m. For children attending after school clubs, the school gates are locked at 4.30 p.m. Riding of bikes, scooters etc is prohibited in the school grounds at all times.

We encourage all children to walk to school, or to cycle once they have passed their cycling proficiency course. Cycling proficiency courses are offered in the summer term to all pupils in Year 5. If you need to take your car to be school then maybe you could consider parking a short distance away and at least walking part of the way. It is vital that both the school and home promote healthy lifestyles for your children.

Please remember to consider the safety of the children walking to school and give fair consideration to our neighbours when picking children up or dropping children off.

There is a School Crossing Patrol on the Ridgeway ring road.

Support Services
We liaise with outside agencies, for example, the School Doctor and Nurse, the Speech Therapist, the Dentist, the Educational Welfare Officer, the Police and Social Services for the benefit of the children.

Child Protection
The school works in partnership with parents to support children in every way possible. However, the Children Act 1989 places a clear responsibility on schools to ensure that they work together with other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. Our school is part of Operation Encompass where we work in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary to ensure children affected by domestic abuse are appropriately supported (OE Safeguarding Statement can be accessed at the bottom of this page). If concerns are raised within the school or a child or parent reports a situation involving possible abuse, we would not be able to guarantee confidentiality. It would have to be referred on to the Child Protection Team at Hertfordshire County Council. This is in line with Government and Hertfordshire policy.

Advice for Parents Handout Sheet

Ask.fm guidance document (1)

Herts for Learning Instagram Guidance

MAGIC 13 update

MIND THE GAP

Medicines
Medicines should not normally be brought to school because of the danger to other children. Should your child need medication it should be noted that school staff are not permitted to administer such treatments. Special arrangements apply for children with diabetes, asthma or anaphylaxis – please consult with the Headteacher.

Illness and Injury
Please do not send children to School if they are unwell or have been sick or had diarrhoea in the last 48 hours. They will not cope with their lessons and it is not fair on other children.

We will do our best to deal with any illness or injury that occurs at school. If a child is injured in a manner that requires further medical attention or is too ill to continue at school, we will endeavour to contact you immediately.

For this reason all parents are asked to ensure that the School has your up to date telephone numbers, plus two additional emergency contacts (close relatives or friends) in case we are unable to contact you in person.

There are a number of cases when a child who has had an infection must remain at home for a specified number of days:

Chicken Pox 6 days from onset of rash
German Measles 4 days from onset of rash
Measles 7 days from onset of rash
Mumps Until swelling has completely subsided (7 days minimum)

General Security
Once all the children have arrived at school, the classroom doors are locked. All visitors to the School during school hours are required to go to the main reception area. This area is completely secure and separate from the rest of the school, and only authorised people are permitted to enter the school premises beyond reception.
Coming In Late and Picking Up Early
There may be occasions when, for reasons beyond control, your child will be late for school. When this happens please bring your child into the school at the main reception. Similarly, if you need to collect your child early from school, please come to the main reception.

This is important to ensure that our registers are complete and accurate in the case of emergencies. It is also important that the classes are not disturbed from doing the work that they have started. It can also be disruptive to a teacher to break the flow of lesson delivery, and he or she will not have the time to discuss the reasons for your child’s lateness – our secretary will do this at an appropriate moment in the day.

Parking
We ask you to drive carefully and park with consideration for the safety of all children when arriving and leaving school. We ask you not to use the school driveway and car park as this is only for the use of school staff and official visitors to the school. We have a Code of Conduct for travel to school. If you have special needs, please contact the school and we will make arrangements for you to use the school car park.

We would like to encourage as many children as possible to walk to school at all times. This is beneficial to your child’s health as well as to our environment. If you need to drive to school, why not “Park and Stride”, whereby you can park your car further away from the school and enjoy a short walk from there to school.

Classrooms
Head teacher, Mr Bridle, has a weekly challenge for all the classes in the school. The class which have the most attractive and tidy room are awarded The Golden Dustpan and Brush. The winning class are rewarded with an extra playtime!