Keeping us Safe
This is our school safeguarding policy which we use to ensure all children and pupils in school are as safe as they can be.
What we do in school to keep your children safe
If any parent or carer have safeguarding concerns they wish to report then they can do so by phoning Social Care Direct: The First Contact Service on 03000 26 79 79 or look at the website at www.durham.gov.uk/firstcontact for further information.
‘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 and 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 Safeguarding Leads are Joanne E. Shaw Head Teacher, Neil Bell Deputy Head Teacher, Julie McDonald SENCo, Laura Kendall Early Years Lead and Shelley Nicholson 2-year room lead. The designated governor for Safeguarding is Maureen Nair.
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 designated Safeguarding leads at the school. All school staff receive safeguarding updates for Prevent and as such if you have any concerns any member of staff can be approached.
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.
If your child is ill
Please keep them at home and notify us by 10am 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 all members of staff have First Aid certificates – our latest training was 1st September 2021 and is booked in for renewal in September 2024.
Use of Mobile Devices in School.
All staff and visitors to school are bound to an Acceptable Use Policy, which defines that no personal mobile devices may be used for phone calls or other communication throughout the school day unless in an area of school deemed acceptable by the headteacher. In addition, no personal mobile devices may be used to take photographs of children.
Any images of your children may be solely taken with prior written consent (Photo Permission letters are sent home at the start of each year) and are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Parents and Carers are permitted to take photographs of children for your own personal use. This means that you are allowed to take photos at achievement assemblies, sports days or take videos of nativity plays. These must be for your own personal use and not for sharing images of other children on Social Media or other internet sites.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If a child is receiving ongoing medication, parents are allowed to come into school by prior arrangement to administer this. 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. Mrs Danielle Stoker, Admin Officer, oversees all Medical Care Plans.
Shortly after starting school our Reception children will see the School Nurse for a health check and parents/carers have the opportunity to discuss any worries that they may have with her. If the parent, nurse or teacher have any concerns, they can request a medical with the School Doctor. Health checks are carried out at various points during your child’s education.
For the sake of safety we request that jewellery should not be worn to school, with the exception of a watch which may be worn at the owner’s risk.
The Local Authority regulations state that all jewellery must be removed for P.E.
Our fire bells are tested weekly and a fire drill is held each term to ensure the swift evacuation of the building. If you are helping in school and the alarm sounds, please leave by the nearest exit and assemble in the Multi Use Games Area in the playground.
Throughout the year we welcome representatives from the local Fire Brigade who come to talk to EY, 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. Yellow 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.
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.
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 Friends, Mini-Buds and Buddies are present in all playgrounds to help ensure that playtimes are a happy time for children.
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. E-cigarettes are also not permitted on school grounds.
The school was built with security of pupils and staff in mind including:
· perimeter fencing and gates
· fenced Nursery Garden for our youngest pupils
· a sophisticated intruder alarm
· a modern effective fire alarm system
· door entry system and 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 gate to make sure that children stay safely inside the school playground once they have been dropped off by parents and do not leave without an accompanying adult (unless they are older pupils with permission to go home unaccompanied).
We have excellent relations with out 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.
In years Y1 – Y3 children go swimming once a week. 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 swimming by a fully trained instructor.
Risk Assessments and School Trips
All school trips involve the undertaking of a risk assessment and we ask pupils to wear their uniform so they can be easily identified.
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 SEAL (Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning) scheme of work and every half term there is a new topic that the whole school focus on through circle time, discussion groups and school assemblies. Every year we focus on anti-bullying week through SEAL and involve the children in anti-bullying competitions.
E-Safety is taught alongside computer skills throughout a child's time at Catchgate Primary School. We take cyber safety very seriously. The school has clear rules for responsible Internet use which are displayed in classrooms and the ICT suite. Each year during Safer Internet Week children watch videos and discuss safe internet behaviour using materials provided by the Police CEOP (available at www.thinkuknow.co.uk). 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 be aware of the online material and websites that their children are accessing at home. At Key Stage 1 children learn the importance of keeping their personal details private and safe and how to behave politely and responsibly online. Children also learn to tell a trusted adult if they don't like what they see online. At Key Stage 2 these key safety messages are reinforced and through discussion and viewing videos of potential scenarios children will learn about how email and social networking sites work, how they can keep themselves and their friends safe in the anonymous internet world. If we become aware of issues relating to specific children we inform parents.