Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct
Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
Knox Park Primary School is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.
Knox Park Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse.
Knox Park Primary School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.
Every person involved in Knox Park Primary School has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
In its planning, decision-making and operations Knox Park Primary School will
- Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety;
- Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives;
- Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children
- Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount;
- Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children;
- Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
- Ensure children know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues;
- Report suspected abuse, neglect or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities;
- Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children is at risk; and
- Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.
Restorative Practices is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged. At Knox Park Primary School it assists with teaching our children about responsibility, accountability and empathy all while taking care of the relationships we build with others.
Restorative Practices recognise that wrong-doing can cause harm to relationships, and in order for individuals to move forward, the relationship needs to be repaired. To do so, our children participate in open conversations facilitated by teachers, where questions are asked to identify why particular behaviours have occurred and what was thought during that moment. Discussions take place identifying ways in which an individual has been affected.
Children involved listen to those who have been wronged to understand how their behaviour has impacted on others. Together they decide how to repair the harm, allowing those involved to feel safe, connected and heard. Restorative Practices strengthen the feeling of community, which is highly valued at Knox Park Primary School.
(Source: Brazosport Independent School District 2017)
Knox Park Primary School uses the Peer Mediation Program to assist children to solve low-level incidences in the playground. The program teaches our children to resolve issues through the use of trained Peer Mediators (senior students) to support in resolving conflicts.
Peer Mediators follow strict steps in order for all children involved to feel they’ve been heard and have been treated fairly. Together they then brainstorm and identify the best solution to the problem and agree upon the outcome. The Program teaches and encourages children to develop a range of skills; communication, problem solving, conflict management and tolerance.
With the support of Peer Mediators, teachers have noticed an increased sense of community, belonging and co-operation. Our children want to solve problems themselves, and take pride in doing so.
KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework that provides the methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced children. At Knox Park we utilise this framework to guide the implementation of our Wellbeing approach.
Various initiatives fit under the KidsMatter framework at Knox Park including; Bounce Back, Restorative Practices, Peer Mediators and Student Representative Council.
Bounce Back is a positive approach to wellbeing, resilience and social-emotional learning for children. At Knox Park we utilise the Bounce Back scope and sequence to explicitly teach the skills our children require to thrive socially. Lessons are taught weekly in classes across the school with a range of applications and learning intentions. Bounce Back also provides common language, expectations and understandings across the school in order to consistently educate our children throughout the school.
Student Action Team
The Student Action Team (SAT) provides opportunities for all children to voice their ideas and concerns about school. The SAT endeavours to enable all children to feel valued, to be involved in school life, and to contribute to the school and wider community.
Through the SAT, our children develop an understanding of their rights and responsibilities, have a forum to express their opinions, ideas and attitudes as well as participate in school decision making. Our SAT organise, coordinate and participate in school activities, fundraising and charity events to contribute to the school, wider community and broader global issues.