1B Key transition points in the schooling years
Enhancing Child Safety – A Whole of School Curriculum Approach
Interrelate is a not-for-profit organisation that has supported parents and children to strengthen their relationships since 1926. Each year, our working relationship with over 1000 schools enables us to deliver programs covering bullying, cyber safety, sexuality, puberty and healthy relationships to more than 70,000 children.
Interrelate offers a full suite of primary school programs from kindergarten to year 6 which align with the broader school curriculum. Research has shown the benefits of the sequential learning of children in building and enhancing relationships skills and child protective behaviours.
By explaining and demonstrating key aspects of our schools programs facilitators of this session will illustrate how protective behaviours are introduced to students as early as kindergarten and how child protection elements are now weaved within all programs. The importance of building rapport and trust with children, parents and teachers will also be illustrated.
Within our programs children learn the correct terminology for body parts. As a result children’s self-esteem and confidence about body safety is improved. Children learn about warning signs including how to listen to their bodies and emotions, and who to trust and go to if something is not okay. Children are empowered through developing a positive awareness of their body image. A key focus includes improving the children’s understanding of healthy relationships including relationship with self and others.
This paper will outline how Interrelate provides a whole of school community approach. The benefits of co-ordinating a universal approach to support the school community including parents/carers, teachers, children and families has been reiterated by the World Health Organisation in addressing relationship and sexuality education. (Source: World Health Organization. What is a Health Promoting School? Geneva, 2011).
Information is delivered at an age appropriate level. The resources, such as the take home workbooks further reinforce the learning in the classroom and at home. Our multi-faceted approach to program delivery includes the provision of parent and teacher workshops. The family evening programs focus on facilitating conversations between parent/carers and their children.
By outlining the holistic and comprehensive programs being offered attendees to this paper will gain a greater understanding of the key considerations and inclusions required to work in this holistic way. Attendees will also be engaged in learning through active participation. Examples of program logics, evaluations, curriculum correlation documents, program outlines, work-books, games, power-points, resources and activities for the class-room will be shared with the group.
Kristy Innes is the National Program Developer for Interrelate. She completed her Masters of Sexual Health and Sexually transmitted Infection through The University of Sydney. With a background in social science, counselling and management, she is passionate about youth health and well being. Kristy is currently conducting research on her Cyber Safe Teens program in conjunction with The University of Technology Sydney.
Sharon Grocott has a professional background of more than 27 years in the community sector. With formal training in Social Work and a Masters in Community Management through The University of Technology Sydney Sharon has worked in senior roles for the last 16 years in a range of non-profit organisations. She is passionate about improving the lives of people with disabilities, children and young people.