Working positively to protect young people from radicalisation.
You may have heard about the Prevent programme which aims to prevent young people from being radicalised by, for example, far right extremists or religious extremists.
In school we have a duty to care for the children and take note of any child who is at risk of radicalisation, regardless of their background. We also have to take steps to help prevent children being exposed to extremist ideas. Our overriding concern is that children feel safe and also express tolerance towards all cultures and religions,even when personal views may be different.
We approach this in a number of very tangible ways. For example:
- We give very high priority to building relationships with children. Staff members know the children well and are trained to note any subtle changes in behaviour or attitude. Our safeguarding procedures are under constant review.
- We work hard to build the Little Mead community and give all children a sense of belonging and responsibility. Examples include our Playground Buddies, Pupil Leadership team, Lunchtime Leaders, Eco team and Chicken Welfare team. We promote the importance of participation in society; our recent careers fair and the ‘Take Over’ week in November support this but there are many activities throughout the year to help children make a positive contribution. Each year group supports a chosen charity and the children lead awareness raising activities for parents and the school. Class assemblies and presentations help children to feel valued and respected. We organise regular performances so that all children make their contribution.
- Our Social Moral, Spiritual and Cultural curriculum (SMSC) provides opportunities for children to explore feelings and opinions in a safe environment. We use this curriculum to help challenge attitudes such as racism or homophobia. We also talk about our democratic process. The Parliamentary Flag Project and Magna Carta project that we did in the summer provided lots of opportunities for this; our Pupil Leadership elections also demonstrate democracy in a practical way.
- Our e-safety teaching shows children how to stay safe on the internet and we regularly update this. We have worked with the Police to help parents better understand the potential dangers of unsupervised internet access.
- Throughout the curriculum and in assemblies we focus on British values, especially the importance of respect, and acceptance of people from different backgrounds. We promote a pride in being British, for example though our recent topic on the Queen and the Poppy Project. Through the curriculum we consider the impact of war and promote peaceful values through our history and RE topics. Through all our teaching we aim to challenge prejudice and discrimination but we also take every opportunity to celebrate our diversity. For example, our whole school Global Connections topic provides an opportunity to find out about different cultures across the world and the high numbers at our annual global buffet show what a positive community we have.
- We regularly consider topical issues and address these in a way which is age appropriate. In assemblies this term, we have considered migration and the reasons why people move around the world. We have looked at the situation in Syria and the reasons why some people have been forced from their homes. This assembly topic is called People on the Move and it has been enhanced by Red Cross volunteers who have worked with our Y6 children.
- We work closely with families and encourage participation in school life, through attendance at events and groups such as the Parents’ Forum. We support children and parents who are new to the country, to help their speedy integration into society. We have a member of staff, Mrs Sanday, whose role it is to support families who are new to speaking English through, for example, our weekly coffee morning and language support.
- We work very closely with other agencies such as Social Care and the Police; if we felt a child was in danger of radicalisation, we would be able to act very quickly.
- Finally, we rely on parents to provide any relevant information about safeguarding. If you have any reason to worry that a child you know is in danger of being exposed to extremist views, then please tell us in confidence. If you don’t want to speak to a member of school staff then you can ring the police on 101. Your call will be handled confidentially.
If you want to know more about the Prevent strategy then Ms Daykin or our safeguarding lead, Mrs Sanday will be happy to speak to you. Alternatively, you can follow this link to read about it.