10 principles for effective safety education practice

The British Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has published 10
principles for effective safety education practice.

1. Encourage the adoption of, or reinforce, a whole school approach, within the wider community

Resources may deliver all or part of whole school approach and should encourage
or reinforce a whole school approach. A whole school approach encompasses the
formal and informal curriculum, policy (both as written and as implemented) and
the relationships among staff, pupils, parents, carers, with other agencies and
with the wider community.

2. Use active approaches to teaching and learning (including interactive and
experiential learning)

Active approaches to teaching and learning include all strategies in and out of
the classroom where the learner:

  • seeks out information for him or herself,

  • develops a physical skill,

  • engages in discussion about a topic in pairs or groups (interactive learning),

  • is engaged in problem solving independently or in a group,

  • adopts a role, or considers an issue from someone else's viewpoint.

Active learning may draw on the learner's personal experience (experiential
learning.) A resource should describe how to manage the classroom climate e.g. using ground rules, using distancing techniques.

3. Involve young people in real decisions to help them stay safe

Involving young people includes young people's participation in real decisions
about keeping themselves safe, in and out of the classroom. Young people may be
involved in designing or participating in surveys, participating in their
school council, choosing which activities they want to take part in outside the
formal curriculum, in peer education projects, in mentoring or peer support.
Activities for young people should include identification of hazards,
participating in risk assessment (e.g. assessing whether risks are trivial,
tolerable or intolerable) and being part of actions to control or manage risk
to themselves and others.

4. Assess children and young people's learning needs

Local and national evidence can help to identify factors that suggest children
of a particular age or group are at risk. Teaching and learning strategies to
address these needs should reflect the age and developmental stage of the
learner, take account of social and cultural needs and the effects of gender on
safety related behaviour and learning. Strategies to assess learning needs can
involve open ended forms of questioning, whether through informal discussion,
mind mapping, brain-showers and circle time. They may also include more
structured formats, such as surveys, focus group discussions, interviews or
'draw and write' activities.

5. Teach safety as part of a comprehensive personal social and health curriculum

A comprehensive personal social and health curriculum helps children and young
people learn how to keep themselves healthy and to stay safe. It provides
opportunities to learn specific and transferable skills and knowledge in a wide
range of circumstances, but with attention to feelings, skills, attitudes,
values and attributes. Topics should be introduced in the early years at school
and extended and revisited throughout the key stages, introducing more specific
language, knowledge and skill as the child develops (spiral curriculum). A
comprehensive personal social and health curriculum will offer pupils a
specific time and place to learn about being healthy and staying safe (such as
dedicated PSHE time) but will also be cross curricular, drawing on different
programmes of study (e.g. maths, English, science, drama) to help young people
access and use relevant information.

6. Use realistic and relevant settings and resources

Real life data and examples (but not those designed simply to shock) help to
engage young people and to challenge misconceptions e.g. 'bullying is
acceptable behaviour among children' or 'accidents just happen' where
necessary. (Using data in this way is also known as a normative approach).

7. Work in partnership

Develop links with supporting agencies such as police, fire and rescue, local
authorities, and educational charities where these add value to work carried
out in schools and other settings. Work with parents/carers and members of the
wider community by seeking their views, providing information and guidance and
involving them in developing and implementing solutions.

8. Address known risk and protective factors

Risk and protective factors can be anything that is associated with a greater
or lesser probability of a child or young person experiencing harm. Risk
factors are not static and can be divided into several domains:

  • individual ( e.g knowledge or skill)

  • school (e.g. policy)

  • peer group (e.g. attitudes)

  • family e.g. (parental rules) and

  • community (e.g. crime).

An understanding of risk and protective factors can help those designing and
delivering safety education resources to focus on wider aspects of injury
prevention and personal safety.

9. Address psychosocial aspects of safety e.g. confidence, resilience, self
esteem, self efficacy

Psychosocial risk and protective factors are individual characteristics that
may predispose children to injury, or to being a victim of bullying, violence
or abuse. Psychosocial aspects of behaviour operate dynamically with
environmental factors, reinforcing the importance of incorporating individual
protective factors (such as confidence, resilience, self esteem, self efficacy)
within a whole school, whole community approach.

10. Adopt positive approaches which model and reward safe behaviour, within a safe, supportive environment

It is helpful to identify the short and long-term benefits of maintaining safe
and healthy behaviour, and of modifying behaviour that is harmful to health.
Children and adults learn from observing and modelling the behaviour of others,
including peers, and generalise their expectation of positive outcomes across
different domains.

Further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents