Keeping children safe is always our first priority. We follow the latest guidance from the Department of Education and Dorset County Council. We work closely with external organisations, such as Dorset and Bournemouth social care teams, Christchurch Family Partnership Zone, Dorset Police and the NHS to protect all our children.
We therefore regularly update our policies and constantly remind staff. It is always an agenda item at our Governors’ meetings. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
Our Child Protection Policies can be found in the school policy section on the website.
If you need to speak to someone about any concerns which you have, please contact the school office and they will arrange the appropriate meeting. We have 4 designated (trained) safeguarding leads in school: Mr Ruffle, Mr Croutear, Mrs Kelly and Mrs Sibbald.
One of the historic strengths of the Priory School has been our care for individuals. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs showed that wellbeing and feeling safe have to be met, before learning can take place. If you need to share a concern regarding your child, you should usually first inform the class teacher as they are the ones with the day to day responsibility for your child and can often make the biggest difference.
In the morning you can pass on messages to Support Staff, who will be on the playground gate, or one of the Senior Leaders who will always be on the front gate. We have also set aside Tuesday mornings, when a member of our pastoral care team (see below) will be available to speak with you about more confidential matters—should you wish.
We have reviewed our staffing structure and designated certain staff as ‘specialists’ in different areas. Some of us will need time to develop in these roles, but we will be able to support you when you need further guidance in these areas.
Mrs Sibbald – Inclusion leader; responsible for concerns relating to learning difficulties (including medical and health) and designated teacher for Looked After Children, pupil premium children
Miss Kelly – PSHE co-ordinator; responsible for promoting personal and social development through the curriculum
Mrs Kelly – Attendance and Behaviour concerns
Mrs Jennings – ELSA (Emotional literacy and social skills) in particular behaviour
Mrs Poulter – ELSA (Emotional literacy and nurture) in particular anxiety and attachment
Mr Croutear – Mental Health & CAMHS referrals
Mr Ruffle – Safeguarding, child welfare (including bereavement), exclusions and pupils on behaviour reports
Christchurch family partnership zone have lots of expertise working with families facing the following issues:
- parents who are separating or have separated
- where there’s historical or current domestic abuse
- Parents who are finding it difficult to manage their child’s behaviour
- children who are self-harming or are thinking of self-harming
- a family member who uses alcohol or substances
- Families who are struggling to cope financially
- families don’t know where to access information
You can contact them through school or direct by email / telephone: christchurchfamilypartnershipzone @dorsetcc.gov.uk Tel:01202 225724
We also are a member of the Christchurch Learning Federation, who organise regular parenting workshops. We will continue to advertise these through personal invitations and our fortnightly newsletter.
At lunchtimes, for those children who can be nervous in social settings we will be using Teaching Assistants to support co-operative play. This ’watchful eye’ will replace fun club, as we want children to be engaging in active play outside. For those children who are learning to control their emotions, we have a time out area and a separate safe space area. Once our Priory Hub is built, we will have a purposeful built space to develop social play such as role play and keep calm and colour. All of this will be overseen by a member of the Senior Leadership team, as one of us will always be on duty at lunchtime.
Our primary role is as educators, but I hope that through these actions and initiatives, we can continue to ensure the Priory School remains a caring and safe school.