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Abbey CofE Infant School

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Protective Behaviours

At Abbey, Protective Behaviours is at the heart of keeping children safe.  It encourages children to feel empowered, raise their self esteem and provides strategies to identify support networks for times when they might need help or someone to listen to them. 




What is Protective Behaviours?


Protective Behaviours is a safety awareness and resilience building programme which helps children to recognise when they feel worried or unsafe.   It is based around two key principles and 7 strategies, the two key principles are:-


1. We all have the right to feel safe all the time.


2. We can talk with someone about anything, even if its awful or small. 


Within theme 1 "We all have the right to feel safe all the time" Children explore the difference between feeling safe, fun to feel scared and feeling unsafe.  The differences in these experiences leads us to think about our "Early Warning Signs" and how to recognise the bodies response to feeling unsafe. 


Within theme 2 "We can talk with someone about anything even if its awful or small"

Children create their "hand network" which represents their own personal network of support; who can they go to when they need help? We remind children the importance of thinking carefully about who they choose and what qualities they should look for in those people e.g. somebody who listens carefully and they feel they can be open with. 


The 7 strategies


These are the ways in which the themes are practised and reinforced. 

  • Theme reinforcement
  • One step removed- creating scenarios such as "what would my friend do if..." taking themselves out of the equation and referring to the 3rd person. 
  • Network review- Reviewing the suitability of the people on their networks at regular intervals.
  • Persistence- try, try and try again until I feel safe, keep asking.
  • Protective interruption- Things that we do to keep ourselves or others safe e.g. taking time out when we are overwhelmed.
  • Rising on purpose- the outcome is worth it so you take a risk even though you may have early warning signs e.g. going on a rollercoaster.
  • The language of safety- using language to empower and be aware of differences between people e.g. you have the responsibility to... I can see you're keeping your friends safe by...









How do we teach Protective Behaviours?


At Abbey all staff are trained in Protective Behaviours.  In addition to this,  Mrs Ridley (PSHE lead) and Mrs Young (THRIVE practitioner) are currently training to become qualified Protective Behaviour Specialist Practitioners. 


Protective Behaviours in not only incorporated into PSHE lessons through the "Taking Care" scheme of work and alongside our JIGSAW scheme but it forms part of the every day whole school culture, in the language we use with children and the ways in which feeling safe and noticing our "early warning signs" are promoted, for example. 






We aim to provide children and staff with the tools to feel empowered, know ways to keep themselves and other safe and understand the ways in which they are feeling and how to respond to those feelings.  If you have any further questions Mrs Ridley will be happy to talk to you.