Our Mission Statement
God’s love is at the heart of our Catholic School family. We show this in our respect, kindness and love for others and by treating other people as we wish to be treated ourselves. We will encourage everyone to be the best that we can be.
- To guide our children to grow in the love of God and build relationships that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the school and society.
- To develop an exciting, challenging and creative curriculum that produces confident and successful learners who are the best that they can be.
- To develop high quality learning that enables every child to flourish, to discover their talents and be lifelong learners.
- To establish a teaching and learning environment that encourages everyone to enjoy, to achieve, to be inclusive, to be healthy, and to stay safe.
- To nurture a strong partnership between home and school.
- To have respect and understanding for our school, our community and our world, helping our children to become responsible citizens and good role models.
St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in all circumstances and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All staff are trained annually on the latest safeguarding requirements and it is a subject which is reviewed at each of our weekly staff briefings.
We all have a duty to safeguard our children from all forms of abuse:
- physical abuse;
- sexual abuse;
- emotional abuse; and
and also from the dangers of being drawn into extremism. All of these areas of abuse can come from online abuse and we need to safeguard our children from this too.
These duties and procedures are set out in our Safeguarding Policies and procedures. Parents and carers are able to read our Policies here on the website and are free to discuss issues surrounding our policies and practice with the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or Chair of Governors.
Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) are:
- Mrs Kate Carter – Deputy Headteacher (DSL)
- Mr Neil Lewin – Headteacher (Assistant DSL)
- Mr Mark Jones – Extended School Leader (Assistant DSL)
Our Governor responsible for Safeguarding is Mr Darren Della Maestra
If you are concerned about a child’s welfare, please record your concern, and any observations or conversation heard, and report to one of the DSLs as soon as possible the same day. Do NOT conduct your own investigation. You are able to make your own referrals to Children’s Services – see the link below
If your concerns relate to the actions or behaviour of a member of staff (which could suggest that s/he is unsuitable to work with children) then you should report this immediately to the Headteacher (or the Chair of Governors if the concern relates to the Headteacher) – who will consider what action to take.
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
- Addendum to Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy – during temporary school closure, March et seq 2020
- Addendum to Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy – Covid 19 Policy addendum (2) May 2020
Keeping safe – part and parcel of our curriculum
Keeping children safe is always the highest priority at our School. Our curriculum supports the children’s safety in addition to an open, trusting and child focussed ethos across the School.
Alongside our curriculum, we deliver a range of experiences to enrich and consolidate the children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe. These include assemblies and activities in the themes of anti-bullying, online safety, road safety (including cycling safety for our Year 5s and 6s) bonfire and fireworks safety, stranger danger and appropriate behaviour and conduct in school. we use the excellent services of the NSPCC to support our work and this year we raised over £1,100.00 for the continued work of the NSPCC. Before our children have access to the School’s computer system they all have online safety lessons and parents too are asked to attend online safety sessions to ensure that they are as well equipped as possible to help protect their children online. Many of the resources we use can be found by following the links below.
Each year we provide training for our parents and carers to support them to keep their children safe online. Our Children have regular access to the internet as part of their learning and our curriculum teaches and encourages responsible online behaviour ensuring children are allowed to enhance their learning safely through the use of technology. Every year we take a full part in the National Safer Internet Day.
In school we use a filtering system which prevents children from accessing inappropriate sites. Our computing curriculum ensures children are progressively taught how to keep themselves safe online.
Today’s society means that children will sometimes be given unsupervised access to the internet. Potentially, this will allow them access to all kinds of material both appropriate and inappropriate. Click on the links below to find some hints and tips to help you keep your child safe online. Families can use the CEOP Safety Centre (www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre) where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to CEOP.
Here is an information document about how to protect your child from unwanted access to inappropriate sites on You Tube which sound innocent but are not: Child Online Safety on You Tube
You can help protect your child by using all the possible safety settings on the devices that they have access to. A very helpful website for understanding and using these settings is internetmatters.org which you can access here:
Another useful website for parents regarding safe gaming online is the Breck Foundation:
Many of the sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat have a minimum age limit of 13, so children from St Thomas’ should not be using them. However, in reality, we are aware that some of our children do access these sites.
More information is available at http://www.net-aware.org.uk This site will allow you to make informed decisions about whether you feel social media sites are appropriate for your child or not.
Here are some additional helpful links with regard to online safety:
Prevent is part of CONTEST, the Government’s strategy to address terrorism. The main aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent focuses on all forms of terrorist threats, eg international terrorism, far right extremists (among others).
The Government’s Prevent strategy can be found at the following address: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
Three key themes
- Safeguarding vulnerable individuals through the provision of advice and support and intervention projects.
- Working closely with institutions such as Universities, Schools, Prisons, Health, Charities and faith establishments.
- Challenging terrorist ideology by working closely with other local and national agencies, partners and our communities
The Prevent Engagement Team of officers and police staff aim to encourage discussion ensuring that terrorism is prevented from taking root in our communities. They support the wider engagement activities already taking place in schools, places of worship and community groups.
Through this work they aim to strengthen communities in order to challenge the ideologies and messages of hate which lead to terrorism.
‘Schools should be safe spaces in which children and young people can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology, and learn how to challenge these ideas…Schools should be mindful of their existing duties to forbid political indoctrination and secure a balanced presentation of political issues’
(HM Government Prevent Duty Guidance for England & Wales, 2015).
At St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School we ensure that these principles are adhered to. The Headteacher monitors the school’s work in this regard. What we do in school ‘Safeguarding’ pupils is our number one priority at this school.
Other important policies related to Safeguarding can be found here