I’ve previously mentioned Protective Behaviours and this week I felt I would let you know a bit more. Protective behaviours has two themes and seven strategies. Sally Ann Hart is a Protective Behaviours trainer and in the video, at then end of this blog, she explores what is meant by a safe place.
More than ever we need to focus on the emotional wellbeing of children and OURSELVES. Let’s face it, over the last few months we’ve all had times when we have not felt safe. But what does safe mean to you? How do you recognise something is unsafe if you are unsure what safe means?
When we are outside, the confinement’s of our classrooms are physically removed. I’ve often watched children run like caged animals that have been released into the wild when they are given the opportunity to go outside. Once they’ve got it out of their system they return ready to learn.
Having more access to outdoor space is happening less, even though it is far more important than ever before. However, with the need to ensure our COVID risks are minimised we are now faced with bubbles having restricted timetables for access to outdoor space. When working with children who need support with their emotions we often encourage them to go to their ‘safe place’. But wait a minute…we’ve just said we aren’t going out as much as we were and when we are outside there won’t be enough time for these children to connect with nature and relate to their safe place. We know that at the moment there is less external support in schools available for children who need emotional and mental support at a time when we are perhaps all feeling slightly more anxious than normal. So, what can we as teachers do to support our children?
How do you create a safe environment in your classroom?
This raises the point that our schools and classrooms need to enable a culture where pupils and adults are able to mentally access their safe place.
Spending time outside in your own space can really help you to know what your safe place looks, smells, sounds, tastes and feels like. It is a great way for children to visualise their safe place and the more they practise the better they will become at visualising it indoors as a tool to self regulating their emotions.
Emotions are running high so connecting to nature and having time to reassess how we are feeling can help us to reset and move forwards in a positive way.
Protective Behaviours Training is now available online. It is such a valuable tool to support yourself and others around you and I feel everyone should have knowledge and training in Protective Behaviours to support all of us in our everyday lives.
Taking the Curriculum Outdoors: A Whole School Approach
Using our tried and tested training approach to enable schools to sustainably integrate outdoor learning, we have created our new online training. For more information about how you can get your whole school integrating outdoor learning click here.