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Safeguarding Ambassadors

LAST SUMMER, the Safeguarding Ambassador Programme was launched with Year 12 for the second year running, giving students the opportunity to be trained to raise awareness of safeguarding topics with younger pupils in an engaging and relatable way. Keeping children safe is top priority for any school and this involves teaching pupils about risks to their health and wellbeing. With some topics, however, evidence suggests that presentations and discussions led by older students can engage pupils far more readily than when they are led by teachers.

Given the sensitivity of some issues around safeguarding children, the training element is essential – students were taught how best to address the issues, risks and dangers, as well as how to deliver material on these topics effectively in order to inspire a thoughtful and mature response from younger pupils. Students chose to focus on issues as diverse as selfcare (including emotional and cognitive empathy) and criminal exploitation (e.g. money laundering scams).

We were deeply impressed with participants' commitment to the programme. From the start they demonstrated the qualities of openness and compassion in discussing challenging topics over the course of regular meetings during autumn term. They then combined this with assiduous planning and a confident and inspiring form of delivery in the sessions themselves. As a team, they were also gracious in acknowledging that Wilson's is a busy and complex school and their patience and good grace has ensured that the programme could fit seamlessly into Year 9 PSHE.

We are very confident that this programme can run again in future with a new team of students from the current Year 12 perhaps working with more than one younger year group next year. Parents attending next week's information evening, "The Internet and Positive Mental Health", will learn more about the role of the safeguarding ambassadors in boosting our knowledge of how technology has affect pupils' wellbeing.
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