SUPPORT HEALTH AND SAFETY IN A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
There are numerous important legislations that affect how any school or any learning environments handle the health and safety of children and teachers.
These rules are:
The health and safety at work act 1974.
The health and safety (first aid) regulations 1981.
The COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health) regulations 2002
The RIDDOR (reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations) 1995
All children should be entitled to feel safe, unhurt, and guarded from injury and harm. As a teacher, this is a fundamental step in the process of supporting a child.
When arranging activities to do in a teaching environment you should consider the welfare and pleasure of the children which will be learning in it.
A teaching environment can be indoor or outdoor where the children learn new stuff, such as:
A normal classroom
An outdoor region like the playground
When planning healthy and secure outdoor environment you should take into account:
The weather. If it is raining you will then need suitable clothing for the harsh weather conditions such as wellies and coats. However, if it is sunny outside you wouldn’t need your coats or jackets.On the other hand, If it is snowy or icy outside you would need to change the activity to indoors as the weather would not allow you to carry out the activity. Therefore you should always check the weather forecast before you plan your activities.
Safety. You should lock all the gates so the environment is safe for the children to play in. Also the ratio of adult supervisors to children should be a good amount.
Hygiene. The playground should be clear from any litter as it could be bad for the pupils health.
When planning healthy and safe indoor environment you should consider:
Space. There should be enough room for the children to play in and enjoy themselves without any obstacles that could distract their play.
Sound. A few children such as autistic may be sensitive to sound. Therefore, teachers should take that into consideration and make sure the noise level Is always low or the autistic children could play in a different room to the other children as it can sometimes be difficult to avoid noise.
Health and safety is monitored and maintained in a learning environment in several ways.
Firstly, it is mandatory for all teachers to read a health and safety policy and fully understand it. They will then need to sign it to show they have read it and they should follow and respect it. The policy will contain the most important duties regarding health and safety and the method of how to do them.
In addition to that, there will be well- organised staff meetings in which health and safety will be mentioned in the beginning as it is essential. In this staff meeting all teachers will become aware of any danger or concerns that may happen.
Moreover, all teachers will be alert and observant of and hazards on a daily basis and they should move any obstacle that is likely to cause harm or pain.
Also, all staff must ensure they fill in a risk assessment before going to any school trip as this will determine the likelihood and severity of something happening. When filling in the risk assessment they can also find out how to prevent something from going wrong so this would make sure all pupils are safe.
Furthermore, fire drills should be practiced to make sure all children are secure and safe. The fire drills usually take place every six months to confirm that every child knows the system and can follow it to the nearest fire exit doors and to the particular meeting point.
There could be many risks and hazards in a learning environment such as:
Running in the corridors because there could be a chance that you could fall down and hurt yourself.
Another risk could be not checking the electrical wires. However, this is a legal requirement that will make you feel safe.
Not wearing appropriate clothing during a science experiment. During a science experiment you should always wear gloves and goggles for eye protection.
Not using machinery correctly in design and technology.
It is important to take a balanced approach to risk management because of many reasons.
First and foremost, pupils are usually very interested and eager to learn new stuff and discover new things. However in some of the new things they learn there will be some risks and challenges. But, children need to be able to tackle the risks. Though, to do this they will need to learn new skills to achieve this goal.
As teachers and parents our most important goal is to keep children away from hurt or injury. Yet this could be really difficult, because we also want them to find out about reality and comprehend on how to handle challenges by themselves. To do this we should motivate them to take some risks.
By withdrawing all challenges from the children’s lives, will disrupt their learning as they wont be able to acquire a full learning experience. However, some risks and dangers should be kept away because it wouldn’t be safe for the children and wouldn’t be acceptable in our duty to look after and protect the children. For example not wearing suitable clothing when dealing with harmful fluids in a science experiment. In contrast to that, in circumstances like going to a playground are areas where children can add to their knowledge and explore where its essential to obtain the actual amount of risk.
Taking up challenges will allow children to develop confidence, high self-esteem and independence. It will also give children the ability to understand how to make up their mind when linked with risks and challenges.
As stated in the UN convention of childrens rights all children have the right to study, advance and grow in new areas, make their own decisions and be safe from dangers. Nevertheless, children or young people may not always have the ability to give a suitable answer when making the right decision. Therefore, it should be the parents or teachers responsibility to guide them to make the right choice and to discover risks and choose whether or not the children will join in the activities.
The teacher should also motivate the young people to make their own choices so they are capable of developing. In addition to that, the teacher should make sure the exercise and the place where they are doing the exercise is safe and that all risks are taken care of so the children won’t get hurt.
There are many ways to support children and young people to access and manage risk in a learning environment such as:
When children are learning how to ride a bike.
When the children climb the climbing frame.
There are many different responses in a learning environment for accidents,incidents,injuries,signs of illness and other emergencies such as::
There should be several first aid staff around the school. Also, when children are having their playtime in the playground there will always be first aid staff to ensure all children are safe and incase a child has an accident and hurts themselves.
In addition to that, there will be an accident form in which the first aid staff will sign if a child has an accident. The form should then be put in the accident book.The accident book should be kept in the designated office, therefore the first aid staff will be able to get access to it if something happens. However the information in the accident book should be kept confidential and only the person signing the form will know about the incident and the parent of the child. This is to keep the children secure.
If there is a serious emergency such as a fire children would then have to follow the fire procedure. However to do this children should know all the fire exists and the nearest exit to them. They should also know not to use the elevator if there is a fire and they should try to get out of the building as quickly as possible to the designated area.
When the children hear the fire alarm they should then line up at the door in a single file and leave all their belongings behind as this would waste a lot of time. They should then walk outside the classroom and out of the building through the closest fire exit.When they are in the designated area the teacher would then do the register to make sure no child is missing.
In a learning environment, I am aware how to manage any incidents, injuries, signs of illness and other emergencies that occur. For example:
If a child has a minor accident such as if they tripped on the floor but they had no mark or there is no sign of blood. The teacher would then help the child by putting an ice pack on the area which may hurt. After that, a first aider would fill in an accident form so they can record it in the child’s accident record book and they would also fill in a note for the parents.
If a child has a major accident, you would take the child to the reception so they can be examined.You should then ring the child’s parents up and while waiting for the parents you should keep the child company and assure them. When the parents come you should recommend that they should then take the child home or to the hospital for a checkup. You should record this incident in the incident book as this will help keep a record of the child.
If a child is feeling ill, a member of staff should tell the main office to call their parents so they can take them home as the child may need to get some rest. However if the parent isn’t answering the phone you would the ring the other emergency contacts the parents gave.
The organisational policies and procedures for the management of the administration of medication is as follows:
First of all, the parent must bring a prescribed medication.
The medication should have the child’s name labelled on it.
A designated person is the administrator.
They should give the correct dosage.
There should also be a witness.
And lastly it should be recorded.
The medication that should be administered to the children should be prescribed by a doctor, GP or the pharmacist.When administering medication you should be responsible and accountable for many things like:
Giving the correct dosage. This is very important and if this is not done the child could get more sick. Also this is for the safety of the child and would be a safeguarding problem if you don’t give the right amount of medication.
You should give the medicine to the right person. If there are some children in the class with the same name you should always make sure you always double check which child needs the medication.
The medicine act 1968 suggests that prescribed medication should only be given to the person that it was prescribed for. On the medication it should have a label with the child’s full name so an appropriate practitioner can give it to the child.
Give the correct medication. If you give the wrong drug to a child they could have some dangerous side effects. Therefore you should always be careful and make sure you try and avoid doing this.
When working with children you should keep them safe and well by following legislations that have taken place. Following legislations is a main priority as it makes sure every place has a scheme and policy to keep children away from harm.
According to the children’s act 1989 children will be secure and safeguarded from any harm. This act will also allow children to have a good life and makes sure they don’t be afraid as there will always be someone who will help them. For example in school teachers will help the children.
In addition to that, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 shows that every child is safe and is protected by the government. This legislation also allows children to have rights over shelter, good welfare and food so that they stay well and healthy.