by Eleanor Smith, Service Manager – Strathisla Children’s Centre.
‘Safeguarding our children is paramount, and creating a safe environment is imperative. however, allowing children to be curious, adventurous, and eager learners is a priority. Our role in early years is to reflect, review and plan how we achieve this balance.’
Following on from the SIMOA documents created by the Care Inspectorate, The Strathisla Children’s Centre team felt it was a prime opportunity to evaluate our current practice and brainstorm ideas to include the children in our discussions in a child-friendly manner.
Having experience with persona dolls and how children find these fun, empowering, and relatable in more challenging conversations. We purchased a purple elephant which is represented in the documents, and of course, named the elephant ‘SIMOA.’
Discussions have already begun with the children, and the team came together last night for staff reflection, and we used mind maps to plan how ‘SIMOA’ will be used in innovative ways with the children.
We plan to continue to work through the guidance documents and use our friendly elephant in various scenarios. As a result, children will have opportunities to develop more risk assessing skills, understand how adults around them keep them safe, and have more challenging conversations, including ‘stranger danger’ and ‘Pantosaurus’ by the NSPCC.
In addition, we plan to link learning with ‘Shanarri,’ ‘The Rights of the Child’, and ‘The Health and Social care Standards. Creating a floorbook with the children and one for our team’s development.
For more information on the Keeping Children Safe Campaign visit the Care Inspectorate website.