There are a number of important principles to think about when you are planning for healthy and safe environments or activities with children and young people. Most of these are common sense – just remember: everyone is an individual and may have particular needs. If you are clear about the following points it will become second nature to include safety in your planning. •
Every child is an individual – with different needs depending on their age and abilities. You must think about this when planning activities, for example when they involve physical play, or if more consideration must be given to the needs of a child who has just become mobile than to an older child, when planning room layouts. •
Some children have specific needs such as sensory impairments; for example think about the challenges to a child with limited hearing understanding explanations about safety. •
The different needs of families and carers must be considered. •
Always be clear about why you are using the environment in question, the activities a child encounters and what sorts of services are offered. •
The duty of care of a setting to children, parents and carers is a legal obligation. You should always have the child’s safety and welfare uppermost in your mind when planning. •
The desired outcomes for the child and young people are the starting point. Most activities with children and young people should have clear aims and objectives that are based around the required outcomes linked to their age; for example the EYFS for children under 5 years of age. •
Lines of responsibility and accountability: everyone employed in a setting has a responsibility for the health and safety of children and staff, but there should be clear reporting responsibilities (Tassoni et al, 2010).
All children should be given equal opportunities and this should be remembered in the learning environment. All pupils, including those with special needs, should be considered when planning and setting out...
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