Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

18 Mar 2019
Business managers, bursars and secretaries, governors, headteachers, pastoral care leaders, sencos, teachers and teaching assistants of all primary, special, all-through schools
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FREE Staying Safe with Sam educational resources for East Sussex schools - Help us to keep young children safe from accidental poisoning

Next week, primary schools in East Sussex will receive free copies of ‘Staying Safe with Sam’ – a curriculum-linked educational resource designed to help teach children how to stay safe from accidental poisoning and engage their parents.

Accidents are a leading cause of death, serious injury and acquired disability for children in the UK. They account for three deaths every week and over 2,000 hospital admissions. Also;

  • emergency hospital admissions for accidental poisoning in children under five in East Sussex are significantly higher than the England average, with our rate being the second highest in the South East;
  • on average three children under five attend A&E departments in East Sussex every week due to an accidental poisoning, with cleaning and laundry products a common cause.

Free Staying Safe with Sam educational resources for East Sussex schools

Following an initial pilot, East Sussex is one of just two counties in England that have been selected to receive free copies of Staying Safe with Sam. This curriculum-linked educational resource, developed the Child Accident Prevention Trust, helps teach younger children how to stay safe around cleaning and laundry products, and can help parents to keep their children safe at home. It is designed to support:

  • a reduction in hospital admissions locally from potentially harmful chemicals.
  • the Prime Areas and associated Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage, particularly: communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; and understanding the world;
  • the recommendations set out within Ofsted’s 2017 report Bold Beginnings.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust will be providing each reception class in your school with a free copy of:

  • a rhyming story book with four accident scenarios;
  • a teacher’s handbook with curriculum links, a safety fact sheet, an introductory session on laundry and cleaning products, a lesson plan for each of the four scenarios in the story book, plus an activity bank of ideas for classroom extension activities, and;
  • a home-link pack for every child, comprising a cover letter, homework sheet, mini story book, fact sheet and poster. 

These hard copy resources will be delivered to East Sussex schools with Reception Year classes during the week commencing 25th March 2019.

Teachers can also download the whiteboard version of the story book, plus copies of the other materials if needed, from the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s website:

Help us to keep young children safe from accidental poisoning by:

  • delivering the Staying Safe with Sam lesson plans/story activities as part of the curriculum (e.g. your PSHE lessons or storytime);
  • displaying the Staying Safe with Sam poster in your classroom, and;
  • sharing the Staying Safe with Sam home-link materials to reinforce children’s learning and to help parents to keep their children safe at home.

East Sussex Public Health and the Child Accident Prevention Trust hope that your school benefits from these resources and would welcome any feedback (an online survey is due to be sent to your school office in the summer). Your views, and those of your teaching staff, will help inform future roll-out of the resource to other areas nationwide.

Additional information on the proven effectiveness of Staying Safe with Sam

A pilot of Staying Safe with Sam (in nine schools) has been independently evaluated. This evaluation found promising evidence for the effectiveness of the materials in terms of:

Engaging children in learning  

  • 85% of teachers surveyed agreed that the pack supported vocabulary, while 92% agreed it supported comprehension. Teachers involved in the pilot reported: “I used one of the follow-up activities in the handbook… I got some excellent ideas and some amazing writing from children who don’t usually initiate their own writing.”

Enhancing children’s understanding of safety concepts

  • 92% of teachers said the pack was effective in educating children about how to keep safe around laundry and cleaning products, with 70% describing it as very effective.

Ease of use 

  • 92% of teachers said the education pack was effective in enabling them to deliver lessons with minimal planning, with 62% describing it as very effective.

Engaging parents in their child’s learning

  • The mini story book in the home-link pack encouraged reading together at home, with 91% of parents surveyed reading it with their children.

Enhancing parents’ ability to keep their children safe

  • 53% of parents said they had learnt something new from the home-link pack about keeping their children safe around laundry and cleaning products.                                 
Nicola Blake
Nicola Blake
Health Improvement Specialist - Children, Schools and Families

Phone: 01273 335060