As part of the recent government requirements that schools are actively teaching British Values and Safeguarding children within the schools curriculum our school will be piloting a resource called the Dot Com programme as part of our on going PHSE curriculum.
The Dot Com programme has been endorsed by the Home Office and is also supported by the Police. The programmes aim is to teach children the tools to keep themselves safe at school, at home and in the local community – whist instilling in them the importance of valuing themselves and others.
The Dot com foundation was founded in 2013 with a mission to reach every child, in every school because:
· every child has the right to be free from fear
· every child should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams
· every child should believe in themselves.
The Dot com Programme is designed to help every child to realise their potential; highlight children who need more targeted intervention; and ensure children have the knowledge and confidence they need to make good decisions in life, especially about their own safety.
From child sexual abuse to gang culture to online safety, children can be exposed to many different risks every single day. It is impossible for parents and teachers to be with children all the time so they must learn how to protect themselves. The Dot com programme allows teachers to work in collaboration with, parents and the West Midlands Police – to tackle the issues that can have far reaching effect on whole families and communities.
The programme is based on a cartoon character called Dot Com and is delivered through a series of age appropriate ‘Dot journals’ Through the journals, children are introduced to characters from different backgrounds and family groups and of differing abilities and skills. The characters enable children – through being one-step removed – to speak out on issues they may face in their day-to-day life.
Lessons are designed to be age appropriate and embed the key themes of: personal safety, respect for yourself and others, children’s rights and responsibilities, good decision making and the importance of communication.
Throughout the Dot Com programme, children are taught three core messages:
1. we all have the right to feel safe all the time;
2. others have the right to feel safe with me; and
3. we can talk with someone about anything, even if it feels awful or small.