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Health and Safety in KS1 & KS2 Curriculum

A Headteacher's Safety Management Toolkit Article - and Safety and KS1 & KS2 Curriculum.Government ActionThe Government determined that Health and Safety become part of...

A Headteacher's Safety Management Toolkit Article -

Health and Safety and KS1 & KS2 Curriculum.

Government Action

The Government determined that Health and Safety become part of the curriculum in 2002 and defined that all pupils of should receive some 40 hours of H&S teaching before the end of their schooling.

HSE has already produced materials which are being used to give a Basic Safety Induction to work for pupils going out on Work Experience from schools and colleges.

Safety has actually already entered the syllabus in a fairly defined way and the QCA have already produced a statutory statement and defined NVQ standards at the higher levels, which are already used for qualifying members of the HSE Inspectorate.

DfES have also played their part through their own expert tem and the information delivered through Teachernet.
National Curriculum for Health and Safety

The QCA statutory statement with regards to safety in the curriculum states that it :

“applies to science, design and technology, information and communication technology, art and design, and physical education.”

In brief the QCA has indicated that pupils must be taught the whole range of concepts surrounding risk assessment and control including:

•Identifying Hazards and Risks.
•Controlling and reducing hazards and risks.
•Risk Assessment techniques .
•To take care for their own and other’s Health and Safety.

The QCA have also issued guidance which was drawn up after consultation with HSE and this indicates that they have a view that RISK should be the core of the approach and they feel that teachers will have already introduced their pupils to the concept of risk.
The whole thrust of QCA guidance tells the teacher to ensure that pupils are taught about risk at an appropriate level throughout their time in school.
They see this as helping to ensure that pupils are better equipped to deal with risks with situations of uncertainty and change both in and out of school.
QCA see the main objectives of the delivery of a Health and Safety curriculum as being a tool to ensure that the pupils are able to:
•recognise the existence of hazards, risks and uncertainty in a range of contexts;
•assess their own ability, and the ability of others, to deal with different situations;
•assess the consequences when dealing with hazards presented to themselves and to others (for example, within school, the environment, the home);
•seek advice from appropriate sources to minimise and manage risk;
•understand that rules and regulations follow from risk assessment and help define individual and collective responsibility.

In addition already part of H&S is part of the National Healthy Schools initiative for Primary Schools.

HSE and the Curriculum
HSE has set up a small Risk Education Team based in the Central Expertise Policy and Support Division of the Policy Group Directorate in London .
Their stated intention is to:
“influence the degree to which risk management techniques are taught in schools and other educational establishments…..”
They are developing four projects of which two are of interest insofar as the curriculum is concerned.

•They seek to raise the level f risk teaching in schools.
•They seek to provide risk teaching materials for teachers and lecturers.

We can see that HSE has had a part to play in all the initiatives regarding the curriculum and has also addressed areas of concern, targeting primary school children in three sectors where deaths have occurred.

Thus Farming, Railways and Construction Sites all have had curriculum materials produced highlighting risks and unsafe behaviour and aiming to educate and modify behaviours.

These are looked at later in this section.

HSE Resources for the Primary School

The resources provided for a Safety initiative within the curriculum by HSE are very well produced and should be easily integrated into any Primary School syllabus.
Stay Safe On the Farm, Stay Safe Railway Safety, and Stay Safe Building Site Safety all contain, games, cartoons and puzzles to encourage children to think about the hazards which exist in all these industries, and how to avoid them.
These industries often act as a magnet to children who don’t understand the dangers they present and treat them like playgrounds. This is also why special consideration needs to be given to ongoing construction or maintenance works taking place on school sites.
Stay Safe booklets have been distributed at schools across the country, and can be ordered free of charge from HSE Books on but access to pdf versions are given below.
•Stay Safe on the Farm - Leaflet with puzzles and colouring exercise suitable for Years 4-6
•Stay Safe Railway Safety - Stay Safe Railways a website for Children to Learn about being safe and keeping safe around Railways
This is a Multimedia Game/Scenario type program with a safety theme suitable for Years 4-6
•Stay Safe Building Site Safety - This has a series of comic strips/Posters and colouring exercises with game type questions and completion exercises – suitable Years 4-6
•You will find other items which may be integrated in Resources in the Headteaher’s Safety
In addition HSE has also produced videos aimed at parents, teachers and older children to raise awareness.
A four minute video Open Farms Healthy Children, is available on HSE’s web FREE site which ensures parents, teachers and others are aware of the hidden risks of picking up E-coli from animals.

The video Safe! – Helping children to stay safe on farms, which has been distributed to all Local Authority education departments, also shows children the hazards that exist on farms.
Copies of 'Safe! - Helping children to stay safe on farms' price £20.00 + VAT, are also available for purchase from HSE Books,
Other Resources - Emergency Services.

Whilst HSE and DfES and others all have a central part to play.

It is the Emergency Services who deal with Risk, Risk Assessment, Risk Control and Risk Management locally and day to day and hour by hour.

They are also more available to a school to a school as a local resource.

The Police have long visited schools delivering talks and demonstrations for Drugs, Personal Safety and Road Safety for pupils of Primary have the Fire Service who are always willing to co-operate with visits and Fire Safety presentations.

Ambulance NHS Trusts, Red Cross and St.John’s are also resources along with private Emergency Ambulance firms who are often under used by schools.

If the Emergency Service presenters are sufficiently well briefed and the pupils are appropriately prepared a community approach can be taken to risk by using such resources.

An excellent example of this has just been released.

The RNLI have a Youth Section at which gives access to a wide range of resources including

All Aboard – KS 2 Resource with poster and teacher’s notes plus activities and a KS£ resource which may be of use since it covers beach visits etc called Get on Board.

The Coastguard (Maritime Coastguard Agency –MCA) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have teamed up to make young people aware of the dangers near water.

They have produced an interactive CDROM entitled MAYDAY for KS2 pupils. This is an extensive resource with the CDROM as well as information, activity cards and teacher’s notes with ideas for follow up projects. MAYDAY is structured so that it can either be used with groups or by individuals and has a wide range of activities which ends in a “Round Britain Yacht Race.”

As well as helping in selling the “risk” message and thus linking directly to the Health and Safety Curriculum the pack is linked to KS2 in Humanities, Environmental Studies, Literacy and Numeracy, ICT, Citizenship and PHSE.

This is a FREE resource and is divided into five sections:

1.Staying Safe – an ideal piece of pre visit instruction which helps the children to recognise risks when they are near the sea. This part of the resource also introduces the Beaufort Scale, Shipping Weather Forecasts and the idea of maritime charts and maps.
2.Rescue! Uses Scenarios to encourage children to use their judgement to make risk based decisions to help other people.
3.Crew – This introduces the children to the people who risk their lives to help others on the sea and looks at how they are trained and what motivates them.
4.Safer by Design – Children find out about PPE and the wider range of safety equipment used as control measures when a calculated risk is taken by those who face the “angry sea” to help save lives. This section also has some interesting Numeracy work based on speeds of helicopters and boats in rescue situations.
5.Round Britain Race – In this section children plan and take part in a race, choosing equipment, planning routes as well as choosing their team. This section supports KS2 Humanities and PHSE as well as H&S.

Further information from Liza Linscott (RNLI) 01202663217 or Julia Gosling (MCA) 020380329401
Other Resources
The following organisations have produced information and which may be of interest and which can also be mostly accessed form the HSE website.
1.HSE has produced resources which may be integrated directly within the curriculum e.g statistics and all of their resources for use in the classroom may be found at their education site at: these include the HSE produced resources above and access to the following.

2.ROSPA have produced a FREE set of Information sheets with notes and activities for Key Stages 1-4 on “Dangerous Substances Everywhere” and a wide range of other resources at

3.A CDROM produced by HSE for Middle and Secondary Schools identified as for use with 11 -14 Year olds might be of interest for more able Year 6s it is entitled “Human Torch” and is a “X Files” type investigation into factors surrounding a (hopefully) hypothetical case. More information may be found at

Curriculum and Lesson Planning

Other ways of involving children in the safety process and them being involved revolve around the actual process itself.

•Learning to identify Dangers(Hazards) and Risks(Likelihood of the Danger leading an accident)
•Learning to do Risk Assessments.
•Reviewing existing Risk Assessments.
•Writing Accident Reports.
•First Aid
•Learning to reduce and control risks – e.g Swimming
•School Council Representation on the School Safety Committee.
•Inspections for monitoring and Audit
•Setting School Safety Targets.
•How much does an accident really cost? Could be adopted to form the basis of some numeracy see.HSE Booklet in Resource
The integrated approach suggested by the QCA in its Guidance may suggest ways in which some of the above topics be introduced via the lesson planning process.
Pupils will need to learn the terms Risk, Hazard, Control measure as soon as possible and have a secure foundation as regards their definitions.
This means that lesson plans need to reflect this and integrate safety within planning other lessons, which should be seen as opportunities.
Almost any lesson or behaviour in class can be taken for identifying and highlighting dangers or hazards discussing what could happen in different circumstances and how likely these risks are to lead to an accident and what control measures need to be taken to reduce this risk.

There is no doubt that integration of safety within the curriculum is a valid approach and such the view of the value such an approach shared by HSE, the Government and the “great and the good”.

DfES have produced a Safety Education guidance for teachers which outlines good practiceFree Reprint Articles, this may be found and downloaded from:

Best advice is that the school needs to adopt a “whole school approach” to Health and Safety in the curriculum and it will be clearly seen that this approach is what the National CUrriculum already dictates.

Source: Free Articles from


Dr. Paddy Swan is a qualified teacher with senior management
experience in UK schools and colleges. He also has almost 25
years safety experience in industry. He has developed over
100 online and multimedia safe systems training solutions.
Paddy is the author of School Basic Safety for Classroom and
Support staff for UK schools and the Headteacher's Safety
Management Toolkit at

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