Health and Safety Policy

HealhtyStatement of Intent

The Senior Management Team at Zabbar Primary A School considers the health, safety and welfare of staff, pupils, parents and visitors to be of paramount importance and consequently shoulder the responsibility to create and maintain a healthy and safe environment in the school.  In consequence the Head of School and the Assistant Heads of School are committed to comply with health and safety legislation standards and codes of practice in order to accomplish the effective implementation of the School’s health and safety policy by means of the objectives set out below.

 

Policy Objectives

  • To be responsible for, as far as reasonably feasible, a safe and healthy working environment, safe premises and facilities for staff, students, parents and visitors
  • To ensure that all members of staff are aware of having individual responsibility for Health and Safety
  • To ensure that all members of staff are well-informed and fully understand what is expected of them and what they must do to discharge the responsibilities assigned to them
  • To have in place plans and procedures for all foreseeable risks and emergencies that may arise in the school
  • To provide appropriate orientation and ensure that all new and existing staff have access to appropriate training and development in health and safety
  • To maintain accurate recording, reporting and investigation of injuries
  • To strive to uphold SMT’s commitment to improve continuously the School’s Health and Safety performance
  • To continue sustaining SMT’s obligation to comply with all relevant Health and Safety legislation
  • To guarantee ongoing evaluation, reviewing and updating of this compliance with the Health and Safety programme and this policy

 

School Aims

In compliance with the Health & Safety Unit, the school is working to promote awareness among all members of staff, students, parents and guardians on health and safety issues. Throughout the scholastic year, prominence is given, among others, to one of the development targets in the School Action Plan 2012-2015 ‘to help every learner to promote and apply positive attitudes and behaviour that maintain and enhance healthy living in a safe environment’. The school continuously aims to enrich strong and effective communication between parents, pupils, students and staff at all times in order to reinforce the ultimate goal of this health and safety policy which is PREVENTION.

Links to Curriculum:

‘Strategies for education reform need to be flexible, ongoing, inclusive and embrace a long-term and sustainable vision that is democratic nationwide.  The proposed Strategy aims to cultivate student engagement and motivation, and to promote high aspirations in learning within an inclusive, safe and orderly environment both physical and psychological’.  (Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024).

 

The following actions are outlined in the School Development Plan 2012-2015 (Key Area: Curriculum and Organisation/Links with parents and agencies outside school/ School Ethos/Philosophy – Appendix A).

  • Participation of every child in PE activities
  • Organisations of activities that promote healthy eating and living
  • Evacuation Drills
  • Maintaining a clean, safe and healthy environment
  • Participation in the EkoSkola/Dinja Wahda projects

Curriculum Content:

Activities and involvements in Health and Safety sessions are delivered in a thematic approach. The aim is to instil positive health and safety attitudes in children from a very young age.

Regular sessions are held through the Catch-‘em young campaign for Year 1 and 2 classes. These cover topics including, but not restricted to Basic First Aid, Dangerous Situations, Fire Safety, Healthy Lifestyle, Home Safety, Play Safe and Road Safety.  Interactive games related to similar topics are used as follow-ups.

Health and Safety is also promoted throughout the scholastic year through story-telling, book-week, open days and special performances (special assemblies, Christmas and Family Day concerts), health and safety campaigns and educational outings.

 

General Responsibility Boundaries:

Admission:

8:10a.m. – Years 1 & 2

All l Year 1 and 2 pupils enter slowly and safely from the main entrance and walk towards the school internal yard.

8:20a.m. – Kindergarten 2 & 1

Kinder 2 and Kinder 1 respectively enter slowly and safely from the main gate to the school’s external yard.

In order to enable a smooth-flow during admission time, all parents/guardians are kindly asked not to enter the school premises.  Special permission is granted to parents whose children are assigned an LSA on a one-to-one basis.

Parents/guardians who would like to speak to an SMT member are kindly asked to do so after admission time.

Dismissal (Winter Time):

 13:50         – Kindergarten 1

14:00         –   Kindergarten 2

14:10        –     Years 1 and 2

 Security:

Kindergarten Assistants/teachers will not dismiss the child unless s/he is picked up by a responsible authorized person over 18 years of age. Parents/guardians are required to sign and write down their identity card number in a signature book found in the foyer.

 

 Road Safety Education: 

Children are regularly reminded of road safety issues through the curriculum and during assemblies. Staff, parents/guardians and school bus drivers are constantly reminded of the importance of driving cautiously in the surrounding school areas and to park attentively when dropping off and picking up children.  Drivers are also reminded about the importance of ensuring that all children are seated and that the vehicle used is in compliance with all road safety regulations. An SMT member always accompanies children who use school transport.

 Evacuation Drills:

Fire drills are carried out regularly throughout the scholastic year (at least once per term). A report on the effectiveness of each drill is sent online to the officer in charge at the Health and Safety unit.  A printed report is also kept in the Health and Safety File. Drills are planned and coordinated by the Head of School together with the Assistant Head responsible for Health and Safety measures. Furthermore, detailed signage is found throughout the school to indicate the evacuation route.

 Illnesses/Health Conditions:

The school recognizes the need to provide First Aid facilities for all staff, students and visitors during school hours. The parent/guardian is immediately contacted if the child is not feeling well.  Thus it is a must that the parent/guardian fills in the official form presented by the school administration at the beginning of each scholastic year, in order to ensure that school management is always in possession of a contact number in case of emergency.

If a child requires medication during school hours, the parent/guardian is required to deliver the medication. If this is on a daily basis, this will be administered by a nurse appointed by the school.  In case of an infectious disease, parents/guardians are to notify the school immediately of the nature/type of infection and isolate their child to prevent transfer to other members of the school community.

The parents/guardians of children in the primary section will be asked to present a certificate by a general practitioner if the child is absent for more than three days.

A professional team is also invited to the school premises twice a year to scan pupils for head lice. In cases of positive results, parents/guardians are immediately notified.

 First Aid:

First Aid boxes are located in the Assistant Heads’ office (ground floor) and in one of the classrooms on the first floor.  Appropriate signage indicates the exact location.  Two First Aid kits are available and it is the school policy that one of the teachers/kindergarten assistants takes one of these kits when on a school outing. The Assistant Head in charge of Health and Safety checks the First Aid boxes and kits regularly and replaces used stock.

 A list of First Aiders in the school can also be found near the above signage, a copy of which is also found in the Health and Safety file. The school has a good number of qualified first aiders who are encouraged to update their certificates regularly. Health and Safety teachers visit the school and provide sufficient information and instructions to pupils and staff in order to avoid hazards and safeguard their own safety and health at work.  It is ensured that all members of staff and parents/guardians have access to health and safety training when provided by the school/college.

 School Bags:

The school gives importance to the problem of heavy school bags and recommends the necessity to educate and inform parents/carers on the subject.

It is recommended by the Health and Safety Unit that backpacks , which are practical for school children to carry their books and supplies, have to be used correctly to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles and avoid damage to muscles and joints.  They should preferably have the following features:

  • two wide padded shoulder straps
  • a firm padded back
  • it should be lightweight

Wheeled carriers are not allowed as these create a risk to pupils during transportation, especially when ascending and descending school transport as well as navigating stairs at school. These carriers have a tendency to be excessively heavy even when empty.  Taking into consideration the tender age of the children attending our school, it is considered the parents’/carers’ responsibility to check every day that only the necessary content is taken to school.

School Outings:

Educational outings are organized and planned by the SMT in collaboration with teachers/kindergarten assistants. A consent form with relevant information about the school outing is sent to parents/guardians.  This form, including contact numbers in case of emergency and a signed permission has to be duly filled before the visit. No student will be allowed on the trip unless this form has been returned to school. Parents may sometimes be invited to accompany children on trips and assist in supervising.  An appointed person, preferably a First Aider, will ensure taking a First Aid kit.

Healthy Eating:

A Healthy Eating Policy was issued by Zabbar Primary A in June 2012 (http://smc.zabbara.skola.edu.mt/policies/healthy-eating-policy/).  The policy mission statement articulates that ‘our school recognises the important connection between a healthy diet and every learner’s ability to learn effectively and achieve a good quality holistic education; commits itself to promote family health through parental involvement and links with wider community; and strives to provide an environment which promotes healthy eating, thus enabling learners and their parents/carers to make informed choices about the food they eat’.  The policy and its impact are monitored, evaluated and reviewed regularly.  Amendments which are deemed necessary are carried out in order to reflect current standards.

Policy Awareness:

  •  The Senior Management Team at St Margaret College – Zabbar Primary A seeks and anticipates the collaboration of the whole school community to ensure that the Health and Safety policy measures are fulfilled effectively.
  •  The Health and Safety Policy and any revisions will be discussed with staff at an annual INSET/staff meeting.
  • All staff members and School Council members will receive a copy of this policy.

 Issue Date:  June 2015