- Feelings and body reactions
- Relationships with others
- How people care for each other
- Body parts (private and non-private)
- Changes in body and abilities since birth
- Rights and responsibilities
- Family structures
- Recognising and responding to safe and unsafe situations
- Positive relationships and support networks
- Strategies to stay safe and seek help
- Appropriate and inappropriate touching
- Ways to show respect to others
- Making safe decisions
The importance of child protection education
It is mandatory to teach child protection education in every Stage of learning from Kindergarten to Year 10 as part of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) K-10 Syllabus. Senior students in NSW government schools extend their learning about respectful relationships, protective strategies, power, abuse and violence as part of the mandatory 25 hour Life Ready course.
This education aims to assist students in:
- developing skills in recognising and responding to unsafe situations
- seeking assistance effectively
- establishing and maintaining respectful and equal relationships
- strengthening attitudes and values related to equality, respect and responsibility.
Through PDHPE students learn about rights and responsibilities in relationships and how to develop and maintain respectful relationships. Students learn to recognise and respond to abuse and violence and develop help-seeking skills and strategies to access support for themselves and others.
In primary school, students learn about the roles and responsibilities in positive relationships and the effects of actions such as bullying and violence on the disruption of relationships. Students learn to form and maintain relationships through developing skills in communication, conflict resolution and strategies for coping with changes in relationships.
In secondary schools, there is a significant focus on teaching about gender issues and developing in students a commitment to, and skills for, challenging the abuse of power. This is central to the development of students’ attitudes and behaviours that are based on equity, respect and responsibility.
The Child Protection Education curriculum materials address three main themes. These themes are integrated within each unit of work.
Protective skills cannot be used unless children recognise situations of potential abuse or when abuse is occurring. It is important that students develop knowledge and skills, appropriate to their age and stage, about what constitutes abuse.
Power in relationships
When discussing power in relationships, particular attention is given to building confidence in relationships which are positive and caring. Skills in establishing and maintaining positive relationships, including accepted cultural practices related to caring touch, are reinforced.
With knowledge about positive relationships and about child abuse, children can take appropriate actions if they are in threatening situations. When learning about protective strategies, students are given the opportunity to analyse situations, to identify feelings, and to explore alternative courses of action and their consequences.