The classroom-based programme is called Skill City and was developed by 360 Skills For Life, thanks to a £50,000 grant from the Talbot Village Trust. It is a high-quality virtual reality environment which is used to address safeguarding issues for Year 6 to Year 9 pupils (10-14 year olds).
There are up to 18 age-appropriate safeguarding dilemmas available for teachers to select for students to experience either as a class or in groups. Within different virtual environments – including streets, crossings, parks, shops, police and railway stations – schoolchildren can play out scenarios, assess risks and investigate options. The objective is for pupils to develop transferable skills for every scenario in order to make confident decisions to keep themselves and others safe in real life.
Founder and managing director of 360 Life Skills, Rob Hattersley, said: “Safeguarding children is a matter of huge concern in schools and society generally, especially during the pandemic. Schools and agencies are doing so much in terms of improving processes, but there is an opportunity to use the classroom itself to raise awareness and confidence in children for keeping themselves safe.”
Phase one is now live, with a limited number of fully funded places for both primary and secondary schools across BCP and Dorset council areas. Schools interested in applying are encouraged to get in touch through the website www.360skillsforlife.org
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