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Worries/questions box in PSHE

Discussion in 'Primary' started by choca_holic, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>I am an NQT starting my first teaching job on Monday. I am
    planning a circle time activity on the first day where we discuss what we are
    excited/nervous about in our new year group. I thought about introducing a &lsquo;worries
    or questions box&rsquo; which can stay in the classroom all year, where the children
    can post any questions or worries they have but that they don&rsquo;t want to bring
    up in front of the whole class. I can then address them appropriately, either in
    a future PSHE lesson with all the children, or individually with the child.
    Just want to make sure I&rsquo;m not getting myself into any sticky situations
    though. My worries are:
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    The children asking things to do with
    sex/puberty which they are too young to be given the answer to. They are in
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    The children writing something anonymously which
    could be a CP issue. Although I would know who it was due to the handwriting,
    can I take this further if the child has written &lsquo;anonymously&rsquo;?
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    A child looking in the box when they shouldn&rsquo;t,
    which compromises the confidentiality of it and could cause problems amongst
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Has anyone done this successfully, and did the children even
    use it?!
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Any thoughts gratefully received.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

  2. First of all stop panicking! My experience is that it is most likely to be playground/classroom issues. If there are questions about sex/puberty then they obviously aren't too young to know particularly in uks2-puberty may have already started for the girls. Just because a question is in there doesn't mean you have to address it in circle time- it could inform you that you need to cover stuff in health education type lessons or if it's inappropriate language a general discussion about using that at school-although cp issues if it is a concern. Follow school policy for cp and for sex and relationships teaching. In terms of confidentiality, make it clear that if there was anything serious, dangerous erc you could not keep it a secret. You would have to explain that anyway if a child disclosed to you in any situation.
    As for kids peeking, just lay down the rules and expect them to be followed-if someone peeks, someone else will prob grass them up! Then you can talk about trust etc. I have done this type of thing with yr 5 and 6 and it works fine - you can generally predict the issues anyway.
  3. I use a question box for SRE where the children can write any questions that may be too personal/embarrassing to ask in front of the class and find it really useful. You can see themes/trends in the questions, and identify misconceptions which you then include in your planning. If there is anything really inappropriate you could pass your concerns onto whoever is in charge of child protection, but iin my experience children usually ask questions you would expect, e.g. Do periods hurt? What is sex? etc.

    Regarding a worry box - I have never done this, because I was warned not to my SLT at a school I once worked at. The concern is that if a child with a serious problem puts it into your worry box, and you don't deal with it, you could miss a cry for help. 'Tell an adult you trust' is a better way of getting children to share their worries (in my opinion). At our school we have 1-2-1 discussions with children termly - I have found that they can really open up and share their concerns with you, sometimes things you had no idea about, so I would recommend finding 5 minutes to speak to your class on a 1-2-1 basis, if you want them to share their worries with you.
  4. I wouldn't stress too much about CP or SRE issues related to a worry box. I always have a worry box and I've never had anyone write something that was a CP issue or an SRE question. I had a separate question box for SRE sessions and the two never seems to get confused.
    However the box often gets forgotten and isn't always used to the best of it's potential. Think what you want to gain from it and how you will achieve this.
    You sound like a caring NQT and your class will be lucky to have you.

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