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education programs for Early years – lower primary students

Children are the most vulnerable members of society. It is never too early to begin sowing the seeds of personal safety. Children can begin learning valuable lessons to help keep them safe from as young as 2-3 years old.

Providing age-appropriate information around body ownership and a right to be safe from an early age allows for these messages to become part of the child’s everyday language and helps to build self-esteem and resilience in children.

In addition to parents, educators and carers play a vital role in this process. Once children commence formalised care arrangements and/or school, a positive partnership between both school and home is then important to reinforce key personal safety messages in a clear, consistent manner to eliminate confusion for children and encourage a shared language that is easy for young children to understand, remember and use.

Bravehearts has developed an interactive personal safety program called Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show – a 40-minute live production tailored for children aged 3 – 8 years. In addition, we offer Ditto in a Box – an educator resource that aims to reinforce the protective behaviour strategies presented in Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show, however the resource can also be used independently of the Show.

DITTO'S KEEP SAFE ADVENTURE SHOW

DITTO'S KEEP SAFE ADVENTURE

Educational Live Show

This fun and interactive personal safety program has reached hundreds of thousands of Australian children since its inception in 2006.

Delivered by experienced facilitators to early learning, child care and lower primary school students, this is 30 – 40 minute live production is tailored for children aged from ages 3 to 8. The show effectively teach personal safety strategies and skills to stay safe in a range of situations from sexual assault to bullying.

 

KLB_7639The program underpins children’s instinctive understanding of feelings around their personal safety in a way that is non-confronting, safe and highly effective. Themes covered in the show include;

  • Yes and No Feelings
  • Warning Signs
  • Scared and Yucky Feelings
  • Private Parts and Privacy
  • It’s OK to say NO if you don’t feel safe
  • What to do if you feel unsafe or unsure

 

To help solidify the messages from the show, our education team also provides an Activity Book for each student to take home and share with parents and carers.

The Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Activity Book provides a selection of games and activities that aim to teach younger children personal safety and continue to communicate the core messages presented in the Ditto Show.

Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show has been aligned to the Australian National Curriculum ‘Health & Physical Education’ objectives. To support teachers with planning and subject coverage, please see our Curriculum Mapping for schools.

More information for educators is available in this short video:

FAQs

How often should we be talking about this with our children?

It’s a good idea to revisit personal safety strategies with young children on a regular basis because they learn well through repetition and reviewing the concepts. This could include up to four times a year or more, depending on how a young child retains or understands the information. We have visual and audio resources to assist such as our ‘parent pack’ to reinforce key messages presented in the Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show. This also allows the key messages to be communicated using a selection of different styles such as interactive activities, games, colourful posters and music.

How do we help them work out who is a safe person?

Young children need a support network of trusted adults they can talk to if they ever feel unsafe or unsure. This support network should include trusted adults from their family or school but also contain contacts and phone numbers from official and recognised authorities. Parents and carers should also be aware of ‘who’ each contact is on their child’s plan.

This is an activity that needs revisiting on a regular basis because support contacts can change, move away or become no longer available to help.   We have a Helper Plan template in our Activity Book that can also be found in our Parent Packs.

It is also a good idea to discuss why they have chosen their adult supporters and a good moment to explore the meaning of trust and who they perceive to be a safe person and how they feel about them.

How do you name the body parts and why don’t you use the anatomical names in the show?

The private parts are named using everyday terms in the show.  They are identified as ‘the mouth, the chest, between the legs and the bottom.’  This is accessible language for all abilities and easy to understand for lower primary. We do not use the anatomical names in the show as the right support, scaffolding and parental permission are ideally required before these names are introduced to young children.

We provide an optional (not compulsory) activity using anatomical names in our ‘in-class’ resource specifically for teachers, which is aligned to the AU Physical and Health National Curriculum.  Once again, parental permission could be required before introducing the names in class depending on the age of the children and the school policy.

Are we able to get a copy of the songs in the show?

Yes, copies of the songs available on CDs can be ordered from our online shop. The songs help young children remember the key messages from the show including Yes and No Feelings, Warning Signs, Private Parts, Secrets and Run and Tell. There are 2 versions available with the same lyrics but slightly different music styles produced for 0-4 years and 5-8 years engagement but we use the 0-4 years version for the songs in the Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show.

After seeing the program, how will my child determine safe people?

There are many factors to consider when identifying ‘safe’ people but to explain the methodology used in the show, we base this heavily around children’s emotional literacy. Emotional literacy is all about your feelings, identifying and recognising different kinds of feelings and ‘how’ to manage your feelings. The show presents tools to help young children begin to recognise when they could be in an unsafe or unsure situation and importantly, what to do next to gain help.

Short examples are used to practise recognition of feelings in a safe platform that include positive and negative emotions, warning signs in the body,  and what to do if you feel unsafe and unsure.

The show also presents the ‘Helper Plan’, which is a template for children to nominate their support network of trusted people to talk to when they feel unsafe or unsure. The education team take time to present this at the end of the Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show and encourage this activity to take place in the classroom or with parents.

Why does my child need to see this program?

Educating children from a young age to recognise when they feel unsafe or unsure can assist in the process of reporting and gaining the support they need to protect them from harm.

The skills acquired through this program can also be applied to other scenarios that cause children to feel unsafe or unsure (examples include bullying, domestic violence, respect for privacy ) The show also teaches them to be resilient and to keep on trying to seek the assistance they need to be safe.

What age is just too young to see the Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show?

Children below the age of three may not be able retain or fully understand the concepts presented. We recommend the gradual use of stories, posters or songs for much younger children to introduce concepts one at a time.

It is challenging for very young children to understand and retain all the key messages presented in the show due to their minimum amount of life experience and their ability to concentrate for the duration of time it is presented (being between 25-35 minutes).

Is this sex education?

Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show does not involve sex education and essentially presents safety strategies that lead towards seeking the appropriate support to gain assistance.

The show includes identifying the private parts of the body and body ownership as part of the process but at no point is the word ‘sex’ referred to or ‘sexual intercourse’ explored or explained.  The private parts are identified and names using everyday terminology that includes the mouth, the chest, between the legs and the bottom. This language is accessible for different kinds of learners and it is worth noting we do not use anatomical names in the show being an inappropriate platform for introducing them.

Where do you travel to?

We have 6 teams located along the Eastern Board of Australia stretching from Cairns down to Tasmania.

For more remote schools and centres, we have produced a DVD of the show and have our Ditto in a Box ‘in-class’ resource which can either complement the show or work as a stand alone program of study.

How will my child be empowered by the Ditto Show?

Children will be empowered by the tools that are presented to help them recognise the difference between a safe and unsafe scenario and what to do to gain assistance.

The following content is stepped through to assist this process:

  • Recognition of feelings
  • Recognition of warning signs
  • Identifying private parts on the body and body ownership
  • Understanding different secrets
  • Who to tell when you need help

One of the main aims of the show is to encourage young children to develop a support network and to realise it is ok to ask for help when they feel unsafe or unsure. In addition, the show stresses the importance of resilience in terms of not giving up if you can’t find help the first time you try.

The Ditto Keep Safe Adventure show was very visual, the students readily recognised and affiliated with the signs and actions. There was student participation, where children felt they were successful.
– Teacher, Nelson Park State School, QLD

DITTO IN A BOX: PERSONAL SAFETY TEACHING RESOURCE PACK

DITTO IN A BOX

Educator Resource Pack

Ditto in a Box is a comprehensive resource for the teaching of personal safety to young children. The resource aligns with The Early Years Learning Framework, including the principles, practices, learning outcomes and the quality areas that make up assessment.

Ditto in a Box

The resource comes with a detailed teacher’s guide, designed to support and equip educators with the knowledge, tools and capacity to create environments that are safe and nurturing, particularly in the areas of health, well being, communication and safety.

Ditto in a Box aims to reinforce the protective behaviour strategies presented in Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show, however the resource can also be used independently of the Show.

Ditto in a Box
Ditto in a Box
There are 15 items included in the ‘Ditto in a Box’ education pack that all contribute to delivering Bravehearts’ personal safety program for younger children. There is also a comprehensive teacher’s guide included that can be used as a professional development tool to empower teachers with the challenging issue of helping young children to stay safe.
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An essential part of every Primary School program. Enjoyable, entertaining and educational.
Geelong East Primary School

Child Protection Professional Development

Professional Development

Create child safe classrooms

Bravehearts offers a range of professional development courses specifically tailored for educators and early learning caregivers.

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