Feeling Safe: Identifying Safe Spaces

Every human being has a range of emotions. We may feel happy, angry, silly, excited, anxious, sad and confused–even in a relatively short period of time.

One emotion we often feel is that of safety, however, the feeling of safety may not be something we often talk about or even think about. If someone asks “How are you?” we rarely respond by telling them we feel safe. Yet, that feeling of safety enables us to function on a daily basis. So, what does it mean to feel SAFE? SAFE can be defined as an absence of harm or hurt. Therefore, FEELING SAFE means you do not expect either harm or hurt either emotionally or physically.

Take a minute and try and remember a time when you didn’t feel safe? Maybe you had a bad dream, or you became separated from your group of friends in a large crowd, or, perhaps, you witnessed or experienced something upsetting. At one time or another, we have all experienced feeling unsafe. What emotions did you experience along with feeling unsafe? Perhaps feelings of anxiety, panic and loss of control accompanied the unsafe feeling.  

At Stanhope Barrington C of E Primary School we prioritise pupil well-being and endeavor to ensure that every child feels SAFE. We want them to be well–emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially and mentally.

With that in mind, in school, the pupils have been thinking about and drawing pictures of their ‘Safe Spaces’. Their Safe Spaces are places that they feel safe. There have been some wonderful examples including: ‘in school’, ‘in my bed with my dog’, ‘outside in my back garden’ and ‘in my room playing with my cat’. This exercise reminds each pupil of the importance of feeling safe. We use the drawings as a classroom prompt to help each pupil to self-sooth in supportive environment so that they can re-engage into the the learning environment.

We are fortunate to have Mrs Howes as our certified ‘Thrive‘ practitioner along with Mrs. Cross as our SENCO and a dedicated staff that value pupil emotional well-being and the importance of feeling psychologically safe.

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