Pupils and staff at Stromness Primary heard on Wednesday how they could ‘Speak Out and Stay Safe’.
John Darcy from the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) was visiting Orkney to speak to school pupils so that they know how to get help when they need it. John was ably assisted by Buddy, his rotund friendly mascot.
Two assemblies were held P1/3 and P4/7 so that the message and information was age appropriate.
It is a sensitive subject and has to be approached with care and John Darcy did this by getting the children to think about ‘worries’ and what could upset them.
“we don’t want children to carry their worries with them”
The pupils came up with many examples of what could worry them: scary movies, future big events, family or friends who are not well, starting something new, being in the dark and bullying.
Last year the NSPCC received 6,000 calls from children worried because of cyber bullying.
Orkney was the last local authority in Scotland to take part in the NSPCC ‘Speak Out Stay Safe‘ programme and John Darcy will be visiting other local schools over the coming week.
The children were assured of where they could get help, firstly turning to someone they could trust: parent, grandparent, cousin, friend, teacher or neighbour. They could also phone Childline which offers a confidential 24/7 service: 0800 1111.
It was important that the children understood that abuse is never a child’s fault. After the assemblies the P6/7 pupils took part in workshops.
“I have the right to speak out and stay safe”
Childline: 0800 1111
Reporter: Fiona Grahame