SCHOOLCHILDREN were taught about different forms of abuse and how to tackle them.
Pupils at Westover Primary School in Copnor enjoyed an interactive assembly led by the NSPCC Schools Service.
The 20-minute session – held as part of the charity’s Speak Out, Stay Safe campaign – was focused on teaching Key Stage One and Key Stage Two pupils about the effects of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in an age appropriate way.
The children watched a short interactive video about a young girl called Sam, who was having a hard time at home with her family.
But as her story played out, the young viewers saw how her problems – which included name-calling, arguing and neglect – were resolved when she mustered the courage to speak to one of her teachers.
Six-year-old Luka Drain, who is in Year 2, said he learned a valuable message from the assembly.
He said: ‘We have to look after people like Sam from the video – I would look after her if she was in our school.
‘If you are having a bad time at school or at home, you should always tell a grown-up.’
Fellow Year 2 pupil, Poppy Bamborough, six, said: ‘I learned that it is very important to tell an adult if you are feeling sad. If you do not tell them, they can’t help you. I really enjoyed the assembly.’
Pupils were also taught about how to spot unacceptable behaviour – learning that ‘privates are private’ and ‘hitting’ is wrong.
The session was led by NSPCC Schools Service volunteer Sallye Corbett, with the help of Buddy – a stuffed toy speech mark, made to represent the importance of speaking out about abuse.
Ms Corbett said: ‘Children have rights just like adults – to keep themselves safe and to be happy. We think it’s really important to share this message early on through assemblies like these.’
From September 2016 to July 2017, the Speak Out, Stay Safe programme reached more than 8,000 pupils in 27 Portsmouth schools.
To volunteer for the scheme, visit www.nspcc.org.uk.