Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sketch for a Risk Literacy Curriculum


Written following discussion with many colleagues, with particular acknowledgement to Ewout van Manen and the encouragement of members of the Steiner Waldorf Administrators’ Network

N.B. All age groups – safe evacuation of premises in case of fire (fire drills and emergency measures) & all items covered by Risk Assessments for every-day safety &c.

Kindergarten: A place for everything, the importance of tidying away; awareness of others in play activities including younger children including learning to share & e.g. being adventurous or playing energetically without hurting others or making them fearful; basic personal hygiene (washing hands after using toilet and before preparing snack &c); use of items such as scissors, needles, wool, woodworking items; balancing free play items safely; procedure for walks or activities beyond the kindergarten room…

Classes 1-3 incorporating aspects listed above: “Courtesy” – taking account of the feelings and comfort of others and handling items (e.g. musical instruments with respect); safe sitting; lighting matches correctly for candle, use of snuffer &c. skipping ropes etc, &observing “rules”; purpose of boundaries; introduction to warning signs &c; special precautions for farm visits or other parts of practical activities curriculum; hygiene practice for baking etc; correct and safe disposal of left-over food stuffs & other items; consideration for others when suffering from colds or other minor illness and - in context – for those with food allergies…

Classes 4-6 incorporating aspects listed above: “Codes of conduct” - allowing & enabling others space & time; sharpening and use of more sophisticated tools and “guidance not force” rule for their use; similarly art materials; more complex safety measures for physical education; all necessary measures for class outings and field-trips, including, e.g. outdoor cooking, food storage & correct disposal of leavings, protocols for travel, security in crowds, “what is a Risk Assessment?” &c; safe handling of fire & necessary precautions; appropriate handling of first aid & medical items; value  necessity of planning, writing proposals taking into account safety factors as relevant…              

Classes 7-8 incorporating aspects listed above: “Consequences” – care of self and others, including well-being and life-style; thinking through a practical activity e.g. class play etc; drawing up risk assessments, principle of level of risk and risk management – “positive risk” e.g. in hill walking &c (Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme); safe use of internet and social networks; hygiene in relationships including some sexually transmitted diseases/AIDS &c.