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Everyone has the right to feel safe all the time.

How Safe Is My School is a fun, interactive resource for primary-school-aged children to do as part of their school-based learning. It takes students on a journey to improve their safety knowledge and empower them to improve safety around their schools – knowledge they can take back to their families and on through their lives.

About how safe is my school

One proven multi-disciplinary approach to improving an area’s safety is through applying “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED) – a series of principles that can be applied to residential areas, public spaces, retail, commercial and schools, to improve both the sense of safety of residents, workers, users or students, and the actual security of the built environment. 

Much of CPTED is common sense – that an area that looks cared for, is welcoming, and easy to navigate will provide people with a positive experience.   

Neighbourhood Watch Victoria has adapted the more formal ISO-recognised CPTED standards to a new program – How Safe Is My School – which is easy to understand and designed specifically for children to do as part of their school-based learning. 

Our aim is for children to learn the simple things they can do to feel and be safer – knowledge that they can take back to their families and on through their lives. 

Resources link to the Victorian Curriculum

How Safe Is My School resources are written to align with the Victorian Curriculum and will take primary school students on a journey to improve their safety knowledge and empower students to improve safety around their schools.

Children learn about safety through design

Safety can include people’s actions and behaviours, but another element of safety is “place”. Based on the concept of “crime prevention through environmental design” (CPTED), our physical environment can impact our sense of safety.

Recognising how an area is perceived and designed enhances our individual sense of safety. Taking shared responsibility for maintaining a welcoming and cared for space helps to discourage negative behaviours.

 

Looking at what makes a place safe

There are 4 key principles* when looking at how spaces are designed with crime prevention and safety in mind.

  • Coming and going looks at how we move around an area. What features such as fencing and paths help people find their way around confidently; or to stop them from entering private or dangerous areas?
  • Keeping watch assesses how we watch over an area. Is an area in full view so people can keep an eye on it easily? Are trees and bushes trimmed? Is there good lighting?
  • Showing we care considers how we look after an area. Is the area clean and well maintained? Are broken windows and lights fixed? Rubbish bins emptied? Graffiti tagging cleaned up?
  • Having fun explores how we use an area in positive ways. Is there play equipment? Picnic tables and benches? Sporting facilities?

*principles are based on Designing Safe Spaces: Involving Children and Youth in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, 2005 National Crime Prevention Council, USA. 

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The How Safe Is My School resources have been developed in partnership between Neighbourhood Watch Victoria and RACV. 

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