Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

More safe spaces needed in schools, says Children’s Commissioner

Bruce Adamson, the Commissioner for Children and Young People Scotland, at Camphill School. 

Submitted photo.
Bruce Adamson, the Commissioner for Children and Young People Scotland, at Camphill School. Submitted photo.

Children’s Commissioner Bruce Adamson has called for more safe spaces in schools.

During a visit to Aberdeen, Mr Adamson visited schools including Tullos, Bramble Brae, Manor Park and Tullos, as well as Camphill, to learn more about their child-focused approach.

The Finnish-style approach involves teachers asking children about what would make learning easier for them.

Afterwards, Mr Adamson said one idea from Bramle Brae was the introduction of a safe space – which he would like more schools to take up.

He said: “There have been some really amazing things going on in Aberdeen and it is really exciting to see the people in charge listening to children and allowing them to shape their own learning.

“One thing I saw was a big, heavy blanket that allowed a child to be almost in a cocoon. It’s just a way to block out the word for a little bit.

“The child chooses if they need to go, so it is not someone coming to the door and taking them away for being disruptive but something they have agency over.

“When things in the classroom got a little too much, this space allows a child to come and build a sort of nest and have a time-out and then they can go back to the classroom.”

Mr Adamson said safe spaces and allowing children to influence how they are taught is the norm in Finland, which has a reputation for having one of the best education systems in the world.

“This is something very mainstream throughout Finnish schools, where children have spaces they can go to,” he said. “Some people can worry this will be misused and children will run riot but it just doesn’t work like that.

“They are not missing out on learning but taking five minutes to refocus and then get back and get on with it.

“It’s not airy-fairy or abstract – by giving children more control over their learning they are more likely to stay engaged and be able to achieve.”

Mr Adamson said the four council-run schools were also allowing teachers to spend more time with children in very small groups or individually.

“They are taking teachers out of the classroom to allow them to work with one, two or three children,” he said.

“That way they can have some quite intense discussions and it gives teachers the time to invest in the children.

“The most exciting thing about that is it allows the child to come up with some of the solutions as to how they can achieve their full potential.”

Mr Adamson also visited Camphill School, which already has a child-centred ethos and aims to create “an integrated community based on mutual respect and the unfolding of individual potential”.

Camphill School Aberdeen executive director Alex Busch said he would welcome closer working with councils so more children could benefit from a place in the independent network of schools dedicated to developmental disabilities, mental health problems, or other special needs.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]