Amity Amsterdam: A safe environment for development and growth
The safety of children is the priority of every school. Modern schools face many challenges in their efforts to ensure children can learn in a safe environment where they can develop and grow. Creating a safe environment includes contemplating matters like violence and bullying, cybersecurity and external threats, such as terrorism, child predators and natural disasters.
Knowing your child is safe is fundamental in ensuring a smooth relocation
At Amity International School Amsterdam, security is a top priority, ensuring children can learn and play in a protected place, giving parents peace of mind.
Creating a bully-free environment
Principals of both private and public schools have many roles, but their number one priority, undoubtedly, is to provide a safe learning environment for all students. By putting in place visible and invisible security measures, schools can increase the safety of the children, allowing the school to effectively deal with reported incidents.
Students should feel safe within a school. Offering physically safe spaces allows a school to focus their attention on other aspects of safeguarding. Child protection training is essential for all members of the community and ensures everyone is focused on safeguarding children from a social, physical and emotional perspective. Training results in all teams being more attuned to recognising signs of distress and confident in dealing with any issues early on.
Bullying can negatively impact everyone involved, including the bully. Schools have to create anti-bullying initiatives that promote kindness, empathy and inclusion. Anti-bullying initiatives need to be based on a philosophy of educating and changing habits and cultures. Success only occurs when the root cause is dealt with.
Furthermore, some schools like Amity Amsterdam use technology to ensure students feel safe: “Security cameras can help eliminate blind spots in schools where students can feel anxious. These can be stairwells, locker areas and isolated parts of a school”, states Principal Sarah Wade.
How to manage potential threats to the school?
Potential disasters can range from a crisis caused by nature or by human beings. Sadly, news about attacks on schools around the world has become more frequent and with the expected climate changes, extreme weather events (like storms and floods) will occur more frequently.
Schools use a variety of procedures to promote the safety of their school’s community, including training students, faculty and staff. Certain practices, such as locking or monitoring doors and gates, are intended to limit or control access to school campuses, while others, such as the use of security cameras, are intended to monitor or restrict students' and visitors' behaviour on campus.
A Disaster and Crisis Management Policy is an important aspect to ensure immediate and effective response can be activated in order to minimise the impact on individuals and the school.
Amity Amsterdam’s Operations Manager, Troy Spears, understands the importance of preparing for these types of events to minimise the risks: “Good planning can reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic event occurring, or if one does occur, it can mitigate the seriousness of its effects. Planning is also a vital part of recovery; without adequate records, the school cannot re-establish its business.”
Safety measures at Amity International School Amsterdam
At Amity International School Amsterdam there are various measures in place to ensure the safety of the students. Mr. Spears explains a few of them in more detail:
1. Identity management
Having a formal identification process for students, staff and visitors helps to provide better people management on campus. Faculty and students have identification cards that are used to gain building access, while visitors are easily recognised by their different coloured key cords.
2. Monitoring of premises
With the attendance of a dedicated professional security team, the premises around the school are closely monitored to ensure that only authorised visitors can enter the school site.
3. Surveillance systems
Suspicious behaviour can be tracked easily and shared with authorities efficiently if needed. “Although this level of physical security may be surprising to Dutch families, as an international school we recognise some of our families expect high levels of security in line with their home countries. Moving to a new country can be daunting and knowing your child is safe is fundamental in ensuring a smooth relocation”, states Principal Sarah Wade.
Tips for schools
It is vital that genuine substantial threats are taken seriously, but schools must avoid creating a suspicious and fearful school culture. School leaders should create well-rounded safety plans to protect students’ well-being while fostering a positive learning environment. A few tips can be found below:
- Create and update school safety plans
- Develop and review a Disaster and Crisis Management Policy
- Ensure all staff on-site have received suitable child protection training
- Ensure staff, students and parents are aware of all safety policies
- Provide teacher safety training annually
- Organise a school safety team
Spaces available now!
Amity International School Amsterdam is a new international school in the Amsterdam region offering education to children from the age of 3 to 13. It’s Amity’s mission to empower everyone in their community to thrive and make a positive difference in the world. Amity currently has spaces available; please contact their Admissions Team.
Amity's next open day is Wednesday, October 16 (Open day whole school), from 10am to 12pm. Get your free tickets now!
1182 HL Amstelveen