Briefly in English
Welcome to learn more about the Safety Skills Education model of Oulu
On this page you can find a short description of the Safety Skills Education model of Oulu, useful information about safety skill education in general and all the safety skills education materials that have been created in Oulu and are available in English.
What is safety skills education?
The Finnish National Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Children 2020–2025 defines safety skills education as follows:
‘Safety skills education’ refers to the comprehensive strengthening of children’s own resources, positive body image and self-esteem, as well as their means of coping. In this way, children learn skills that promote the safety of the relationships between them and other people and provide them with the skills to avoid being subjected to violence, bullying, solicitation and harassment. In situations where a child has become the victim of various types of violence, the goal of safety skills education is to ensure that children have the means and skills to protect themselves and defend their boundaries (Non-Violent Childhoods: Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Children 2020–2025, 22)
The Safety Skills Education model of Oulu consists of the following actions:
- The obligation to give safety skills education in pre-schools and basic education has been added to the core curriculums of Oulu. These changes include learning goals. The core curriculums guide the work of schools and pre-schools in Oulu and the changes also fulfil the demands of the national core curriculum for basic education. Thus, from the school year 2021-2022 onwards all pre-primary schools and schools of Oulu give safety skills education.
- Freely available learning materials on safety skills education for pre-primary education and classes 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-9 in basic education were created and are in use. The learning materials take into account the developmental level of children. The learning materials include learning goals and ready lesson plans for the teachers and other professionals to use.
- All the basic education teachers and pre-primary education units of Oulu received training on safety skills education and an in-service training plan on preventing sexual violence against minors for other professionals was created and executed.
- Each basic education unit has selected 1-2 teachers, who are in charge of the safety skills education in their school. The selected teachers have been educated on the task. This task has been added to the work complexity assessment system of the city of Oulu and thus the change guarantees each selected teacher an additional fee while they have this responsibility.
- A list of safety skills educators has been created, consisting of local teachers and other professionals who have been educated on the subject by the Safe Oulu project. These safety skills educators can be booked by schools when (re)education on the subject is needed.
- Engaging parents in safety skills education is crucial for its success and thus parents are supported in safety skills education. This support includes e.g. parental evenings and webinars for parents, home assignments to be made with parents in the created learning materials, exercise book for children and parents about safety skills and an animation on digital safety skills.
- The Finnish Basic Education Act demands that there is a plan on protecting pupils from bullying, harassment, and violence in each municipality. Safety skills education has been added as a part of this co-created plan in Oulu. This fosters the commitment of the city of Oulu to safety skills education and it guides the daycare, preschool, basic education, upper secondary education and vocational education units of the city of Oulu to give safety skills education.
- Guide of “Psycho-social support” (“Practical instructions for professionals working in the educational sector for the situations when sexual abuse, harassment and grooming of children are revealed”) and “Crisis management manual” for schools were created in order to help the professionals act properly when a crisis emerges e.g. a pupil is a victim of a sexual crime or other type of violence.
Safety Skills Education model of Oulu
This Safety Skills Education model from pre-primary school to the end of basic education created in Oulu strengthens a child’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and confidence, fosters good emotional and communication skills, promotes good relationships with peers as well as coping and digital safety skills. Safety skills education enhances children’s skills in setting and protecting their boundaries against bullying, violence, harassment, and grooming. Safety skills education comprehensively augments children’s resources and survival skills.
As children live in a multimedia world, they will learn that they have the right to grow and live in safety, also online. They will learn to identify the dangers occurring online, protect themselves online, set boundaries and tell an adult they trust when something happens. If the children are not taught what is right and what is wrong and what is a crime and what is not, they cannot know these things.
The safety skills education applied in the schools and pre-schools in the city of Oulu and the strengthening of the know-how of professionals and caretakers prevents bullying, harassment and violence against minors in face-to-face interaction and on digital environments, among children themselves and between children and adults. As the children grow and their horizons expand, adult supervision cannot wholly cover them. Although we, adults, shoulder all responsibility for children’s safety, the children, too, need skills which may help them look after themselves and their own safety. The older the children the less the adults can supervise their every move.
The model has been developed as a part of Turvallinen Oulu – Safe Oulu (2019-2022) project. The main objective of the project has been to prevent sexual crimes against minors in Oulu.
Further information on
Safety Skills Education in Oulu
Project coordinator Satu-Maaria Toppinen
+358 40 481 3497
Project coordinator Iida-Maria Bimberg
+358 40 185 5394
Project coordinator Tiia Brockman
+358 40 503 9854
Project researcher Minna Viinikka
+358 40 1549791
Safety Skills Materials from Oulu in English
Animation on digital safety skills