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How I would ensure that students develop and adopt safe working practices in practical areas of schools?
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is the responsibility of everyone, this includes the students (Wright, R 2015) and is particularly evident in the setting of a Home Economics kitchen. This is why developing safe work practice in students is essential in these practical areas of schools. Safe work practices not only keep myself as a teacher safe but also the students in my care safe and harm free (Marple, P 2015 &Allwright, L 2015)). The impacts of not having a safe work practice developed in students is detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of all, as there could be physical and mental injury as a result of unsafe practices being employed or even bullying and harassment (Wright, R 2015).
For a safe work practice to be developed students need to be involved and want to adapt the practice themselves. This should be completed using a whole school approach and from the very start of the subject (Commonwealth of Australia, DEWR 2006), so it becomes ingrained in the students and staff and is the norm.
For the purpose of the following, this classroom context has been selected:
I will be teaching a Year 8 Food Technologies class, who have minimal experience in cooking and using a kitchen. The class has mixed learning styles with some needing hands on experience to retain information and others needing to see it happen. It is in a co-educational private school, where the maximum class size is 16 students. The class contains a mixture of males and females students, with males being the dominate gender.
The school is big on safe work practice and encourages students to be involved in creating a classroom environment that is safe, they encourage in even more so in a Home Economics classroom where hazards and injury will be more prominent.
Download the full essay about Work Health & Safety Strategies that I plan to employ in my classroom, written through my Workplace Safety &Knowledge study at University.
Damien Walker is currently studying a Bachelor of Education, Food and Textiles Technologies at University of South Australia. This is him engaging with readings and questions throughout his teaching journey to gain professional insight and knowledge.