Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum

The KS:CPC is mandated at all South Australian Department for Education sites for children and young people from age 3 to year 12. It’s a requirement that the approved child protection curriculum will be taught by staff who have received training in its use. Teachers must complete the full day training course before delivering the KS:CPC to children and young people.

Key elements

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that mainstream education programs about respectful sexual relationships are often inaccessible to students with disability making it more difficult for some to identify and speak up about abuse. In South Australia, the needs of this cohort were identified within the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum with the publication of Support materials: disability and additional needs. This document emphasises that “Students with high support needs will need more explicit and systematic teaching of skills and associated understandings which include:

  • Skills for appropriate behaviour (pro-social and interacting skills)
  • Decision-making skills (skills about making choices)
  • Understandings about the right to safety, privacy and dignity in all relationships
  • Skills in discriminating between appropriate times for compliance and times for asserting personal choices
  • Skills for recognising abusive situations
  • Communication skills to facilitate rejecting (saying NO), protesting and reporting abuse.”

Adelaide West Special Education Centre

The curriculum at Adelaide West has been adapted to address students' individual needs.

The program is delivered around the four topics in relationships curriculum that drive learning and teaching. These are:

  • The right to be safe
  • Relationships
  • Recognising and reporting abuse
  • Protective strategies

Meet Lesley

Lesley Coy teaches two days per week within the centre and has a role as a Statewide Outreach Teacher three days per week. She reflects on the most important concepts from the 'KS:CPC Support materials for children and young people with disability and additional needs' document to her delivery of the KS:CPC curriculum:

‘It’s really important that young people with disability feel a sense of inclusion and wellbeing. They are a very diverse group in terms of needs so they may need individualised adaptations so that they can fully participate in all the aspects of the KS:CPC. And being treated with dignity and respect is paramount in teaching this kind of content.’

The Adelaide West Way

A key consideration in facilitating content within the KS:CPC topics is that students have widely differing needs. For instance, some students with autism may struggle socially and need support in building skills around relationships. Other students might struggle to recognise boundaries and to self-regulate, impacting on how other students respond to them.

Delivery of the program at the school is contingent on the following KS:CPC elements:

  • Parent/caregiver involvement in the program
  • The language of safety (respectful)
  • Closing the session (allow for discussion and end each session in a positive way)
  • Multimedia use
  • Use of guest speakers on appropriate topics
  • Developing and reviewing networks (Circles of support)
  • Expectation of persistence
  • Learning self-protection

You can find some generic information about these concepts by clicking on the following links:

Establishing a group agreement

One step removed

Protective interrupting

Lesley facilitated the development of a two year plan to break up the content within the KS:CPC into manageable chunks that fit the learning needs of multi-age classrooms. The following is an extract from the two-year planner that shows the content areas that all students will experience across one of the four Focus Areas (FA) that are covered in this program.

KS:CPC - Two year plan – Special schools/Disability units

Term 2, 2020

Years R-2 Years 3-5 Year 6-9 Years 10-12
Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships

Topic 3: Power in relationships

R – No topic

Y1- 3.1 Demonstrate the language of safety

Y1- 3.2 Understanding bullying

Y1- 3.4 Fair and unfair

Y2- 3.3 Dealing with bullying behaviour

Y2- 3.5 Introducing the concept of power

Y2- 3.6 Adults using power

Topic 3: Power in relationships

Y3,4,5- 3.1 Exploring a definition of power

Y4 – 3.2 Power scenarios

Y4/Y5- 3.3 Tricks and bribes

Y3/Y4- 3.4 Pressure

Y3/Y5- 3.5 Bullying as an abuse of power

Topic 3: Power in relationships

Y6, 8- 3.1 Types and abuse of power

Y7, 9- 3.2 Positive use and abuse of power

Y7, 9- 3.3 Power in relationships

Y8 – 3.4 Guilt

Y8,9- 3.5 Power & gender

Y6- 3.6 Characteristics of bullying

Yr7- 3.7 Bullies and people who are bullied

Yr7,8,9- 3.8 Bystanders

Y6- 3.9 School policy on bullying

Topic 2: Identity & relationships

Y10, 12- 2.1 Healthy & unhealthy relationships

Y10,11- 2.2 Gender as a social construction

Y10,22,12 2.3 Gender stereotypes

The nature of the two-year plan means that in Term 2, 2021, the topic of relationships will be explored as follows:

KS:CPC - Two year plan – Special schools/Disability units

Term 2, 2021

Years R-2 Years 3-5 Year 6-9 Years 10-12
Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships Focus Area 2: Relationships

Topic 1: Rights and responsibilities

R- 1.1 Needs and wants of pets

Y1/Y2- 1.2 Children’s rights

Y1/Y2- Behaviour code & children’s rights

Topic 2: Identity and relationships

R- 2.1 Exploring identity

R/Y1/Y2- 2.2 Exploring relationships

Y1/Y2- 2.3 Relationship circle

Topic 1: Rights and responsibilities

Y3- 1.1 Rights & responsibilities

Y4/Y5- 1.2 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Topic 2: Identity and relationships

Y3- 2.1 Identity web

Y4/Y5- 2.2 Gender stereotypes

Y4- 2.3 Unsafe behaviour

Y3,4,5- 2.4 Relationship circle

Topic 1: Rights and responsibilities

Y6,7,8,9- 1.1 What rights do children and young people have?

Y6,7,8,9- 1.2 Rights and responsibilities in close relationships

Topic 2: Identity and relationships

Y6,7- Exploring relationships

Y6,7,8,9- 2.2 Healthy & unhealthy relationships

Y8,9 2.3 Construction of gender

Topic 4: Trust and networks

Y6,7,8,9- 4.1 Trust

Y6,7,8,9- 4.1 Trusted networks

Topic 1: Rights and responsibilities

Y10,11,12- 1.1 Rights & responsibilities

Y10- Abuse of rights

Y10,11,12- 1.3 Sexual consent

Y11, 12- 1,4 Rights & responsibilities in intimate relationships

Topic 3: Power in relationships

Y10- 3.1 Types and use of power

Y11- 3.2 Discrimination

Y10,11,12- 3.2 Sexting

Yr11,12- 3.4 Positive use & abuse of power


A typical lesson

Lesley teaches KS:CPC once a week with a lesson typically lasting about 45 minutes.

She takes the following considerations into account:

  • In order to engage students with disabilities – some with short attention spans, who struggle to sit, to listen, to participate and be ready for learning - lessons need to follow predictable patterns.
  • Some students may learn over a term and quickly settle into lessons, others may need a breakdown of activities in the form of a visual schedule with tick boxes.

The structure for a typical KS:CPC lesson is often summarised as a checklist for students to provide predictability and a sense of student agency as they check off the activities during the class.

Picture of a checklist with items: warm-up song, powerpoint, story, cut and paste, activity, relaxation and finished.

Each unit of work is put on presentation slides – this includes the topic with individual weekly lessons – that are all connected to the sub-topics. This provides students with a visual purpose and staff members with a sense of shared direction.

"The purpose of the lesson is always stated: I use WALT. Eg We Are Learning To understand different feelings (Years R – 2 FA1 The right to be safe) or We Are Learning To define what public and private is (Years 6-9 FA3 Recognising and reporting abuse)."

Lesley incorporates stories, games, role plays, worksheets and media clips. One example of a game that is used is Spaghetti Head – the students and adults need to trust the others to poke (uncooked) spaghetti in their hair without poking them in the ears or eyes.

"We take photos and put them into their books – students love looking at themselves and the activities they have done in KS:CPC and the photos can be used for writing and reflection activities. We always finish on a positive note with guided meditation."

Find some examples of warm-up songs, books and videos under 'Lesley's resources' section on this page.

Pedagogy and recommended learning strategies

The KS:CPC program was reviewed and refined in 2013 and further updated in 2017 to strengthen the child safety concepts and structure.

The most effective pedagogy for delivery of this type of curriculum (for all students) includes a strong focus on collaborative learning. This is because students develop better skills if they can practise communication activities with their peers in a safe and responsive environment with teachers supporting them.

Some of the learning strategies which Lesley and her colleagues use include:

  • Pair swaps
  • Knee-to-knee activity (or side-by-side)
  • Role play
  • Y chart, T chart, X chart
  • Concept or mind mapping
  • Lotus diagram
  • Modified jigsaw diagram
  • Values walk or vales continuum (with ‘Thumbs up’ options)
  • Placemat activity
  • Brainstorming
  • Relaxation
  • Problem solving
  • Teachable moments
  • Using songs and stories
  • Critical literacy in using electronic and print media’
  • Drawing and scribing
  • Persona dolls
  • Relationship circles

For some further ideas about strategies that might be effectively used in relationships education, see the Teaching and Learning Strategies Overview provided by the Western Australian website Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships, where some of the strategies mentioned on this page are described in detail. You will need to decide what is most appropriate for use in your own context.


Adelaide West is a school specialising in the education of students with complex communication needs.

Students use a range of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems including; PODD books, Proloquo2Go and Eye Gaze systems. This diversity necessitates a lot of adaptation of teaching activities. Lesley has described the Communication Assessment Reporting that she uses at the school:

  1. Know your students and make adjustments. This might include diversification and differentiation of actual activities with some students completing a posting or glueing activity, or using an App, one or two sitting apart from the group or alone in a quiet place. Others may sit in a group setting, to watch media clips, sing songs, listen to stories and complete written reflections.
  2. How will my students communicate their responses? Teachers use the PODD a lot to provide vocabulary, and check that they and the students are on the same page.
  3. Teachers compile their reports based on each child’s learning plan. Resources and activities used within the KS:CPC are linked to some of the intended outcomes in each students’ learning plan.

Associated school programs

Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a program which Adelaide West Special Education Centre has committed to.

There are three main expectations of all people at centre:

"I am safe"

"I am friendly"

"I am respectful"

Explicit examples of what behaviour looks like for each of these expectations are used to model preferred behaviour – creating a focus on desirable behaviours at school. The positive language associated with these expectations is also embedded within the communication modes such as the AAC used at the centre.

The whole school focuses on one statement each week and reminds students of what this may look like in class lessons daily. This is reinforced by all school staff. For example, when the weekly statement was “I am safe”, “I am OK” the whole school practised the series of statements: “I am OK”, “I can calm down”, “I can take deep breaths” during the end of the day assembly every day.

The PBIS program is having an appreciable impact on the incidences of inappropriate behaviours in the school and links well with some of the content areas of the KS:CPC.

Lorna Fenech, Adelaide West Special Education Centre Principal, said:

‘We’ve had a significant increase in use of positive language, talking to students and about students. We’ve had a decrease in behavioural incident reports.’

View the presentation Making the shift: A school wide approach to Positive Behaviour Intervention Support for more about this focus.

Lesley's resources

Lesley has compiled the following lists of resources that she uses in her program at Adelaide West.


  • Choose one song that you will use for the year to start your teaching in this area.
  • Give your class about 5 minutes notice that the safety lesson will be starting.
  • When the 5 minutes are up, start your song. Some students will automatically move to the whole group desk area while others will need guiding or a visual prompt to sit with the group.

Provides for the learner

  • Routines for stability and order
  • Repetition for learning (strengthens connections within the brain)
  • Predictability – provides safety for the learner

The videos listed below are suggestions only. Always review videos first to determine suitability for your students.

Reception – Primary

Body parts song for kids - This is me! by ELF Kids videos

This teaches the body parts and also number counting.

The Parts of You and Me

This teaches parts of the body and the active verbs associated with each part. For example, “seeing” is associated with the eyes.

How are you?

This teaches different emotions. You can use visuals on sticks or puppets of emotions in the song for students to hold up at the appropriate time in the song.

Primary – Senior

The feelings song

This teaches that there are a variety of emotions and that they all have a place.

Body parts

KS:CPC Focus area 1: The right to be safe

Books Web-based resources

Felix and Alexander by Terry Denton

Franklin is lost by Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark

I Don’t Want to Go to School by Nancy Panda

Hattie and the Fox  by Mem Fox

I’m Not Going Out There by Paul Bright

Fearless  by Colin Thompson

Mr Jelly by Roger Hargreaves

Jellylegs  by Colion Varney

Little Red Riding Hood  by Mara Alperin and Loretta Schauer

Bear & Chook by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Sesame Street: James Gandolfini talks about feeling scared
Buckle up for the kids
Warning signals: Story – Feeling unsafe

KS:CPC Focus Area 2: Relationships

Books Web-based resources

One Duck Stuck  by Phillis Root

Home at Last – The Adventures of Joey Grey by Kerry Kitzelman and Steve Parish

Sebastian lives in a Hat by Thelma Catterwell

Mutt Dog! by Stephen Michael King

My Mouth is a Volcano  by Julia Cook

The Sneetches by Dr Seuss

The Juice Box Bully by Bob Samson and Maria Dismondy

Alexander and the wind-up mouse by Leo Lionni

Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! by Pat Cummings

Home, Sweet Home (on Twinkl)

Kids for Character: Trustworthy

What are child rights?

Use polite words

Managing impulsivity

Fair and unfair: Rosa the rabbit learns to be fair


KS:CPC Focus Area 3: Recognising and reporting abuse

Books Web-based resources

Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook

Mutt dog! by Stephen Michael King

The Recess Queen  by Alexis O'Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith

I feel scared when Mum and Dad fight by Tess Rowley and Rhiannon McLay

A social story about personal space

Good touch and bad touch: What’s the difference

Keep your hands to yourself

Mr Men: Mr Bump

No kicking or biting

Some secrets should never be kept 

Run, run, run, yell and tell

KS:CPC Focus Area 4: Protective strategies

Books Web-based resources

The Lighthouse Keepers Catastrophe by Ronda and David Armitage

Jasmine’s Butterflies by Justine O’Malley

Sesame Street: Don’t be a bully

What makes a good friend?

Lesley has provided a lists of guided meditation resources for children.

Young children


Duration Artist/Album Platform

Sailing boat on calm waters

4:18 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay

Rocket ship journey

5:17 Sada/Meditation for boys iTunes/GooglePlay

Rainbow friend meditation

5:31 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay

Shell meditation

5:33 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay

Sleepy night garden

4:03 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay

Older children

Title Duration Artist/Album Platform
Turtle meditation 3:50 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay
Colourful balloons for inner peace 5:37 Guided meditation for happier kids iTunes/GooglePlay
Tree meditation 4:56 Sada/Meditation for kids iTunes/GooglePlay
Dolphin ride meditation 6:54 Sada/Meditation for kids 2 iTunes/GooglePlay
Ether - Journey into silence (body relax) 5:20 Chitra sukhu/Guided meditation for children iTunes/GooglePlay