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Protective Behaviours

 Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours intervention sessions form part of Peartree’s Wellbeing and Inclusion provision – individual sessions are run by trained leaders in Protective Behaviours.  



The Origins of Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours originated in the early 1970s in Wisconsin,USA. It was developed into a teaching programme in Australia and through continued refinement, was made available for children in schools in the UK.   


The Purpose of Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours (PBs) provides a framework for personal safety, self- esteem, resilience and confidence building.  It is an internal process where each person applies the ideas to their own unique experience (  

There are 5 main elements of the PBs process. In practice, they all interact and support each other. The main two that we focus on are:


Theme 1: We all have the right to feel safe all the time 

We explore this theme in detail, carefully looking at the connection between rights and responsibilities. We discover for ourselves the difference between feeling safe, fun to feel scared (adventurousness), risking on purpose (which may not feel like fun but we still have choice) and feeling unsafe. These differences are manifested by what we call our ‘Early Warning Signs (EWS), specific bodily responses which tell us when we do not feel safe. 


Theme 2: We can talk with someone about anything even if it’s awful or small 

The children create a ‘hand of 5’ which represents their own personal networks of support, those people they could turn to if in need. They are reminded and encouraged of the benefits of talking no matter the topic. 


The Seven Strategies

These are the 7 different ways in which the PB themes and ideas are practised. These include:


  • Reinforcing the two themes
  • Reviewing the personal networks
  • Learning the Language of Safety to empower ourselves and be mindful of others.   


For further details on these elements please go to 


How can my child take part in a Protective Behaviours intervention?

Peartree has adopted many of the PB elements as part of its nurturing whole school ethos. For instance, each child in each class has created their personal ‘hand of 5’ and have discussed when it can and should be used.    

Your child may be considered to attend individual Protective Behaviour sessions if they have a greater need for the elements and themes discussed. This decision will be reached by the Inclusion Leader, Mrs Bellwood.  


What does a session typically involve?

A session may last 20 - 30mins. Your child alongside their PB practitioner will discuss the particular topic for the session and complete any necessary activities.  


How can I support my child through their Protective Behaviours intervention?

Reminding your child that they have a personal network is a great place to start. It is highly likely that you as a parent or carer will be named. Ensure they know that you are available to listen to them, no matter how small or awful the matter. Setting time aside for a ‘catch up’ would provide your child the perfect opportunity. They need to feel comfortable and ready to talk – they may take time to open up.  


Protective Behaviours Practitioners

Mrs R. Proud 

Protective Behaviours Lead 



Mrs W. O’Donoghue 

 Learning Support Assistant 


Mrs C. McGarry

Early Years Practitioner