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Parent Hub Communication App

Parent Hub Communication App

We are always looking at ways to develop our communications with parents further and during our recent parent survey most parents felt that the texting service was a valuable way of getting up to date information about what is happening in school. There are some limitations to the service, such as the fact that within the text message we are unable to add direct attachments or images and we are limited to the amount of characters we can add to a text message. Recently our School Management Information System where we store all our pupil data and contact details has joined with “Parent Hub” which is a communications app for parents. The app hosts a messaging service for schools which allows attachments and pictures to be linked with messages, offers no limit on the length of messages and also links to our school Twitter feed. The benefit of this app is that it is completely free both for parents and for us as a school. The text message service does cost us a large amount as a school and in terms of the admin time it takes to update details each year and as changes are made. As the app is linked to our Management Information System, the updating of details would happen automatically and as a school we could save a large sum of money whilst also providing a more advanced messaging service, which would allow us to streamline communications between school and home. We would like to trial the “Parent Hub” app and get your feedback about it. Our aim is to get parents to sign up to the app across the summer term so that we can start to send messages through it, with the aim being that across the autumn term all our messaging goes through the app so that we can make a decision at the end of the autumn term about which messaging system is most effective . It is really simple to set up the app on any kind of phone. If you click here you can  download a poster about how to join the app and once you enter your phone number, it will let us know that you have signed up. The best way to join is by downloading the Parent Hub app (the white app). If you want to know more about the app, do visit the Parent Hub website by clicking here or arrange to speak to Mr Rhodes about it. We feel that this is a great opportunity for us to develop our communication system further.  It's only fair to...

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Parking Charter

Parking Charter

On Friday 17th February our school councillors continued the work of last year’s council on developing awareness of the parking issues that we have around Unsworth. Last year the council developed a set of visual posters, which were put onto the school fence this morning. This year’s councillors worked with members of staff to collect signatures from our school community for our “Parking Charter”, which was developed in the summer term. The idea of the charter is for parents/carers to agree to consider following a set of guidelines when parking their cars. It has been developed to help keep children safe and to think about how we can be as fair as possible to our neighbours who live in close proximity to the school. Our councillors did a fantastic job, collecting 61 signatures in 10 minutes and we would like to thank all those members of our school community who signed up. To read our charter click here and feel free to download a copy, sign it and send it in if you would like to. Our councillors are going to add their thoughts below, so why not read what they have to say! It's only fair to...

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E-safety Mark Achievement

E-safety Mark Achievement

An Assessor from the South West Grid for Learning recently visited Unsworth to review the school’s e-safety provision. The Assessor met school staff, parents and carers, Governors and pupils  and was pleased to find that the school provides a high level of protection for users of the new technologies. The South West Grid for Learning Trust provides the internet connection and a range of other services to schools across the SW region and is in the forefront of national developments in e-safety.  To enhance these services, they have developed a tool to help schools address e-safety issues, not least the changes to Ofsted inspections, which include a stronger focus on safeguarding. The online tool allows schools to evaluate their e-safety policy and practice and then suggests how the school might do more to protect young people and staff. To apply for the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark, schools have to reach a series of benchmark levels when they complete the online self review. The evidence is then verified by a visit from experienced Assessors. The prime benefit of using the review and applying for the E-Safety Mark is that it does not focus on the individual aspects of e-safety such as technological solutions, but instead it integrates e-safety into school policy and the curriculum, challenging teachers and managers in the school to think about their provision and its continual evolution. Schools are expected to show that they have provided a high standard of e-safety education and awareness for all staff, pupils and also for parents and carers, to ensure that these users of the new technologies can be safe online – whether they are in school, in their homes or out and about using mobile phones or other handheld devices. Following their visit the Assessor reported that the main areas of strength were:  strong leadership and commitment shown by the e-safety officer planned programme of e-safety training for staff and pupils a consistent whole school approach to, and awareness of, e-safety parental engagement through the school’s website the logging, monitoring and dealing with reported incidents Ron Richards, Lead Assessor for the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark congratulated the school on its success and commented that it was re-assuring to know that the school had put a lot of thought and effort into improving the on-line  safety of the staff and young people, by addressing these important safeguarding issues. It's only fair to...

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Maths Splat App

Maths Splat App

This is a great app for children to go over and reinforce basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  The children can work at different levels and select which of the 4 areas they want to practise.  As they get things correct  higher levels to move into are unlocked.  Maths Splat pushes into three-digit numbers at the higher levels, so it is good up to Year 6.  The lower levels for multiplication include 2, 3, 4 and 5 times tables. It costs 99p. Have a go and let us know what you think! It's only fair to...

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A Parent Guide to WhatsApp

A Parent Guide to WhatsApp

Below is a WhatsApp guide developed by CEOP and shared through Parent Info. It gives an overview of key aspects for parents to consider. One major concern with WhatsApp is that the recommended age is 13, but many children as young as 6 or 7 are using the service. The maturity of users is a real concern when using the App because once videos, images and voice messages are shared, the users receiving them can then do what they want with them. This has implications for the future and most children do not have the maturity levels to fully understand what this means for them as they grow into young adults. The information below gives a really good outline about what should be considered.   What is WhatsApp? WhatsApp is a mobile messaging app which allows users to exchange messages using existing phone contacts without having to pay text message fees. WhatsApp Messenger is available on most mobile devices including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. WhatsApp users can create groups and send each other unlimited images, video and audio messages. How much does it cost? For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download. WhatsApp used to charge a 69p per year subscription fee, but this has since been removed. (Jan 2016).  WhatsApp uses an Internet connection using 4G or Wi-Fi to send and receive messages to your contacts. As long as the user hasn’t exceeded the data limit or is connected to a free Wi-Fi network, messaging over WhatsApp should not cost extra. Does WhatsApp have any age restrictions? As part of its Terms of Service, WhatsApp’s minimum age of use is 13 years old.  By using WhatsApp, a user agrees to provide certain personal information such as their mobile phone number, billing and mobile device information. If WhatsApp learns that identifiable information of a child under 16 has been collected on the WhatsApp  Site or WhatsApp Service, then WhatsApp may deactivate the account. Should I be concerned about WhatsApp as a parent/carer? WhatsApp is a great way for young people to socialise with their friends. Children can only talk to existing contacts on their phone, although this may feel safer, it’s still important to remember that some content shared may not be appropriate for children, or they have contacts (strangers) in their phone who they have never met face to face. Likewise, as with all social media, caution is advised over your child’s digital footprint, particularly the content (photos, videos and messages) they choose to share via WhatsApp. Once shared, it can be copied, re shared and posted anywhere online. Group chats on WhatsApp WhatsApp also contains a group chat function. The feature lets users chat with up to 100 people in one conversation stream. Each group is set up by one contact who becomes the group admin – they’re the only user who can add or remove participants and change/add new group admins. Group conversations usually take place between friends. But sometimes, users can be added to a group where they don’t know everyone else. Even if fellow users in the group aren’t contacts, they will still be able to see messages your child posts in the group, and your child will be able to see theirs. Likewise, if they’re added to a group with someone they’ve blocked,...

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