Our digital leaders have been working hard across the 1st half term, having weekly meetings and completing weekly challenges. All of the digital leaders have created their own introduction videos for their display board to explain who they are and why they wanted to be a digital leader. Their second task was to check that their class had e-safety rules displayed and to also be able to talk about what the rules mean. Task three was to create a digital worry box for their classroom, where children could post any problems or worries they were having with technology. All of the digital leaders brought in their own boxes and worked in pairs to create a box. The were also challenged with introducing the box to their class and had the additional challenge of recording this through a video, pic collage or comic life. After half term they will be sharing their creations, delivering an e-safety session to their class and meeting with our school governors to explaining their work across the school.
As the Easter break starts we can reflect on the fact that we are now two thirds of the way through the academic year. Our Reception class are now settled and confident in school and our Y6 pupils are approaching some big changes and challenges ahead. During this last week we held our progress evenings with parents and carers from Y1 to Y6. During the meetings, we asked parents to complete an Ofsted-style questionnaire in order to seek views on a range of issues. We have analysed the results and we are delighted with the overwhelming support we have received. If you would like to read the report then you can find it here.
During this term, we have worked hard to provide the children with a range of memorable experiences. We have increased the sporting activities for our pupils which culminated in our pupils taking part in the Greater Manchester School Games. We have also enjoyed hearing about their achievements in football, rugby, netball and cross country. Many of our Y5 and Y6 pupils have achieved their level 1 and 2 Bikeability awards after improving their cycling skills on the road. Our Y4 pupils continue with their weekly swimming lessons and will do so until the end of the year, when it is our aim that every one of them will be able to swim.
In addition to sport, we have also planned opportunities for the children to develop their skills in other areas of the curriculum. Our choir continues to work with Miss Geelan and we are planning an event involving the Halle later next term; many of our children are enjoying learning to play instruments with Miss Geelan and with tutors from Fiddler Music and Bury Music Service. In February, we enjoyed great feedback from our parents when we held our Great Unsworth Exhibition. During the weeks before the exhibition, we worked to develop the children’s design and technology skills as inventors. They proved to be both skilful and creative.
We were pleased, this term, to be awarded the E-Safety Award in recognition of our work with the children. This week we asked Bury Teaching School Alliance colleagues to conduct a safeguarding review in our school. The aim was to test our procedures, our policies and our staff knowledge of the whole safeguarding arena. During the process children were asked about how the school helps them to keep safe. They were clear that they felt safe in school, knew that they had people to speak to and that they understood the issues around bullying and e-safety.
During the summer term, we will continue to provide the children with a broad curriculum experience. We will also be planning a number of end of year trips for them to enjoy. During the term there will be a number of class assemblies culminating in a very emotional final assembly from our Y6 class. In the meantime, enjoy your Easter break-we will see you again in a few weeks.
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.
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, the blocked person will be able to contact them there.
Therefore, it’s possible they could see or be contacted by someone they don’t know and could be vulnerable to content posted by this person.
Group chats – advice
Although a user cannot control who adds them to a group chat, they can always control their own participation within it – they can leave whenever they want to.
It’s a good idea to advise your child that if they are in a group chat with someone they don’t know and are uncomfortable with, they should exit the group and speak to you about it.
How do privacy settings work on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp’s default privacy setting allows any other WhatsApp user to view your profile photo, status (link is external) and when you were last using (link is external) the app. You can specify that your child’s Whatsapp account (when they were last online, profile photo, status) can be seen by:
- Everyone – all WhatsApp users.
- My Contacts – the contacts from their address book only. This is the recommended option for most users.
Talk to your child about their privacy settings and ask them to adjust to ‘my contacts’ if they have them set to ‘everyone’ by following the steps below:
Privacy settings are accessed here:
WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Privacy
How do I report a user to WhatsApp?
There is no direct way to report a user, or specific abuse, other than to block them from sending you further messages. To do this, tap:
Settings > Account > Privacy > Blocked Contacts
WhatsApp messages sent by a blocked contact will not show up on your child’s phone and will never be delivered to them. The ‘last seen’ status information and profile picture will no longer be visible to blocked contacts.
To permanently delete a contact in WhatsApp, you will need to delete them from your phone’s list of contacts.
If you have any concerns about grooming, sexual abuse or exploitation on Whatsapp or on any online app or site, Report to CEOP (the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre (link is external).
How do I disable a WhatsApp account?
Settings > Account > Delete My Account
This will remove all account information from the service including deleting all message history, and removing the user from all WhatsApp group
As usual the children have been working really hard this year and it is noticeable in their learning. We have been learning about fractions in Maths, as well as revisiting place value. In English we have been reading, learning about and writing information texts. The children have loved learning about dinosaurs! We have also been trying to improve our writing; making our handwriting better and improving our sentences. We have finished our learning about the Great Fire of London and have moved on to looking at what fame means and people who are famous. This will include looking at famous people from the past, such as Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. In Science we have been learning about health, focusing on diet, hygiene and exercise. The children have been really enthusiastic about their learning and have remembered lots of great facts. This week we have also been looking at staying safe on the Internet, to coincide with Safer Internet Day. The children had lots of fantastic ideas. Well done Year 2, keep trying hard!! Miss Robinson
Over the last two weeks our E-Warrior team have been preparing in their classes for the emoji challenge ready for Safer Internet Day 2017. The E-Warriors were challenged to ask their class to prepare emoji messages for emoji charades to share with the rest of the school in assembly. They were given their brief and then they had to introduce it to their class teacher and decide what to do. Find out in their comments below what they did within their class and check out our Twitter feed to see some of their work!
At the beginning of February we will be focussing on the annual Safer Internet Day with our children. This is a global event and its theme is ‘Be the Change: Unite for a better Internet.’ Hundreds of organisations get involved in the day to help promote the safe, responsible use of digital technology for children and young people.
Safer Internet Day, 2017 will explore the power of image-both for positive and negative-in digital youth culture. The Internet can be a powerful tool. Children and young people can share images and videos to communicate and express their creativity. However, there can also be pressures, risks and potential negative consequences.
In our work with the children, we want to help them to build the skills and confidence to use images and videos safely and creatively but also ensure that they know how to have a positive time online. The Safer Internet resources will be used across the school to raise some of these issues in an age-appropriate way with all classes. Our e-warriors will be leading the way with this work.
In order to prepare for SID 2017, our assembly themes so far this term have been about technology and the Internet. We have discussed the idea of technology with the children and the idea that it is ‘anything that has been created by people’s ideas’ as one child said in our first assembly! The children have also discussed the many ways in which they use digital technology. Many of them are digital experts and sometimes we can be surprised, as teachers and parents, about just how much the children know and the various platforms they are using. It is vital that we help the children to do this safely.
If you would like to know more about Safer Internet Day,2017 and look at the parents advice pages, click here
In September our Unsworth eWarrior Digital Leader and E-Safety group will launch. This new group will be made up of 3 children from each class from Y2 upwards and will aim to empower our children to help develop and shape our digital curriculum.
Children who are interested will have the chance to apply for the year long posts, if they feel they have the skills and would like to commit to the responsibilities that the eWarriors will have.
The eWarriors have their own webpage on our website that they will be taught to update and develop as the year progresses, which can be found if you click here. Also, they have their own blog, which they will take turns to create together and this will update the school community on their work and comments.
We can’t wait for our first eWarrior team to start work, so let the adventure begin!