Safety Talks at Coffee Morning

Date: 12th Dec 2016 @ 11:45am

On Friday 9th December we held a couple of safety related talks at our usual Friday coffee morning.  We were delighted to be joined by Robert Chapman the school nurse and Mr Bullivant- one of our year 4 teachers and digital learning manager for the school.

Robert talked to us about PRIDE 123.  'Pride' standing for Parents Role in Drugs Education.  This is a project being utilised in a large number of schools across Manchester, including here at Alma Park.  Some of the year groups have already started having these lessons and others will begin to shortly.  The focus is on keeping children safe and healthy and the content is tailored to the children's ages. In the younger year groups children will be learning about medicine safety and safety in the home, for example. In older year groups there will be discussions about tobacco and alcohol and the harmful effects of these, as well as beginning to increase knowledge and awareness around the issue of illegal drugs.

As part of the project children will not only receive lessons in school but will also receive a booklet which can be brought home and can be used to open up family conversations about health and safety.  Robert delivered an interesting talk about the lessons and we really enjoyed having him- thank you Robert.

For more information about Pride 123 you can visit:

https://www.pride123.co.uk

There is a specific section on the site for parents and carers at:

https://www.pride123.co.uk/parents/information-for-parents.aspx

 

We then had a talk about e-safety from Mr Bullivant.  This felt particularly pertinent for this time of year as so many children will be asking for video games, consoles and tablets for christmas, or spending time on them during the school holidays.

Mr Bullivant discussed the way in which e-safety is taught at Alma Park- with every unit having an e-learning element parallel to the teaching and how Cyber Bullying- a worrying new phenomenon, is dealt with swiftly as part of the school's zero tolerance policy on bullying.

He also talked about the problems with online gaming- particularly when children have headsets on and will likely hear bad language and inappropriate comments from other players, and how immersive playing in this way is- with a screen in front of you and headset on, you are completely shut off from the real world. Playing in this way it is easy for children to become completely absorbed to the detriment of other areas of their life- friends, family and school work for example.

So many children believe that their parents don't understand the online or gaming world and so are unlikely to approach them or confide in their parents if they see or hear something they are uncomfortable with or if they begin having problems online.  For this reason Mr Bullivant suggested that we as parents need to educate ourselves so that when faced with questions like "Can I play...x, y or z?" we have an informed answer to give.  And one of the best ways to do this (believe it or not!) is to actually download the app/play the games ourselves!  If you're not confident doing so- then asking a friend or family member or perhaps an older sibling to do this, can be a good way of getting an idea about what games actually involve, particularly in terms of unsuitable content for younger children. Mr Bullivant ran through the games ratings system for us and all of us were shocked at some of the content, particularly in those games rated PEGI16 or PEGI18.  Very few of us would allow our children to watch a film with an 18+ rating and yet some parents do allow primary school age children to play on (or watch others playing on) these games.

Finally we had some tips on ways to keep children safe at home such as making sure that children access tablets/computers/other devices in family areas or places where they can easily be supervised rather than allowing them in bedrooms for example, and also to talk to other parents about current apps/games that children are interested in so that we are all informed.

As he said- our children may always be one step ahead of us when it comes to technology but if we keep ourselves informed we will at least only be one step (rather than miles!) behind!

Some of the practical suggestions included using Youtubekids instead of Youtube (as this will block some unsuitable content) and Snapkidz instead of Snapchat (as this allows children to take selfies and add filters etc but not to share with the world!)

A lively and interesting discussion followed Mr Bullivants talk and we all felt better informed as a result, so thank you again for joining us.

We would also like to thank all the parents and carers who attended- it was a great turn out.  For anyone who was unable to attend you can visit the PRIDE 123 links above, or talk to Robert in person, and the slides from Mr Bullivant's e-safety presentation are available below.

 

 

 

Alma Park Primary School

Errwood Road

Levenshulme, Manchester M19 2PF

T: 0161 224 8789

E: admin@almapark.manchester.sch.uk