Safeguarding updates ...
We like to give parents updates from time to time about features of our safeguarding policies and curriculum that we think will be of interest to you.
In the Spring 2023 term our Safer Internet Day theme was 'Want to talk about it'. Across the school we focused on how to make space for important conversations about how we use the internet.
Last term we also marked Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Lower School looked at how we can handle strong emotions, and Middle School at how to manage unhelpful thoughts when they come along. Upper School pupils explored a range of mental health challenges, including stress and anxiety, together with ways they can help themselves and others.
Young Carers Action Day was in March and at school we are in the process of developing our understanding of what it means to be a Young Carer. Statistics show that quite a high number of young people in the UK provide some form of help for family members. This could be physical, medical, emotional assistance or helping translate for parents. Churches and schools are ideal places to support young people who may at times need to take on a caring role at home. We have undertaken some staff training in this area and have developed a Young Carer’s policy which can be found on the Policies Page of the website. This term we will look at this topic with our pupils in an age appropriate and Christ-centred way, so that they have an understanding of what the term Young Carer means, the challenges (and the positives) that young caring can bring about and how young carers can draw on spiritual and social support as well as access practical help.
IMPORTANT SAFETY MESSAGE
Last week a pupil walking down Kingsley Road not far from School witnessed someone holding a gun. Whilst the pupil was not at direct risk themselves, this was not a pleasant experience and we advise parents to consider carefully the routes their children take if they are walking or cycling to and from school independently. We include street safety in our PSHME curriculum, giving young people advice about how to avoid potential danger and teaching them strategies to respond effectively if they find themselves in a risky situation. We will be repeating these messages over the next couple of weeks in form or assembly times.
We continue to address a range of other important topics with the children,including updates to online safety via assemblies and PSHME (Personal, Social, Health and Moral Education) lessons, in line with our Safeguarding curriculum plan.
The Safeguarding Page on the school website has very useful links to information about many important topics, including online safety. We encourage you to research some of these so that you can talk with your children about various issues to complement what is being taught in school. We would particularly like to draw your attention to the 10th edition of Digital Parenting Magazine. There are several interesting articles, especially the first one, which gives an overview of how the digital lives of different age groups have changed since the pandemic and how parents can be better equipped to ensure that their children can safely enjoy all the fantastic benefits technology has to offer.
We would also draw the attention of parents whose children use TikTok to a useful article from January this year: TikTok news: Are our kids getting a balanced view from social media? This focuses on the impact on children’s understanding of the world when news items appear on their feed because of the items they clicked on before, rather than because it is newsworthy by more objective criteria.
As always, with resources that are produced by other organisations, we advise parents to exercise their own judgement and spiritual discernment so that any messages you share with children are filtered through a biblical worldview perspective.
We have been asked by Liverpool City Council to make you aware of the Spring Edition Liverpool Parenting Newsletter March - May 2023 which features advice on a range of local and national services and some local events that are taking place this spring. Whilst many of the advertised services may offer valuable help to parents in the community and some of the activities may be of interest, we always advise parents to satisfy themselves that the services or activities are compatible with their personal and family values. There are also sources of support available through church and other Christian networks which parents may wish to look at, including South Liverpool CAP Debt Centre and Reach Counselling.
Finally, although not a safeguarding issue, many of you will have heard of ChatGPT, which is going to cause a lot of re-thinking of how we do education and particularly homework so that we can be confident that the pupils’ work is their own. We will be sharing our initial thinking with you later this term.
If you have any comments or questions about any aspect of our safeguarding work, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org