Week beginning 28th March 2022
I started the month with an assembly about March and the saying, “In with the lion and out with the lamb.” How wrong can you be! I hope you are enjoying the snow. We had a small leak in the pipework two weeks ago and closed off the heating to the Key Stage 2 side of the school. That was fine for a week in the March heatwave, but meant this week has been rather chilly! It will hopefully be fixed very soon.
Year 5 had a fabulous three day residential at Robinwood. The heights of Alston got more snow than here, but this just made the experience more enjoyable, at least I think that is what the staff said! Here are a couple of photos to get you started. Mr Hood will be adding more to the Year 5 page soon.
Next week, Year 4 head off to Kielder Water to stay at the Hawkhirst Scout Centre. This is an overnight residential with activities on the reservoir and in the forest. The sign up for the trip this year has been excellent with nearly all of the year group going. I know they will have a great time.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the In the Loop meeting on Thursday morning. We had a very interesting talk from Julian Hughes, who is our Educational Computing consultant. He talked about some of the safeguarding issues around electronic devices. There were two new areas which stood out to me.
The first was the age restriction for social media sites. Everyone is aware that children have to be 13 years old to use sites such as TikTok and Instagram, and everyone knows that by Year 4 about half of the children in school already have profiles on these sites. To do this they have to lie about their age and are breaking the law. What I hadn’t worked out was the longer-term effect of this. If an 8-year-old signs in to a social media site saying that they are actually 13, then this date of birth will be attached to their profile. At 13, the adverts and content that can be streamed to the child are restricted. In 5 years’ time, though, when the child is 13, the social media site will believe that the child is 18 and all restrictions on content will be removed, as the site assumes they are communicating with an adult. If an 8-year-old simply adds ten years to their actual date of birth, then the site will assume that they are 18 already and will lift any restrictions on the streamed content. It is no wonder that children are exposed to inappropriate content and we can’t even blame the social media providers for this.
The second area was another new e-safety word for us to learn – “sharenting”. The powers that be are aware that people farming data are now using parents social media to find out information for the future. Lots of parents will be posting celebrations on social media such as your child’s birthday, first day at school, new pet, class teacher etc. If we think about the security questions that we need to answer to access our accounts they often include date of birth, name of your first school, name of your first pet, name of your favourite teacher etc. I think you can all see the link here. Apparently, files of information can be quickly put together to collect most of the answers to these security questions for lots of our children. Well worth being aware of.
Julian gave two handouts at the meeting, which I have uploaded onto the school website. They are both about keeping your child safe online and can be found under the Parents tab in the Helping at Home section.
We are restarting some of our work with Northumbria University. On Friday, I invited Year 4 and 5 children to join in a piece of research about physical activity. It is quite a straight forward piece of research and it would be great if lots of the children could join in.
After a hectic half term, we thought it would be nice to have a fun last day and so we are having a “Break the rules” day. All families have been sent details of this via email. We will use the day to raise funds for the Friends of Ravenswood, who are planning to restart some activities in summer term including a disco and the traditional “Inflatables Day”. It would be lovely if your child would bring in £1 to support this event.
Please note that we break up for Easter at 3:15 on Friday 8th April.