Every week Sir Jonathan North publishes a safeguarding snippet to alert parents of any relevant and information safety information.
Safeguarding Snippet - Safer Internet Day Tuesday 6 February
At Sir Jonathan North College we focus on internet safety every day and encourage students to behave responsibly on-line. We would like to highlight to parents and students the focus for this year’s national safer internet day which is on 6 February 2018. The theme for this year is Create, Connect and Share Respect - A better internet starts with you.
What is Safer Internet Day?
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and to inspire a national conversation.
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Get involved to play your part!
For more information visit the website www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018
Student Support Manager
Safeguarding Snippet - National Anti-bullying Week - 17 November 2017
This week was National Anti-bullying week. At Sir Jonathan North College we promote anti-bullying throughout the year but during Anti-bullying week we raise the profile even further. The girls had an assembly during the week commencing 30 October to inform them of the theme for this year “ All Different, All Equal”. We are proud of our diversity and celebrate the skills and qualities that all individuals bring and actively encourage the girls to be proud of who they are. Students were asked to show their support of “all different all equal” by wearing odd socks on Monday 13 November in support of the Anti-bullying Alliance campaign.
Electronic communication and social media are very popular with young people and research suggests that they can experience high levels of bullying through this platform. Ditch the Label’s annual bullying survey reported that out of over 10,000 youths between 12 and 20, 42% said they were bullied on Instagram and 37% were bullied on Facebook.
The assembly highlighted the importance of staying safe on-line and making sure everything posted does not cause offence or concern to anyone who might read it. We encourage you to talk to your daughter about her on-line activity and her digital footprint. Students were reminded of the support available at the college through their Tutors, Progress Leaders and Learning Mentors and if they are experiencing difficulties the actions that they can take to report concerns.
We are committed to anti-bullying work at the college and this is recognised through us being an Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship School, Anti-Bullying Community Award holders and a Stonewall School Champion. Students are encouraged to get involved through the Friends Against Bullying and Discrimination club (FABAD) which takes place every Tuesday lunch time and is open to all students.
We use the acronym STOP for our definition of bullying - Several Times On Purpose and students are encouraged to Start Telling Other People. Please do not hesitate to contact the college if you have any concerns regarding your daughter.
Safeguarding Snippet 6 November 2017 - Sarahah
An app called Sarahah which is an Arabic word meaning ‘honesty’ or ‘candour’ is gaining in popularity but is also a significant cause for concern.
What is Sarahah?
Designed to let users send and receive ‘honest’ feedback, Sarahah is meant to help people discover their strengths and weaknesses. Once users have downloaded the app, they set up an account to start receiving messages. The messages appear in a feed where they can be favourited, blocked and deleted without the sender knowing. Users have no way of knowing who sent the message or how to reply to them.
Why are we concerned?
The Sarahah app has become popular amongst teens. It promotes anonymity – making teens feel like they can hide behind their anonymous screen names and bully others without repercussions. Users can use snapchat to send anonymous messages through Sarahah. Reviews by users report that Sarahah is predominantly used to bully other users. There is no filter for explicit content and there is no way to report inappropriate content or threats.
What can parents do?
We would advise parents to discuss the dangers of anonymous apps and have their child delete their Sarahah account (if they use Sarahah). Ensure your child knows what is appropriate to send in private and public messages, whether they are anonymous or not. If your child has a desire to use apps like Sarahah, please challenge them to give positive and constructive feedback offline instead.
A full visual guide covering all aspects of Sarahah can be found by clicking here.
Safeguarding Snippet - Mental Health Awareness - 6 October 2017
Current research indicates that mental health concerns in young people are increasing, particularly in girls. Dr Bernadka Dubicka, the Chair of the Child and Adolescent Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists was reported in The Guardian recently saying, “There is a growing crisis in children and young people’s mental health, and in particular a gathering crisis in mental distress and depression among girls and young women… Emotional problems in young girls have been significantly, and very worryingly, on the rise over the past few years."
There is now a growing concern that constructed online personas such as those posted on snapchat, are leading to an increase in mental health issues in young people, particularly girls.
Snapchat is fun; it rewards interaction with trophies and provides a vast library of filters that will turn you from messy to cute in a single swipe. Teens LOVE it. However the truth is, they use the app because their parents don't. There is a secretive nature to its disappearing content; there are no consequences when the proof disappears after ten seconds, or so they think.
Snapchat fuels these personas through their use of fun custom filters which can change the user’s face shape, add makeup and smooth skin, along with many other options. So, even if their hair needs washing and a big spot just appeared on the tip of their nose, they can send a fun selfie to their friends. However, by doing this exclusively, not only are they presenting an unrealistic representation of themselves to their friends, but they may not be embracing, and becoming comfortable with, their own appearance.
It is never too early to invest in positive conversations with your daughter, and it is always good to reassure them that no matter what happens, they can always come to you for help.
Mrs Mason, Student Support Manager
Safeguarding Snippet - Digital Anxiety - 22 September 2017
There has been a lot of information recently in the press regarding Digital Anxiety and how your child might be experiencing this. To support you as a parent BT have produced a guide to understanding the issues involved. Please click here to read the article or here for the advice to parents on social media.
If you feel your daughter is experiencing any form of anxiety please do not hesitate to contact the College so that we can help you to support her with this.
Below are a flavour of the snippets from last year.
Safe Arrival at College - 1 September 2017
As we commence the new term I would like to promote the safe arrival of students at the college. We have had new speed hump restrictions constructed during the summer which are also in the layby at the front of the college. These are there for the safety of all and we request that everyone pays extra special attention to the pedestrians as they arrive and depart from the college. In order to ensure the safety of girls as they arrive we request that parents do not use the layby as a turning area or to enter the college drive way between 8 am and 8.30 am unless they have a disability or urgent need.
In addition I would like to confirm that the college site is open to students from 7.40 am and everyone must go directly to the dining hall where there are staff on duty until 8.10 am when students can enter the main college site.
Social Media Accounts Age Restrictions - 7 July 2017
A recent CBBC Newsround survey identified that more than three-quarters of children aged 10 to 12 in the UK have social media accounts, even though they are below the minimum age limit. Age restrictions are about keeping children safe until they are old enough to engage with an activity with complete awareness of what they’re letting themselves in for and I would encourage you to stand firm and not give in to pressure from your child to sign up for social media accounts before they are old enough to have them. There’s a reason why children must be aged 12 and over and at least 135cm tall before they are allowed to sit in the front passenger seat of a car - to keep them safe!
Do You Know Your Social Media Age Restrictions?
The majority of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest have a minimum age requirement of 13. YouTube and Flickr are 18, although a child can sign up to YouTube account at just 13 with their parent’s permission. WhatsApp is unusual in so far as it has a minimum age requirement of 16.
‘Snap Map’ Update
Following on from last week’s safeguarding Snippet regarding Snapchat’s new option called ‘snap map’ (which allows other snapchat users to see where you are at all times) we would like to inform you how to disable this function: Open Snapchat app, pinch the screen, click on settings in the top right-hand corner and select ghost mode -AND - Open Snapchat on PHONE settings, click on location then select NEVER.
This will stop other people from being able to identify exact locations.
Stand Up To Bullying - 16 June 2017
The Diana Award supported by Vodaphone Foundation are hosting a national day of action against bullying on Wednesday 21 June 2017. There are lots of ways to get involved and several involve social media.
We would like to encourage students to join up to the ‘Thunderclap’ which is a scheduled social media post which people can sign up to. At 8 am on Wednesday 21 June, we can take a unified stand against bullying online.
We will be displaying posters around the college and on the information screens to raise awareness of this event and asking everyone to spread the word and get involved in some small way.
If you would like to find out more check it out at: www.standuptobullying.co.uk
Healthy Together - 9 June 2017
The school nursing service has been re-launched with a new name – Healthy Together and they are providing a 0 - 19 Healthy Child Programme. As part of the new service there is a brand new health website for teens which we would encourage you and your daughter to access.
Students can continue to access the weekly drop-in clinic at the college and in addition weekly virtual skype clinics are being rolled out through a phased approach from September 2017. There will also be digital questionnaires for Year 7, 9 and 11 to complete which will be explained more in the Autumn term.
Young people can also text a public health nurse on Chat Health 07520 615386 to access confidential support. Parents and carers can also contact Chat Health from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 07520 615381.
The nurse appointment system in College will continue to operate on a weekly basis and students who have self-referred or been referred by a parent or member of staff will receive an appointment slip via their register.
Talking about Terrorism: Tips for Parents - 26 May 2017
Following the aftermath of the devastating attack in Manchester on the evening of Monday 22 May, the NSPCC have released some guidance regarding how to discuss this dreadful situation with children and young people. Please click here for more information, support and guidance from the NSPCC.
If you are concerned about how a child is feeling, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
‘Sexting’ information for parents and carers - 19 May 2017
Last week at the Year 7 Parents’ evening we looked at sexting codes which are being used by young people on line to keep their parents clueless.
Sexting has been defined as “the creating, sharing, and forwarding of sexually suggestive nude, or nearly nude images” (Lenhart, 2009). In simple terms this means taking a sexually explicit photograph and texting (sharing) it via your mobile phone to others.
Parents and carers of very young children should not have to worry about this issue but as children grow up they will be influenced as much, if not more, by their friends as by their parents or carers. It is never too early to invest in positive conversations with your daughter and it is always good to reassure them that no matter what happens they can always come to you for help.
Safeguarding drop in at Parents’ Evening - 12 May 2017
During Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Thursday we offered a safeguarding drop-in session to raise awareness of on-line safety and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The Student Support Manager gave parents a demonstration of a new website H2b Safety Centre which details all mobile devices and a range of social media sites, to enable parents to put safety controls on devices as well as knowing ‘how’ and ‘who’ to report concerns to.
Priya Chandaranra from the new Multi-agency Child Sexual Exploitation Team was also present to share information about their project and to answer any questions. There is a new CSE Parent Support Co-ordinator in place called Wendy Marsh who would like to work with parents and is eager to know from you what support or information you may like.
Leaflets and information were available for parents along with a list of codes which teenagers are using for sexting. If you would like any further information please contact Jacky Mason at the college.
There will be further safeguarding drop-in sessions at Parents’ Evenings in the future and if you would like to book a slot, please enter a time on the appointment slip your daughter brings home prior to the evening.
‘Let's talk about it’ - 5 May 2017
8 May marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is to prompt a national conversation about what we can do as communities, schools, families and individuals to move from survive to thrive. The challenges of daily life can lead us all into a situation where we are operating at a basic survival level.
Mental health and well-being is something that is most important for everyone. It is essential that we all recognise that we all have mental health in the same way as we have physical health and when we talk about mental health it should not be taken in a negative way.
I would like to encourage you to openly discuss mental health in a positive way with your daughter to raise awareness and to enable her to realise that mental health is not a bad thing and to ensure that we are all able to recognise when we might need some additional support to take us from surviving to thriving.
In College we have a wide range of pro-active interventions including mindfulness, Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) activities, small group sessions, art therapy, mentoring and counselling with the aim of helping students to build resilience.
Teenagers go through a lot when trying to find their feet and progress into adult life. The best thing trusted adults can do is to be there for them, give them someone to trust and somebody to talk to. It is also important to ensure that we are all taking steps to protect our own emotional well-being.
COLLEGE OPENING TIME - 31 March 2017
We take safeguarding very seriously at the college and we would like to remind parents that the college site is not open to students before 7.40 am as there are no staff on duty prior to this time to take responsibility for your daughter. At 7.40 am the middle gate between the De Montfort and the Latimer buildings will open and students will be supervised by a member of staff in the dining hall area until 8.15 am. The main college entrance opens at 8.05 am.
The rest of the college site is not open to students until 8.15 am unless invited to attend a specific session by staff.
We want to keep your daughter safe and protect her from traffic. Therefore we would like to remind parents that you should not be entering the driveway to drop off or collect students after 8 am.
If your daughter arrives by bicycle, she will need to enter by the middle gate and dismount her bicycle to wheel it around to the bike racks where she can lock it up until the end of the day.
We would like to thank parents and carers for their support with safeguarding all of our young people.
How Secure Is Your Password/PIN? - 24 March 2017
Can we guess your password or your phone/tablet PIN? If your password or PIN number is listed below, then we suggest that you change it immediately.
10 Most common passwords in Leicester:
10 Most common PIN Codes:
8. ‘Spouse/partner’s name’
9. ‘Date of birth’
10. ‘Pet’s name’
So, how do you create a strong password and still remember it?
Most modern systems require passwords to be at least eight characters long, with a combination of capital letters, lower case letters and numbers, or symbols. Quite commonly, people get around this problem by changing password for example to Password1, but this makes your password really easy to hack.
An eight character, all lower case, password could take a hacker 3 and a half minutes to guess, but by changing one character to uppercase, it would take them almost 15 hours!
So, create your own cryptic code that you will remember and you won’t have to write it down:
Make your password longer - aim for at least 8 characters (but less than 16)
Mix it up - use a mixture of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower case letters
Avoid using names or numbers related to you or to your close ones eg Angelina1975 or 21July86
Now that you have your new password, don’t apply the same password to every site you use as it makes it so much easier for hackers to steal your identity. Create three or four passwords and reserve your most secure one for your on-line banking.
Stop CSE - Awareness Day - 17 March 2017
Friday 18 March is Stop CSE - Awareness Day. Child Sexual Exploitation is taken very seriously. The campaign aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children. We ask students to look out for each other and to report any concerns to a trusted adult.
On-line Safety Update - 10 March 2017
All students have now seen the Kayleigh’s Love Story film and they are being encouraged to do some follow up work with their tutors to ensure that everyone is aware of how to keep themselves safe on-line. Last Friday there was a 'how to guide' in the newsletter to show how to set the privacy settings on Facebook and this week we are offering a drop in session with IT to help with settings on social media. A brand new web-site was launched this week which has information for parents as well as for students and includes step by step guides to protect yourself on all forms of social media and different devices. www.h2bsafetycentre.com This website is excellent and we recommend that you check it out!