Welcome to the Parents and Carers Area
Welcome to the Parents and Carers Area of Sheiling School’s website, here you will find some useful and important information.
We actively encourage you to let us know if there is anything additional you would like to see in this area. Please let us know your suggestions by contacting us.
19/05/21 – Online Safety Update – taken from the latest online safety article by Alan Mackenzie
Persuasive design is a big subject, but essentially it is the design tactics used by companies to get you into apps and keep you in there. A good example of this would be the default ‘autoplay’ in YouTube, Netflix etc. Concerningly, the YouTube Kids app which is for children under 7 also has autoplay turned on and this is concerning for a number of reasons, including the fact that some pretty awful videos have made their way onto the kids app.
Although I think YouTube Kids is a great app, I think it’s worth sharing THIS article with parents of younger children as they may not be aware of some of the concerns.
03/03/21 – Online Safety Update
YouTube – More (new) Parental Controls
We have all been wishing for more (and better) parental controls on YouTube for years. The main YouTube service is supposedly for users 13+ and yet YouTube Kids is for very young children, which leaves a pretty big age gap in the middle.
Called a ‘supervised experience’, YouTube state these new features are available for families with children under 13, which is a little confusing:
Explore – videos suitable for children 9+
Explore more – suitable for children 13+
Most of YouTube – almost everything on YouTube except videos marked as 18+ (this is the current Restricted Mode on YouTube).
A supervised experience on YouTube
A supervised experience on YouTube is available for children under 13 (or relevant age in your country/region) with a Google Account managed by Family Link.
If you set up a supervised account, we change the videos they can find and watch, features they can use, default account settings, and ads protections.
Learn more from our most frequently asked questions.
Explore: Generally aligns with content ratings for viewers 9+. Videos include vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music videos, news, and more. No live streams, except for Premieres. Some videos contain instances of mild violence, offensive language, controlled substances, and educational videos related to body image and changes, mental and sexual health.
Explore more: Generally aligns with content ratings for viewers 13+. This setting will include an even larger set of videos. Videos include live streams, vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music videos, news, educational videos, DIY, arts and crafts, dance, and more. Some videos contain instances of real-world violence, limited profanity, controlled substances, non-explicit sexual references and topics related to physical, mental, and sexual health and wellbeing.
Most of YouTube: This setting includes almost everything on YouTube such as live streams. It excludes videos marked as 18+ by our channels, systems, and reviewers. Videos include vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music videos, news, educational videos, DIY, arts and crafts, dance, and much more. Some videos will contain sensitive topics that may be appropriate for older teens, such as graphic violence, adult content, nudity, explicit profanity, and topics such as mental illness, dieting, and sexual health.
Here’s a link to a good, in-depth guide for parents: Exploring YouTube Confidently:
02/03/21 – 18th March 2021 is the National Day for Child Exploitation
Exploitation Awareness for Parents – It can happen to my child!
Exploitation Awareness for Parents via MS Teams
- Have you heard of CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation)?
- Do you know about County Lines?
- Do you know what Online Grooming and Exploitation is?
Maybe you would like to know more about all the above or some of the above. The prevention officer from TOPAZ exploitation team, Avon and Somerset Police is bringing you 60 minutes virtual awareness/guidance sessions.
This is a perfect opportunity to increase your awareness.
To book a place, please follow Eventbrite links below.
Tuesday 16th March 2021 – 07:00pm (290 spaces available)
Friday 19th March 2021 – 07:00pm (290 spaces available)
24/02/21 – Latest online safety updates:
TikTok Family Safety Toolkit
The DQ Institute is an American-based charity and, along with TikTok, have created a comprehensive TikTok Family Safety Toolkit which I’m sure many parents would find really helpful. It’s quite a large guide (26 pages) and throughout there are links to digital citizenship tips and more in-depth subjects.
You can download the guide (PDF) HERE
Omegle is an app and a website and last week there was a lot of reporting in regards to a surge in usage, particularly teens and younger children. The BBC have reported that they carried out an investigation and found a significant amount of disturbing content.
Omegle has been around for many years, it isn’t new and there have always been significant concerns. It is and always has been one of the most despicable sites. If you don’t know what it is, essentially it’s a place which openly advertises ‘come in and talk to a stranger’. You simply click a button and you are randomly placed in a video chat room with a completely random person. There’s no age verification, no warnings and it’s doubtful whether there is any meaningful moderation.
Why has it increased in popularity? Surprise surprise, because certain high-profile influencers have been talking about it on TikTok. According to the news report, videos tagged with Omegle have been viewed on TikTok more than 9.4 billion times.
The issue here is that the reports are indicating that this is something new, it isn’t. But what is new is the boost in popularity due to so-called influencers who are cross-posting over other apps (e.g TikTok) thereby raising interest/curiosity.
You can view the BBC news article HERE
27/01/21 – Letter to Parents from Syl Edgeley
Dear Parents and Carers
Firstly, I do hope that this finds you and your families well and that you are managing to cope with the challenges and limitations in this latest lockdown and with the ongoing turmoil of Covid 19?
I wanted to let you know that my role within Sheiling School has changed. After many years as Head of Development, Training and Admissions I am delighted to take on a new position as Family Liaison. My additional responsibilities as a member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team, Staff Support Lead & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead continue as before.
This new role within Sheiling School has been one of the important aims in our School Improvement/Development Plan. I will in due course share with you our intentions and ideas on the various aspects we will explore, in order to develop ever stronger networks of support and partnership.
We aim to implement family-based learning events and introduce opportunities for enhanced communication between families/parents and school staff in addition to providing emotional support, training and advice. I will be working closely with Nico (CEO), Dean (Head Teacher), Steve (Head of Care) and Noah (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and in liaison with the Senior Leadership Team.
Next week will see the ‘resurrection’ of our presence and activity on the Sheiling Parents/Carer’s Facebook Page and I apologise that it fell onto the backburner! I will send out new links to all parents to join. We currently have 14 members in the group.
I had thought to schedule a regular ‘Drop-in Coffee Morning’ which will enable us to resume our supportive network – it will be a place to share our thoughts and ideas as we began to do at our last ‘Parents Focus’ group many moons ago. I suggest I create a weekly space via Zoom on a Monday or Tuesday morning at 10:30? Please let me know if you have any thoughts or any other suggestions.
I am excited and really looking forward to our future engagement and in the meantime please know that if you need any support or advice or just want to chat, that I will be more than happy to be contacted by phone, text or email. For your information, my working hours are Mon – Thu 08:00 – 18:00.
With my very best wishes,
Useful links and Documents
03/02/21 – E-Safety Update For Parents – 8 tips for online safety during lockdown
It’s important we keep those conversations going so the NSPCC (NetAware) has put together an article that brings the advice, guidance and opinion right up to date so you can be assured that the information is recent and relevant.
You can find the article here
03/02/21 – Mental Health Resources for Children, Parents, Carers and School Staff
This week is Children’s Mental Health Week. As we all know, mental health issues are getting bigger and bigger, exacerbated by the frustrations of the last year.
DfE have put together a list of sources of support which you can see here
23/01/21 – E-Safety Bulletin
14/12/20 – Exciting News! New online shop
We are launching an online shop where a range of products featuring our pupils’ artwork is available (the products are not made by the pupils only the designs).
All proceeds that we receive from these sales will go towards buying new equipment for our pupils in the school and care home.
Currently each pupil has at least one piece of artwork featured. You can visit the shop here or by following the shop link in the Parents and Carers menu.
02/12/20 – TikTok – more parental controls
With TikTok surging in popularity, including children deliberately increasing their followers to 1,000 so that they can go live, it’s good to see TikTok making more controls available for parents. The features, which are available via Family Pairing, include the ability to prevent the child searching and preventing strangers from seeing the childs’ post.
02/12/20 – Playstation 5 – Parental Settings
With the new gaming consoles at the top of many wish lists this year this is a timely guide from Andy Robertson (GeekDadGamer) which includes how to set up a parent account and child accounts.
02/12/20 – Games for younger Children
Internet Matters has a new article for parents showing some of the top child-friendly games for children aged 3 and upwards.
02/12/20 – YouTube – a parents decision guide
Common Sense Media have put together a handy little guide called ‘Parents Best Decision Guide to YouTube for Young Kids‘
21/07/20 – Communicating Safely – an article for parents
The link shown is to a short article by Alan Mackenzie, written for parents about their children communicating safely. The article is purposefully short to give clear, concise information and advice to parents. View article
21/07/20 –New resources for parents and young people with additional needs
Supported and part-funded by Internet Matter and Facebook, young people were front and centre in this project and it was those young people who created and tested the resources which have been developed to address individual and bespoke needs of parents/carers and young people. Visit the Connecting Safely Online Hub Here
Kooth is a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited digital mental health support service. It gives children and young people easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. Access is free of the typical barriers to support.
Kooth can be accessed by young people here: https://www.kooth.com/
17/07/20 – Our Yearbook 2019/20 is ready!
Our Yearbook for 2019-20 is ready! Copies are available at the discounted price of £17 this year (from £20) inc. postage. If people would like to purchase one please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CEOP – new activity packs for parents
CEOP have released their new activity packs for all age ranges, this time focusing on the activity of online gaming. Links to the various packs are:
There is also a new article and video to help parents and carers understand how in-game chat works, how it might be abused by others and what they can do to help keep their children safe whilst using in-game chat. The link for the article and video is HERE.
New resource for parents – Taming Gaming
Andy Robertson is a family video game journalist and is well known for his clear, pragmatic advice about all things gaming. He has put together a fabulous new website for families, quote “This database is a unique way to find games for children, teenagers and young adults. Every game is presented for parents and carers to understand, to empower informed choice through understanding.” Unquote.
The Taming Gaming website is HERE.
SafeToNet – free online safety app for 1 million parents
SafeToNet have developed a world-leading cyber-safety app which they are giving away, free for life, to 1 million parents and carers that download the app before 1st Aug 2020.
The letter for parents can be downloaded HERE.
Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (gov.uk)
The government has issued guidance for parents about any out-of-school settings they use for their children. This will become particularly important as the summer holidays begin.
The guidance includes a section about choosing a suitable provider and provides some examples of positive signs to look out for when choosing an out-of-school setting for your child.
In addition to covid-19 related issues, the guidance covers safeguarding matters too, including finding out whether staff members and volunteers have relevant child protection training, and relevant checks have been made.
You can find the guidance here
04/05/20 – Message from Bristol Sanctuary:
We are the Bristol Sanctuary and we would normally provide a safe place for people to come to for a few hours in the evening if they are in emotional distress. This would be a place where they would be able to talk to a member of staff about how they are feeling and access distraction activities such as puzzles, arts and crafts etc.
At present we are unable to see people face-to-face but are offering telephone support seven nights a week from 4-10pm.
We are letting you know in case you come into contact with any students, teachers or parents who could benefit from having someone to talk to in this difficult time. We offer support to people aged 16+ living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas.
If someone might like to use our service, they can call us on 01179542952 or 07709295661 from 4pm. We will do an initial assessment call (informal) with them and offer a call back at an arranged time.
30/04/20 – Support for Parents During COVID-19
Important for Parents – Nintendo Switch Hack
Nintendo have confirmed a data breach (see HERE) which means that over 160,000 accounts have had their details stolen, some of these accounts have already been used to make illegal purchases. Nintendo have stated they will contact affected users, but I would recommend you send this information out to parents as they will likely trust you more:
- Log in to your Switch account and change the password, remember to use a good, strong password.
- Enable 2-factor authentication. This means if somebody tries to user your login details, you will get a code sent to your phone, so you know that somebody is trying to log in.
Go to the HaveIBeenPawned website (HERE) and put in your username/email address to see if any accounts have been hacked.
27/04/20 – *NEW* Bakery Recipes page
From Online Safety expert Alan Mackenzie:
CEOP Education Packs
CEOP (ThinkUKnow) have released another weekly activity pack for all children and young people:
Fake news – a lesson for children
Fake news has always been a problem, but it’s getting so much worse during this pandemic. Google has a nice little lesson for younger (primary) children to test their knowledge of fake news and what actions they would take under certain situations. It’s free and only takes about 10 minutes. Click HERE.
There’s also some great information on the BBC Bitesize website for children of all ages. Click HERE.
You may have seen these games, they’re rife on Facebook and other platforms. They ask simple and fun questions such as: the name of your first pet, your favourite holiday destination and other fairly benign questions that you then need to share and pass onto all your friends. But are they harmless? No! Many of these so-called games are created by fraudsters. Research continually shows people using their pet name or other easy-to-remember information as their passwords, and that’s exactly what the criminals are looking for. Don’t take part in these games and if you see your friends sharing, let them know too.
Netflix – Parental Controls
The majority of children use Netflix who have recently added a useful pin-controlled function for parents to lock down profiles. See more information from Netflix HERE (number 3 is the new addition).
From Online Safety expert Alan Mackenzie:
We’re aware that organizations are creating a significant amount of advice and guidance for schools and parents regarding online safety, remote learning and live streaming. Some of this is really good, some is questionable. But it’s also creating noise and confusion. The purpose of the short video is to simplify the best advice and then to provide you with some links to the organizations who are providing the best and most up to date advice.
Video and information for parents: click HERE
Online Radicalisation Information Sheet
The police have produced a new guidance sheet regarding online radicalisation.
Six Top Tips (for parents of primary aged children)
London Grid for Learning have produced a lovely poster reinforcing some basic online safety tips for parents. Download HERE
Home Activity Packs (Early Years, Primary and Secondary)
CEOP are releasing weekly online safety activity packs for all years. The second set of packs are now available to download
Download them HERE
NSPCC advice for parents worried that their child may be struggling with their mental health or has anxiety about coronavirus (COVID-19)
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