Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope you are well and that you all enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend. It was so lovely to have that extra day to catch up on things that needed doing and not try to squeeze all of my jobs into two days. I very much like the idea of a 3-day weekend and 4-day working week – it’s the future! I had a great time catching up with friends and celebrating their birthday, cooking a family roast dinner, doing some ironing and watching Amelie do her first dance show ever! It was so cute, the theatre was packed and the children performed brilliantly. It astounds me how confident the children are and how nothing phases them – just amazing.
One thing that I did read this weekend was the latest Ofcom report on children and their attitudes to and usage of media. I found it fascinating. The report looks at media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 3-17. It also includes findings on parents’ views about their children’s media use, and how parents of children and young people aged 3-17 monitor and manage their children’s use. The figures are astonishing and some of them quite shocking. Coincidently, Birmingham Safeguarding Board also circulated this information to schools this week and I thought it would be interesting to share the main findings with you.
Did you know that (I can honestly say that I didn’t):
- Nearly all children went online in 2021 (99%); the majority used a mobile phone (72%) or tablet (69%) to do so.
- Using video-sharing platforms (VSPs) such as YouTube or TikTok was the most popular online activity among children aged 3-17 (95%).
- Among all types of online platforms, YouTube was the most widely used by children; 89% used it, compared to half using TikTok. But TikTok was more popular than YouTube for posting content.
- A majority of children under 13 had their own profile on at least one social media app or site; 33% of parents of 5-7s said their child had a profile and 60% of 8-11s said they had one.
- Just four in ten parents of 3-17s knew the minimum age requirement for using most social media; 42% correctly said 13. Four in ten parents of 8-11-year-olds said they would allow their child to use social media (38%).
- Six in ten children aged 3-17 played games online in 2021, increasing to three-quarters of 12 – 17s.
- More than a third of 8-17s who gamed online played with people they didn’t know (36%); overall, 16% of 8-17s chatted to people they didn’t know, via the messaging/chat functions in games.
- Children were more likely to experience being bullied via technology than face-to-face: 84% of 8-17s said they had been bullied this way (i.e. via text or messaging, on social media, in online games, through phone or video calls, or via other aps and sites) compared to 61% being bullied face-to-face.
The whole report is available to read online and it really is interesting. However, the one thing that these key facts consolidated to me is that we cannot under estimate the power of media use within our pupil body and that we must continue educating the children, to the extremely high standard that we do, about online safety and usage. I have also realised that although I think that I know about all the ‘cool’ sites for children such as TikTok, Roblox and Minecraft – things change so rapidly that it is hard to keep up. After reading the report, I did some investigation of my own – there is so much out there and I have never heard of games such as Among Us or Discord. Some of these are for older children, but ultimately, these apps and games creep into our Prep School pupils lives either through adverts, older siblings, listening to adults speaking or having experienced them personally. We cannot shield our children against these things forever but we can educate them to protect themselves and each other.
National Online Safety do some excellent and informative poster about different topics – such as how to use parental controls, different apps and detailed information about age appropriate content. For the rest of this year, I will add a one of these per week to The Bulletin. I have found them so useful – for information for myself but also to enable discussions with children at school and in my family. I hope you find them as useful as I do.
If you ever have any question on online safety or media usage, please do ask. The teachers cover it a lot in lessons and we also cover it on a regular basis in assemblies etc. Technology is such a wonderful tool we just need to ensure that. Like anything, we are getting the best possible use from it
Quote of the week: “Life was much simpler when Apple and Blackberries were just fruits.”
Well-being tasks for this week: These tasks for are for a Meaningful May;
Wednesday 4 May – Find an inspiring quote and share it with a friend
Thursday 5 May – Let someone know how much you meant to them and why
Friday 6 May – Look for 4 reasons to be cheerful today
Saturday 7 May – Make a list of what matters to you most and why
Sunday 8 May – Set yourself a kindness mission today
Monday 9 May – What values are important to you today? Can you use them?
Jokes of the week:
What did the spider do on the computer?
Made a website!
What did the computer do at lunchtime?
It had a byte!
Why did the computer keep sneezing?
It had a virus!
What is a computer virus?
A terminal illness!
Why was the computer cold?
It left its Windows open!
Sleeps til Santa: 235 days
5 things that I am grateful for or looking forward to this week:
Can you try this simple exercise in gratitude and positivity?
- I am looking forward to Stories set to Music this week
- I am looking forward to a walk after work
- I am looking forward to starting a new book, if I don’t fall asleep first!
- I am grateful for the chance to go to Amelie’s dance show last weekend
- I am grateful for the advice of a friend
Have a super week and have lots of fun!
Take care of yourself and each other and remember to always be kind,