Friendship Week 2017
We had a very successful Friendship week this year. All classes did lessons on friendship as part of the SPHE curriculum. We had a friendship assembly where we sang songs about friendship and also a friendship dance. We unveiled our Friendship bench on the yard. Thanks to Barry, Musa and Roseanne for doing such a good job.
The children learned about our new behaviour motto which is ” Kind Words, Kind Hands, Kind Feet”. This is part of our Code of Behaviour which is being reviewed at the moment.
The senior classes took part in lessons on cybersafety with internet safety expert Ger Brick. The staff also did a training session with him after school as did the Parents Association.
This area is becoming increasingly important in the lives of children. It is important that parents and teachers remain vigilant as primary school students need to be closely supervised when online. It is not appropriate for primary school children to access Apps such as Whats app and other social media sites.
Some of the key messages form Ger Brick’s presentation are as follows. If children are chatting to others on-line they should;
- Never use bad language
- Never hurt somebody’s feelings
- Always write something as if they are talking face to face with that person.
As parents you will need to be vigilant about your child and what they are doing when they are accessing material online. Here are some basic but important tips from the presentation. You should:
- Limit your child’s screen time. Have rules in your home
- Know each site/App your child is accessing and have their password for these sites
- Regularly check stored messages on your child’s device and take screenshots of anything that is negative (proof)
- Watch for your child’s behaviour around their device: For example checking messages too often, being secretive about messaging, change of mood after using phone or device
- Remind your child to tell you if he/she is not happy about something that happened on-line. Children need to hear this often and also need to be reassured that they won’t get into trouble if they tell
- Respond in a thoughtful and calm manner if your child tells you that they are upset by something that happened on-line.
- Ensure your child knows how to Screenshot on their device i.e Keep the evidence
- Use positive language so your child will keep you in the loop “Is everything okay online?” , “ I’m curious about that site/app, tell me about it”
- Promote respectful behaviour at all times.
Apps and social media are constantly evolving, children tend to download lots of new apps. Certain apps or sites can become fashionable or a craze with groups of children or age- groups. If you are not sure about a site you can simply Google the name of the App followed by the text “What a parent needs to know “ A very useful website is www.commonsensemedia.org
Many older children in our school are using Snapchat. In order to use this site children have to create a profile with a false age. Parents need to be aware of this and also that if they give permission for their child to use Snapchat that they need to accept responsibility for their child’s usage.
Note : there is no way of effectively monitoring Snapchats. If you are allowing your child to use Snapchat under the required age of 13, we strongly urge you to have regular conversations with your child about what is acceptable / not acceptable behavior online.
To find out more about this very important topic please access Ger Brick’s site directly at www.inetsafetytalk.com/parentinfo. Parents should use username parentinfo and password of inetsafety55 to access the page and file.