The following procedures will be used should the school have to close because of severe weather or for an emergency. Please do not telephone the school as if the school is closed there will be no-one to take your call. If we are open we need to ensure lines are kept free to receive updates from staff if they experience difficulty with their journey.
In the event that the weather is severe and you suspect that school is closed, please look on the school website http://easttilburyprimary.thurrock.sch.uk as this will be continually updated.
Please check your mobile phone as we will use our texting service to send a text informing you that the school is closed once a decision has been made; we will endeavour to make this decision as early as possible.
If you have not received a text message, seen a message on the school or radio websites, or heard on the radio that school is closed then children should attend school as normal.
Please ensure that your contact details are up to date and that any changes to your telephone number are reported to the school office to ensure we are able to provide you with the school information.
Safer Internet Day Pt6
I am the generation who should know; I grew up around computers and assumed that I knew what is worth knowing. As a teen I saw PC’s give way to laptops and then the rise of tablets. I watched dial-up, enjoyed broadband and got hooked on mobile data. I cringe at the indelible family email for facebook is my scene. Online shopping and banking are a birth right. However, in the digital world that children inhabit, I am behind the times.
This week I joined an e-safety training session with teachers, parents and members of the police. Despite a successful Safer Internet Day at school, I came away realising that the digital world our children inhabit is far removed from what we imagine to be. The stranger danger of our time is not candies at a street corner. It is the digital creep with in app friendships chatting, flattering, infiltration and manipulation happening right in our living rooms.
Assuming immunity, or blaming children, is at best naïve. Yesterday’s survey of a key stage 1 class at our school revealed the majority are familiar with game that has been flagged for being high risk. As a school we have followed this up however there are multitudes of apps we could list with similar warnings. Nonetheless, all too soon there will be new apps with new new dangers. Perhaps, we can no longer pretend to have all the answers, only routes by which to search for them. Googling an app or game with the word “risks” is a useful place to begin.
Like the Uncle Ben's advert, your children will try to imitate the behaviours they see around them. They will pick up on how their friends and family members interact with apps, devices, digital content and others. This week has begun a conversation in school about how to do this in a positive and safe way. However, it is a conversation that is far from conclusion. Do make time to discuss e-safety at home this half term break. We will look for opportunities to do so next half term too.
For further advice on how to begin an e-safety conversation take a look at the NSPCC website:
Before you go, do enjoy, our final daily teacher podcast by Miss Caton and Mrs Stevens!
L Coldwells: Using digital media on social media
Internet Safety Day Pt5
What would you do if you found out that your child was getting unwanted attention online? In all likelihood our parental instinct would be to protect a child by insulating them: delete the accounts, remove the app or take the device away. However, this might be counter-productive.
Every generation has things that children or teenagers aren’t allowed. This did not necessarily stop us from having them; what we learnt about was keeping secrets. As I recall, a school friend of mine hid his Nokia 3310 from his mum for years. However, it is a different world now with different consequences. Past messages, photos and videos are returning to haunt famous people, in the digital age an embarrassing post can be copied and never truly be deleted.
Explaining and managing risks, in an accessible way, to a child may even prevent a problem arising. However, if one does, taking away a favourite app, game or device is according guilt and blame to a child who is likely to be the victim of a situation. Sure, doing so may fix the first problem but will it fix the next? Resolving a situation may require helping a child figure out what a measured solution should be.
Fostering an open dialogue means sometimes masking our adult anxieties and addressing each situation in a way that leaves the door open for children to feel comfortable for when the next problem arises.
As you mull these e-safety thoughts over, you are allowed to enjoy today’s e-safety podcast!
Yesterday’s #SID2018 tweet was estimated to reach over 9 million people online. With Safer Internet Day being observed in over a hundred countries, the positive educational message has been shared far and wide in the offline world too. In the UK over 1700 registered supporters and organisations ranged from celebrities, various industries and sports clubs through to over 800 participating schools. We were pleased to be included in the list.
In school the conversations about e-safety will continue. Through the rest of this week there are further assemblies, lessons and lunch time activities planned to engage children of all ages. We have found that social media use continues to be a hot topic. Recent research shows one in five 8 to 11 year olds and seven in ten 12 to 15 year olds have a social media profile.
Obviously, compliance to the social media age requirement depends upon individual free will. However, thirteen years old is the lowest age at which American federal law allows organisations to collect a person’s personal information. Therefore, stating that you are thirteen or older allows social media companies to store or sell your personal information. Last year a London law firm simplified Instagram’s lengthy terms and conditions to a single sheet, you can read our highlighted version here.
New social media sites spring up regularly and the Children’s Commission acknowledge that an appropriately managed social media account can be a positive experience for many children. However, it is important that children know how to keep safe with what they share and understand how to seek guidance to manage their online friendships.
On the subject of keeping safe, click here to listen to today's teacher podcast by Miss Gibbons.