As it arrives...
Additional information to support parents/carers will appear on this page at it arrives, most recent first.
See also in this section:
- past 'Hot Teenage Topics' as published in our newsletters
- and our 'Online Safety' page.
Online Sexual Harassment
Please see below for some resources which you may find useful:
The Children's Commissioner for England as issued some guidance on talking to children about online sexual harassment. I found these quotes from Dame Rachel DeSouza DBE particularly relevant: The overriding message you’ll see from our focus group is talk early, talk often... My advice to parents and carers is to create the culture before the crisis.
Internet Matters have published some information for parents / carers on Fake News and how to help children identify if what they come across online is true.
The Metropolitan Police have flagged an alarming rise in reported incidents of Hate Crime since February 2021. Hate Crime can include:
- Physical assault
- Verbal abuse
- Incitement to hatred
The motivation for Hate Crime is prejudice, real or perceived, towards someone because of their:
- Race or ethnicity
- Religion, faith or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Transgender identity
If you are the victim of a Hate Crime, or become aware of an instance of it towards someone else, this can be directly reported to the police. Alternative reporting mechanisms include:
- Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111
- Fearless, an anonymous online reporting mechanism for young people, at www.fearless.org
- Bexley Council - make a report at www.Bexley.gov.uk/ASBreport
Vaping / e-Cigarettes
We are hearing that there are some newsagents and other outlets in the local area who have been selling vapes to under 18s without carrying out rigorous age checks. An additional concern is that some vapes are being designed to look quite innocuous (see below for two of the more common brands).
To clarify, the legal age to use or purchase vapes and associated materials is 18 and they should NOT be sold to or used by school children.
Discord is an increasingly popular social network which children can use to communicate via an app on their phones. It has been known for students to use this for conversations outside the more common social media platforms. If you'd like more information about Discord please see the information produced by the Internet Matters website.
What Parents Need to Know About Cryptocurrency - download your guide here.
e-Safety Advice for Parents / Carers
Please see the links below, which give helpful advice and strategies for addressing issues with social media and online safety which you may find useful:
We understand that ‘Omegle’, a social networking chat room which has no registration process and which randomly connects users to other users, is being used by our children as young as year 7. See some useful guidance here.
Social Media Alert!
Each year our children become increasingly social media savvy. At school, we have recently revamped our e-safety policy and PSHCE curriculum to reflect an increasing number of issues being faced by our children. Children are now accessing a range of social media platforms and posting videos and images of themselves and their friends with the aim of increasing their online followers and thus making themselves feel more ‘liked’.
We know at BGS that you as parents do a really fantastic job of monitoring and safeguarding your children’s access to social media and chat forums and are taking an interest in what they do or say on these platforms. To help you with this mission (as we know how quickly social media can change) we thought we would alert you on one of the latest most popular platforms available at present. So, a useful step would be to type into a Google search: what parents need to know about TikTok, or use these links:
Mrs Mitten, PSHCE Lead and Power Day Coordinator
We have been made aware of the return of a disturbing craze, “MOMO”, which plagued WhatsApp and similar messaging services at the end of last Summer. Sadly, this disturbing content has now made its way onto YouTube and, more worryingly, YouTube Kids. Please find an information sheet produced by the National Online Safety group on the online safety page.
L.A.S (Life After Suicide) is a support group which had delivered very powerful assemblies to Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 over the past two years. We plan to invite the group in to speak to the new Year 10 group each academic year with a very personal story by the father of a boy who attended a school in the borough and who took his own life while still of school age.
L.A.S contacted us to recommend PAPYRUS which offers confidential help and advice to young people at risk of suicide and those worried about a young person. The link has been added to our Hot Teenage Topics page.
The school has been made aware of two apps that have been highlighted as raising concern by the police and local safeguarding teams.
The first is called “Monkey”. Users are connected at random and engage in 10 second live video chat. Users can add more time to the video chat if they want to or add the person to Snapchat to continue the connection. The content of the videos can be explicit or abusive and children and young people are vulnerable to exploitation through the opportunity for private chat with people they don’t know.
The second App is called “Yellow”. It is a dating app for 13-17 year olds. The app runs no age verification checks making it easier for adults to pose as children. Users who “like” each other can add each other on Snapchat allowing unregulated chat and imagery sharing. The NSPCC have published their own concerns about the app.
We have had no information about Bexley Grammar School's pupils using either of the apps but we draw them to your attention should your child raise the issue themselves with you or if you have concerns about their use of social media.
You might also be interested to read the BBC article here drawing links between popular social media apps and mental health.