We are wishing you a fabulous Christmas break and we are sure that having some time to spend together as a family is very much welcomed by both parents and students.
Although a joyous time of year, the Christmas period can also be difficult for some children and their families. We have been speaking to students about this in school and urging them to use our drop in counselling sessions if they feel they need to.
Below are some helpful websites and resources which will also be shared with students prior to the Christmas Break.
Kooth is a website we direct students to if they want to talk about their feelings anonymously. Here are their Christmas Chat Opening Hours in the blue box below.
Follow this link for support when it comes to speaking to your teen about their feelings.
This is a new service providing emotional and wellbeing support for children across Hertfordshire. Please encourage your child to explore it in case they need to talk. Please follow the link to the website.
NSPCC and Childline:
Please follow the link to information about how to make contact with the NSPCC and Childline. This is in case you have concerns a child may be at risk of abuse or harm. Young people can also make those calls themselves to report concerns.
Contact with School:
School is closed from the 21st December to the 9th January and school staff may not respond to emails or contact. Therefore, any immediate concerns should be reported to the relevant service (for example the Police or Children’s Services). However, the firstname.lastname@example.org email is available for non-emergency concerns. This inbox will be checked intermittently by the safeguarding team during the break.
Young people use smartphones so frequently and confidently that we forget how much access they have to the world through these devices and through social media. Any reminder of this is timely and important.
During this festive period, please continue to monitor your child’s online activity and talk openly to them about their use of social media. With apps like Snapchat, young people can easily share their location with others and talk to strangers. This can be incredibly dangerous and it is important we continue to remind our young people about these risks and monitor activity. Some of our students may be lucky to receive new devices this Christmas – please remind them of the responsibility that comes with them.
Parents and young people can refer concerns about online sexual abuse to CEOP or can report concerns to Police through the 101 number.
The UK Safer Internet Centre provides support as to how to protect young people online on a range of devices.
Finally, please remember school does not monitor Chromebook use when students are at home and so any protective settings must be set up at home.
Stay safe in winter – the dangers of frozen waters.
Over the last few days Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue have attended water and ice incidents where people have been at risk of falling through frozen lakes and rivers due to rescuing a pet or not seeing the dangers of such activities.
Children and pets are particularly at risk when tempted to play on the ice formed on open water, and adults can find themselves at risk in attempting to save them.
Taking a nice walk in cold weather with your family, friends or dogs in tow can be really refreshing, just make sure you know some simple tips on how to stay safe in winter.
Areas with frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can be beautiful places to visit during the winter months but all too often many people risk their lives by venturing onto frozen water.
Here are some useful tips to help you know what to do in an emergency:
- Teach children not to go onto the ice under any circumstances
- Don’t go onto ice or into the water to rescue a dog, move to somewhere that the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you
- Keep dogs on their leads when near ice and don’t throw sticks or toys onto the ice.
- Only use well-lit areas
- Time your walks to make the most of the daylight; if you need to walk in the evening only use well-lit areas or take a route not alongside water
- When walking alongside water keep back from the edge
Please visit the RLSS website on this link, to see useful tools on how to get your children talking about winter water safety: Winter Water Safety | Royal Life Saving Society UK ( RLSS UK )
Here is a link to more information.
Have a safe break.