Monthly Archives: November 2017
17th November 2017
I thought that I would dedicate this edition of my blog to the scourge which is ‘Social Media’ and the havoc that it can cause to young people’s lives if not carefully managed and used responsibly. A significant majority of our pastoral issues which we deal with on a daily basis are social media related, and frustratingly could have been easily avoided. The Chase works hard to educate the students about staying safe when using the internet through our PSHEC programme and assemblies, and yet issues relating to the misuse of social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat continue to plague us. Unfortunately, once something is written or posted online, it is more or less impossible to retract. The damage has therefore been done. It is worth making it very clear that the school will not hesitate to involve the police if there are any signs of cyberbullying or sexting involved with inappropriate online messaging. This could have serious consequences for those who do not act responsibly when using social media.
One of the main problems with social media is you are often bombarded by others’ accomplishments, therefore causing us to compare ourselves to others. It’s not surprising that studies have shown individuals who spend a significant amount of time on social media report feelings of increased anxiety and low self-esteem. Social media often presents us with a distorted version of reality, as the majority of what we see on social media only relates to positive thoughts or happy moments. We tend not to see the struggles or low points in the lives of others, which makes us feel more conscious of our own flaws. As a result, many people who use social media fall into the trap of trying to make their lives seem more glamorous than they really are.
So, how can parents help? We must remember that social media was not around when we were growing up….and therefore it is perhaps not as easy for us to understand the harm it can cause. The key advice to helping your child keep safe online is to talk to them openly and regularly about what they are doing online, and to get them to show you what they are doing. Talk about how they can stay safe on social networks. Ask your child if they know where reporting functions are, how to block someone and how to keep information private. Show them how to do these things using Net Aware (https://www.net-aware.org.uk/) to help you. Talk about online privacy, and being Share Aware.
Social Media is here to stay whether we like it or not, and our youngsters are not going to suddenly give it up as it is now very much part of modern teenage culture. The important message to emphasize is to therefore try and ensure that our children use social media safely and responsibly in order to avoid the issues outlined above. The school will continue to do it’s very best to educate the students in keeping safe online.
It is perhaps worth reminding everybody about the school’s mobile phone policy – phones are allowed in school at the student’s own risk but are not allowed out of their bags during the school day. Your children must therefore not be contacting you during the day through their mobile phone, otherwise they risk being sanctioned. If they wish to contact you urgently during the day, they must ask to use the school telephone in reception, or speak to one of the House Leaders in the Pastoral Support Centre.
M J Fieldhouse
3rd November 2017
The clocks have now gone back one hour and we have thankfully made it past another Halloween! Unfortunately the countdown to Christmas has now started, with only 51 days to go!
Something that irritates me immensely is being late. Having spent many years being always punctual and on time, suddenly with young children in the mix, this was thrown out of the window. Fortunately, as they have grown up and through a bit of coercion and training, the Fieldhouse family is again back on schedule! No mean feat with three teenage daughters who normally spend what feels like an age getting ready before they venture outside.
Next week in school we are launching a punctuality drive. Students who are late to school for no good reason will be sanctioned with a detention. So, why the crackdown? Why is punctuality so important that we are making this fuss? Being on time demonstrates that you are both reliable and trustworthy. Two vitally important traits which prospective employers are looking for and always ask for comments on when references are sought. Turning up on time makes a good impression and shows that you are someone who respects, values and treats others well. Any lateness has an impact on others. A lateness means others will have to possibly rearrange their plans, make adjustments and be inconvenienced which may lead to annoyance and frustration.
School starts at 8.40am with students expected to be in morning registration with their form tutor at 8.45am. Students who arrive at school after 8.50am are therefore late and have to sign in at student reception. From Monday any student arriving after 8.50am (and with no valid reason accompanied by a note from parents) will be met by a senior member of staff and issued with a 15 minute detention, which will mean missing 15 minutes of their lunchtime. A number of students who are persistently late to lessons will be placed on a punctuality check card which will help us to monitor them. Again, failure to arrive at a lesson on time (there are 5 minutes of movement time scheduled between lessons) will lead to a lunchtime detention. We are hoping that this punctuality drive will remind the students of the importance of being on time.
And finally – a reminder that the Friends of The Chase AGM is on Wednesday 15th November at 6.30pm in school. This is an important meeting which helps to shape the fund raising ideas for the year ahead. Please come and join us and be a Chase Friend!