Oct 012013
 

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre has revealed that in the past two years, 184 children from the UK became victims of sexual blackmail online, with several self-harming or taking their own lives as a result.

 

The organisation warned that the offenders are getting bolder – in some cases, children are not just forced to send sexual images and videos of themselves, but also perform sexual acts live on webcam.

 

Pupils in the upper school have been discussing the issue and have watched a short film called Consequences which describes one possible scenario.  The girls were given a fact sheet which details the potential problems and the best ways to stay safe.  They were asked to share this with their carers at home so please encourage them to do so.

 

The key message is:

The best way to stay safe is by never doing anything on webcam you wouldn’t want your family or friends to see.  BUT it is never too late to get help.

Sep 222013
 

takeoverLast November I was proud to take a group of six girls from Year 9 along to an all day activity at Youth Space in High Wycombe.  They were there to work on a project to target the way young people are treated by health professionals.  It had previously been identified that young people, and especially young people with learning difficulties and other special needs, were disappointed with the way they were treated by health professionals.

The aim then was to give advice to health professionals and young people about how to manage their health consultations.  Along with pupils from other schools we set about identifying some clear messages and designing some posters and leaflets to carry this advice.  At the end of that first day the young people handed over their ideas to the adults to continue the process.  The young people were consulted at key stages but finally the posters were ready to be launched.

The official launch took place at the Judge’s Lodgings in Aylesbury.  Sue Imbriano, Strategic Director for Children and Young People in Buckinghamshire, was there to congratulate everybody involved and to make presentations to the young people.  Each pupil who took part was given an AQA Unit Award for contributing to a focus group.

We were especially pleased to see that the design elements created by Chanel and AJ were included in the final versions.  We were also very proud of Laura who gave a short presentation at the launch event.  Well done all of you!  And we shall look forward to seeing the posters in Buckinghamshire clinics soon…

 

 

Jul 222013
 

wild

This picture was taken by someone at Alfriston as our chicks began to emerge from their eggs in June. It gave us the idea for next year’s school calendar which will have a ‘wildlife’ theme.

If you think you could take a great picture over the summer holidays, you can enter our competition. The pictures we use will be chosen by the post 16 Enterprise group next term and there will be prizes for those selected.

Pictures can be of animals, insects, fish, plants; the more unusual the better. It is open to all girls, their families and staff too. Try to achieve the most interesting and best quality picture you can.

Please email your entries to Alfriston school office by 20th September. Please include your full name with your entry. Information about where the picture was taken would be helpful too.

Jul 102013
 

HomeSafe Challenge

Alfriston is working with TalkTalk and The Parent Zone on the HomeSafe challenge. It’s an opportunity to learn more about internet safety and what your children are doing online. We know that keeping up to date with what kids are doing with technology can be difficult which is why we have joined this TalkTalk and The Parent Zone initiative to bring you the best available information. It’s also a chance for you to help us win some prizes for the school.

 

How’s it going to work?

Each term we’ll look at a different area of your family’s digital life and give you up to date information on what you can do with your children to keep your home safe.

 

We’ll also set a fun challenge for you to do with your family – we’d like you to join in, find out more, and win prizes for school. You’ll take part through Alfie’s Zone and we need 25% of our pupils’ families to join in to help us win!

 

What will be covered?

We’ll provide a leaflet at the beginning of each term, (starting in the Autumn term), explaining what areas will be covered as well as what challenge we’ll be asking you to take part in. There will also be more information on Alfie’s Zone if you want to know more.

 

Do I need to take part?

 

90% of UK children aged 5-15 have access to, and over 80% of children use, the internet at home.   46% of UK parents agreed with the statement: “My child knows more about the internet than I do”

 

Staying safer in a digital world is a whole new set of lifeskills. We hope that by working together we can support you in keeping your children safer online and help us all to enjoy the opportunities technology offers.

Jun 272013
 

On the 26th of June, the pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 took part in a performance of The Merestone. It is an adventure story that found 3 children being transported to a magical forest and having to take on the evil crone that was Hagbane!  Luckily, with the help of the forest creatures, the children helped to get rid of Hagbane and restore the forest back to its former glory and the magical Merestone back to the forest.

 

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All of the pupils worked so hard to learn their lines and to try to remember where they had to be on the stage. It was a pleasure to welcome such a large audience on Wednesday; the reaction from family and friends was wonderful.

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The girls presented gifts and cards to all the staff who had put in so much of their time and energy to make sure that the performance was a success.

 

A wonderful afternoon and we all look forward to next year…

 

Jun 252013
 

Alfriston is once again taking part in the Send My Friend to School campaign to help put pressure on world leaders to find enough teachers and get every child worldwide into school.

United Nations estimates show that there is a global shortage of 1.7 million teachers, with 1 million professional teachers needed in Africa alone. In the year 2000, world leaders made a promise that every child would receive a quality primary education by 2015. However, there are still over 60 million children missing out on even a basic primary education, with millions more struggling to learn in oversized classes and with unqualified teachers.

To support Send My Friend to School the Student Council has enlisted the help of Mrs Chapman and the art department to make a large teacher cut out which we intend to make into an eye catching collage.  This week all pupils are completing an individual message to say why they think every child deserves a teacher and these will form part of the collage.

Jun 172013
 

Some girls in school have been learning about mobile phone safety. Please help all young people to stay safe and keep their mobile safe by registering them on the website at www.immobilise.com

 

Immobilise is the world’s largest FREE register of possession ownership details and with its sister site CheckMEND, the largest database of stolen property and blocked mobile phones.

 

According to the Mobile Life Youth Report three-quarters of young people have had their phone bought for them by their parents, while half have their calls paid for by their parents. If your child doesn’t already have a mobile phone then you may be considering purchasing one for them soon. When deciding which phone to purchase, consider their needs at this age and perhaps opt for a basic model, to make it less attractive in terms of theft or bullying.

 

6% of children aged 10 to 15 years reported unwanted and nasty emails or texts, or abusive postings on a website. [British Crime Survey, 2011]

 

1 in 5 boys and girls aged 6 to 9 years old reported being the victim of cyberbullying [AVG, 2011].

 

This is partly because children in the UK use social networks for longer than any other country and the advent of smart phones has made mobile social networking an any time, everyday pass-time. 1 in 10 of those questioned said they used Facebook, even though they were well beneath the minimum age limit of 13.

 

Mobile phones are stolen in about half of all street crime and in approximately a third of cases it is the only property stolen. [National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, 2010]

 

Registering your mobiles before they are lost or stolen, may help to recover the phone. In the event of loss or theft, the details of the handset will become available to Police and other agencies which may assist in its recovery, as well as provide those all important details for insurance purposes. Remember, however, that to have the phone blocked YOU MUST report the loss or theft to the network provider to ensure that it cannot be used to make calls by the finder or thief here in the UK. Call 08701 123123 for further advice.

Unfortunately blocking the handset from network use will not block access to personal information or online accounts which are not password protected, so encourage your child not to store sensitive personal information on their mobile unless it is password or PIN code protected.

 

A staggering 228 mobile phones are reported stolen every hour in the UK

[UK Technology, June 2010]

 

Remember to keep a note of your IMEI numbers and log on to www.immobilise.com for more information or to register your phones today.

 

Encourage your child to carry the pocket sized Watch it! Safety Tips and emergency numbers with them wherever they go, if this leaflet has not been given to your child you can download it from the parents section at www.outofyourhands.com where you will also find other useful information and support on mobile phone safety and cyberbullying.

Jun 172013
 

Nobody wants to spend the entire summer indoors, and indeed some sunshine, below sunburn level, can be good for us, helping the body to create vitamin D and giving many of us a feeling of general wellbeing, as we enjoy taking walks in the sunshine and enjoying outdoors summer activities.

However, all too often we over-do our sun exposure which can lead to a range of skin problems, the most serious of which include skin cancer.

 

Ultra Violet radiation from the sun is in three wavelengths – UVA, UVB and UVC.

  • UVA causes the skin to become leathery and wrinkled as well as causing skin disease
  • UVB, causes sunburn, which has strong links to skin disease
  • UVC does not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, so we don’t need to worry about that so much.

When you are buying suncreams or sunglasses you should check what they are supposed to protect against –  UVA or UVB or both?

 

When you are buying a sunscreen cream you should look to see what sun protection factor it offers.  This is called SPF.  New labelling will state whether the SPF is low, medium, high or very high:

New label SPF
Low protection 6 to 14 (i.e. SPF 6 and 10)
Medium protection 15 to 29 (i.e. SPF 15, 20 and 25)
High protection 30 to 50 (i.e. SPF 30 and 50)
Very high protection 50 + (i.e. SPF 50+)

Exactly what sort of protection you need will depend on your skin type

 

But there are other things you can do to stay safe in the sun and protect yourself from skin disease:

Wear loose, cool clothing

Spend time in the shade – especially between 11 and 3 – the hottest part of the day

Drink plenty of water

 

And how about those words?  How are they supposed to help?  The messages they are designed to prompt give good sound advice as shown below.

  • SQUIRT on some sunscreen
  • SLURP some water
  • SLIDE on a hat
  • SEEK the shade
Apr 232013
 

At a recent meeting of the Student Council, members felt that some of our pupils and their families may be interested in participating in a Police Independent Advisory Group.

The Wycombe Police Independent Advisory Group (IAG) allows interested individuals and community groups to meet regularly with the most senior local police Commanders and have their views listened to .

Meetings are held routinely about four times per year, with extra meetings arranged if and when necessary and the Group aspires to reflect the views of the local community. All communities should be involved; after all policing decisions affect us all. The IAG believes that we all deserve high quality policing services that are shaped around the needs of our community and community priorities should be local police priorities.

 The groups are based on the belief that policing must be open and transparent and that “consumers” should have more input into the process. If you agree, or members of your community agree, then why not join the IAG?

Wycombe Police  are seeking local volunteers who will help to reflect our community. Those from minority ethnic groups, those with all kinds of disabilities, ages, religions or faiths, with or without employment, of all political persuasions and of any sexual orientation are all welcome. Whether you live or work in Wycombe itself or one of the nearby towns, are a traveler or rural farmer ~ you may be able to really make a difference.  

The IAG is there to advise Thames Valley Police of the various views from the local community. There is no need to reach a consensus and the group is not responsible for the implementation or consequences of any of the recommendations. Differing personal views within the group are welcome ~ the police need to hear all sides. 

If you are interested in taking up this opportunity please complete the application form at the following web site:

http://www.wycombeiag.org.uk/Index.htm

Mar 252013
 

The team supporting the transition pathway are launching a new website but would like to consult pupils and their parents about the content.  They are inviting you (pupils with a Statement of Education Needs and their parents) to attend a session at Green park on Tuesday 9th April 10.00- 1.00 (including lunch).  You must register your interest as soon as possible.

 

See the flyer on Alfie’s Zone:  http://learning.alfriston.bucks.sch.uk/file.php/2/launch_flyer.pdf