Friendship Friday

FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY

Kidscape’s Friendship Friday and Anti-Bullying Week Pack for Primary Schools includes all the information you need for a successful event, including classroom activities and a fundraising pack. This resource is particularly aimed towards children in Key Stage 1 to introduce them to the theme of respect. 

The importance of friendship

Friendship Friday celebrates the importance of friendship while raising vital funds for Kidscape. It’s an interactive and fun way to promote friendship, anti-bullying and inclusive behaviour in schools, companies, organisations, communities and with your own friends and family.

Why not host a Friendship Friday event as a build up to Anti-Bullying Week, which is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and make the focus of your celebrations all about friendship, respect and thinking about others?

CLICK ON THE GOOSEBERRY ALERTS AND REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL FOR THE FREE RESOURCE.

Gooseberry Planet & Kidscape

Sitting in my kitchen a few years ago with my sister discussing how much her children were online and her challenges of trying to reduce the amount of time her boys were spending on a screen.  Trying to talk to our 2 boys about the risks involved were ignored and dismissed.  Like most parents we all have challenges with our children thinking we know nothing about the world of being.  My eldest son was off to secondary school and so desperately wanted a smartphone. He had a flip phone, which did the job perfectly, but not what he wanted to take to school.  My youngest was just working out iPads and laptop but still too young for phones.  Like most young adults, he didn’t think I knew anything about being online.  I did try the talks and then resorted to Google to try and find something that I thought realistically a 12-year-old would engage with.  I found a large amount of information for me as an adult and very little for him.  There were bits, but the level of content was far too young for him.

Gooseberry Planet was born out of my own frustration of not being able to find anything suitable for my sons and to help parents like my sister, who struggle with the digital divide.  I wanted to create something for the whole school community.  I don’t believe that it is solely the school’s responsibility, I feel that it is all our responsibility. I knew my children loved playing games so why not create an education tool using gamification.  It was quite literally a light bulb moment and the concept was born. The games that we have produced are conversation starters. The children love Taff, collecting stars and scoring points, but it also helps teachers create a conversation without rolling eyes and “here we go again, online safety”. Being a parent myself, I know how hard it is to stay up to date with the latest trends, this is what drives me.  I want parents and teachers to be armed with all the tools.  I have so many friends that struggle with the digital divide and it became my mission to help both teachers and parents as well as the students.

I wanted to make sure that schools have a complete toolkit and to cover the areas that are most difficult to talk about which include grooming, sexually exploited and bullying.

Bullying is very close to my heart. I was bullied badly for 3 years of my secondary school life, I never told my Mum and I kept it quiet.  For me it wasn’t too bad. At the end of the school day I went home and could shut the doors on my life at school.  I was safe, I was at home.  I feel for young people of today there is no escape being online is one of the most important aspects of young person life and no matter what us adults say this is their way of communicating.  We need to support and educate young people in blocking and talking to someone.  I am so please that we are working with Kidscape, one of the longest establish Anti Bullying Charities in the UK.  It means we can both reach as many children as possible and help support families that might be experiencing being bullied.

I am incredible passionate about what I do and broadening conversations around online safety and protecting young children online.

If Gooseberry Planet can save one child from being bullied, groomed or sexually exploited, then it has achieved my goal

Gooseberry Planet & Kidscape have put their heads together

Gooseberry Planet & Kidscape have put their heads together

Since 1985 Kidscape has worked with children, families and teachers to help protect children from bullying and harm.  We pride ourselves on being the anti-bullying charity ‘that helps’ and we actively look for supporters and partners who can extend our reach to children and families across the UK.  This is why we were delighted to meet with Stella James from Gooseberry Planet and learn more about their brilliantly innovative work to keep children safe. We know children love to game and Gooseberry Planet is different in that it listens and learns from what children enjoy and want to do and uses this as a platform to share vital safety messages.   When I first met with Stella we both bubbled with excitement and joy as we planned ways we could join forces to help many more schools and families deal with difficult issues. We also shared our own personal challenges as Mums trying to best help and guide our own children. Tackling bullying isn’t easy. If it was then we would have eradicated it by now and the challenges we face have changed. Now it’s not confined to the classroom but happens wherever people are – including online. It’s only by joining forces and working together that we can help all children live their best lives without fear or shame. That’s why we are proud to work with Gooseberry Planet; why you will be hearing messages from Kidscape through the Gooseberry Planet platform – and watch this space as Stella and I have got our heads together and have plans afoot!  Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO Kidscape

I wanted to make sure that schools have a complete tool kit and to cover the areas that are most difficult to talk about which include grooming, sexually exploited and bullying.  Bullying is very close to my heart.  I was bullied badly for 3 years of my secondary school life, I never told my Mum and I kept it quiet.  For me it wasn’t too bad.  At the end of the school day I went home and could shut the doors on my life at school.  I was safe, I was at home.  I feel for young people of today there is no escape being online is one of the most important aspects of young person life and no matter what us adults say this is their way of communicating.  We need to support and educate young people in blocking and talking to someone.  My niece lost her close school friend to suicide. It is more tragic than words can describe to lose a child.  Every parent’s nightmare.   I aGooseberry Planet Logom so please that we are working with Kidscape, one of the longest establish Anti Bullying Charities in the UK.  It means we can both reach as many children as possible and help support families that might be experiencing being bullied.

I am incredible passionate about what I do and broadening conversations around online safety and protecting young children online. Stella James, Head Gooseberry – Gooseberry Planet

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Game-based learning: effective teaching driven by play

Game-based learning: effective teaching driven by play

In this digital age, where parents frequently vent their frustration over the amount of time their children are spending on devices, the idea of game-based learning in school might seem rightly questionable. Games are all too often associated with leisure and play rather than academic drive and therefore a ‘gaming’ approach in school might well raise eyebrows.

Game-based learning and training has long been used in aviation, the healthcare industry and the military – and it should therefore come as no surprise that the education system has started to adopt the same approach.  Games are powerful motivators and integrating them into education gives teachers another tool in their resource box to get students learning – and more importantly to want to learn.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today, is being able to keep their students interested and focused.   Traditional teaching methods only encourage passive engagement, such as learning by rote, or copying down notes as a teacher speaks. Even if a student successfully retains the facts that they have been told in the classroom, their behaviour in real life situations remains ‘untested’.

For game-based learning to be effective, students work towards a goal, choosing actions and experiencing the consequences of those actions along the way.  They make mistakes in a risk-free setting and, through experimentation, they actively learn and practice the right way to do things.  These learned behaviours and thought processes can be easily transferred from the simulated world to real life.  Game-based learning platforms draw the individual into virtual environments that look and feel familiar and relevant.  This in itself is motivational, as it allows us to quickly see and understand the connection between the learning experience and our real-life work.

The use of games in the classroom enables teachers to reach out to a new generation of learners with a medium that they are familiar with and can relate to.  Gaming offers students the chance to learn at their own pace and it creates an intrinsic motivation to learn more – you have to keep learning to get to the next level and earn the next reward.  Games consist of interactive play that teaches us goals, rules, adaptation, problem solving, interaction, all represented as a story. They satisfy our fundamental need to learn by providing enjoyment, passionate involvement, structure, motivation, ego gratification, adrenaline, creativity, social interaction and emotion in the game itself, while the learning takes place.

Gooseberry Planet uses game-based learning to teach children in primary schools how to be safe online.  We provide a fun, multi-sensory and immersive learning environment where children face real life online scenarios and learn how to navigate the internet safely and responsibly.  The different game levels take students through a diverse range of topics covering all aspects of E-Safety from online bullying, social media, privacy settings and people online to sexting, radicalisation and grooming.  These are real-world issues that need addressing at grass roots level in order to prepare children for the transition to a life online, both in secondary schools and beyond.

Gooseberry Planet understands the need to keep children engaged and motivated.  The award-winning platform cleverly utilises bright visuals and catchy soundtracks to help children absorb information and maintain focus.  They learn through observation and experimentation, whilst simultaneously building on their fine motor skills and gaining independence, since students can play the game at their own pace.

From a teacher’s perspective, game-based learning allows awkward and complex topics to be presented in an informal and less threatening way, without losing the impact of key messages.  This is crucial as far as teaching Online Safety is concerned, since it is a subject that is unfamiliar to many members of staff, who do not feel adequately trained to deliver such lessons.  The ability for teachers to collate the students’ responses and results generated from the game is extremely valuable: it facilitates the analysis of class performance, comprehension and subject knowledge, from which they can tailor E-Safety lessons to meet the specific needs of their learners.

 

https://www.independentschoolsportal.org/blog/game-based-learning-effective-teaching-driven-by-play