“Make a Noise about Bullying” An Anti-Bullying Week

The 2nd-27th November marks Actionwork’s anti-bullying month, and 16-20th November is national anti-bullying week. Actionwork have a theme of Cyberbullying and E-Safety this year where they aim to raise awareness of a problem that is expanding daily as we see cyberspace constantly expanding at a rapid pace. Anti-bullying weeks theme is ‘Make a noise about bullying’ to raise awareness of bullying and encourage children to talk out about their issues. This week is designed to get everyone involved in raising awareness for the fight against bullying, the national campaign aims to support parents/carers, teachers and young people who may be involved in or affected by bullying.

Actionwork’s anti-bullying efforts

The Key Aims of the week are..

  • To empower children to make a noise about bullying – whether this may be online, offline, happening to them or someone else.
  • To help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying;
  • To encourage ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that affect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying;
  • To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied; and
  • To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.

There are many ways that you can get involved this anti-bullying month including downloading the anti-bullying week campaign pack, helping fundraising, sharing the logo on your website and/or social media and buying official posters, stickers and wristbands from the Anti-bullying Week website.

Here are some top tips for parents from the Anti-Bullying Week website.

  • If your child is being bullied don’t panic.  Explain to your child that the bullying is not their fault and together you will sort this out.
  • Bullying is never acceptable; and should always be taken seriously. It is never your child’s fault if they’ve been bullied.
  • Try and establish the facts.  It can be helpful to keep a diary of events. If the bullying is online, save or copy images and text.
  • Find out what your child wants to happen.  Help to identify steps you can take; and the skills they have to help sort out the situation. Make sure you always keep them informed about any actions you decide to take.
  • You may be tempted to tell your child to retaliate but this can have unpredictable results.   Your child might get into trouble or get even more hurt.  Rather – role play non-violent ways they can respond to children that are bullying them (e.g. ‘I don’t like it when you say that to me / do that to me. Stop.’); show them how to block or unfriend people if the bullying is online and help them identify other friends or adults that can support them.
  • Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).

How to Protect you Digital Footprint in 8 Easy Steps

Protect you Digital Footprint

In a day and age where the internet is used for everything, your online reputation is more important than ever. your digital footprint is the impression you make on the internet. This can be important for all ages, especially when applying for schools, colleges and jobs as your digital footprint will almost always be taken into a count. So here are some helpful guidelines for you and your children to help you clear up your digital footprints:

  1. Google yourself – It may seem obvious but this will give you an idea of what information is out there about you and also what information you are sharing from your social networking sites. Do this regularly to make sure that there isn’t anything new popping up or even set a google alert for your name. Make sure you aren’t signed into your google account when searching as it will alter your search to your location and habits.
  2. Do you tweet? – Do you have twitter? If so how long for ? Review your tweets to ensure that they reflect you positively, think about your older tweets, do you still have the same views and opinions as back then, if not you may want to review them and delete some tweets. Also think about making your twitter private if you feel that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to read your tweets.
  3. Keep your personal information private – Use privacy controls on your social networking sites to limit personal information that you don’t want shared publicly.
  4. Review your Facebook – Check your Facebook and other social networking content regularly. possibly once a year have a “spring-clean” and untag, unlike, unfollow posts and photos that you feel don’t reflect you positively online.
  5. Use good “netiquette” – Treat others as you want to be treated. Being polite, friendly and positive online reflect well of you, act how you would in the virtual world as you would in the real world. Ask yourself “I won’t regret this later will I?” before you post as you don’t want something to reflect negatively on your online reputation.
  6. Be careful of what you “Like” – It may seem fun to like that hilarious video now but really think about what you like and how that portrays you as a person, especially as everyone can see what you like, favorite or +1 online.
  7. Be Active online – By participating in meaningful activity online you are helping make your online reputation positive. For example participating in online communities, posting positive messages, possibly charity work etc will all contribute to improving your digital footprint.
  8. Have a sensible email address – ilovecrazycats468@hotmail.co.uk may have been a great idea when you were 8 but you need to think about what your email says about you. As you get older you will be using your email for more important and grown up things such as applying to college and jobs, so think about who will be seeing your email address and what you would like for them to think of you.

So that is how you can help clean up your digital footprint, obviously there are some things online that can never be cleared up but these simple steps will sure help you on your way.

Online Safety with Gooseberry Planet Apps

Gooseberry Planet is excited to announce the launch of 3 new apps purely for the schools market, teaching online safety in a completely unique way. The launch of the three new apps, Gooseberry Student, Gooseberry Parent and Gooseberry Teacher marks the beginning of a new journey into the education industry, working to educate as many students, teachers and parents as possible about how to be safe online.

We are working hard to create a network of schools, institutions, parents and students that are all working together to make the online world a safer place. The ever growing virtual world can be a scary place and we feel that this is something that is extremely important to learn about considering how young children are when they start using online resources, Gooseberry Planet’s new apps are aimed at the PSHE market which will change the standard tedious lessons into a fun and exciting way of learning through game-based learning, whilst at the same time educating the teachers and parents and making them able to monitor their children.

The launch of these new apps comes at an exciting time for Gooseberry planet as we have just moved into our first office, Gooseberry Towers. This will enable us to expand and grow, in order to get the word of Gooseberry Planet out and start educating our children about online safety.

We are also now proud members of the UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) which are a collective group of over 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online. The council was founded in 2010 and has since had a lot of excellent achievements, for example the implementing of an unavoidable choice for home broadband customers about whether to turn on parental control filters. We feel that this council is extremely important and we are delighted to be a part of it.

Back to school

Back to School

New  uniform’s, shoes, pencil cases pens, September is a stressful month for all involved and it is easy to get caught up in it all. We here at Gooseberry Planet have a few things you may need to look out for.

Facebook Posts: We all know we love to share with our friends online, everyone does. But think before you post, that picture of your child on their first day of their new school in their fresh new uniform, check your privacy settings. Your child’s school logo on their jumper, shirt, or polo can give away a lot of information about your child. Make sure you only share your posts with friends and you don’t know who could be accessing this information otherwise. You would warn your children not to tell a stranger where they go to school, so why would you tell them yourself? If you are unsure on how to change your privacy settings on your social media, then check out our YouTube channel for instructional videos on how to.

Gadgets: It has recently been noted that children will be returning to school with gadgets worth £3.2bn, this is said to be twice as much as last year as the growing demand for them for homework and other school work. This can lead to a few worrying situations that you may want to be wary of when sending your child off to school. Bullying online using these gadgets is extremely important to look out for as the continued rise of these gadgets will also mean the increase of bullying involving them, Children are becoming more and more reliant on these gadgets meaning that they are more likely to be targets of this kind of bullying. Also there is bullying because of the gadgets to think about, the possibility also of these gadgets being stolen or lost, this should be considered when letting your children take their latest gadgets to school with them.

We here at Gooseberry Planet would like to wish all Students, Parents and Teachers good luck with the coming academic year, we hope it is filled with joy, fun and lots of learning!