Momo Alert

We have had many calls in from schools wanting handouts on the game Momo.

Momo has been around for the last 18 months and is not new.  The media have managed to whip up a bit of a frenzy amongst parents.  It was originally an app but that has been removed and it is now scary videos that are being distributed via WhatsApp, YouTube and online gaming (live streaming). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQhvzEUrsOA.

It is scary.  Even I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching it, and for a 7-year-old? – yes, it would scare them.  A simple tip is to turn off ‘auto play’ on YouTube and ensure that your contact details are hidden on WhatsApp.  Make sure the ‘no fill’ option is ‘on’ within Fortnite and all settings within your Xbox and PlayStation are closed.

Although MOMO is not nice, I agree with the article linked below, that the media have over-dramatised it.  You should be aware that there are much worse things on YouTube than this – child porn within Pepper Pig, attacks, muggings, shootings and hard porn.  Don’t spread the panic about Momo – get involved and supervise what your young children are watching, whatever it may be.

https://inews.co.uk/opinion/momo-challenge-game-deaths-suicide-moral-panic/?fbclid=IwAR2VmsP59BOWfZYNPeOkQuk5V7UdnO_Lnzztl_BhyQrqlGtLBT4Z4CN07as

Please feel free to share with your parents. 

Online Gaming in the Family

Guest blog by Andy Robertson

Online Gaming in the Family

Video games have changed a lot over the last 20 years. When I played on my Commodore 64 and Spectrum 48k during my childhood they were expensive, short and offline. Now they are often free to play, endlessand online. This brings with it both challenges and opportunities for parents and carers of children who love to play games.

Today I’m writing about online gaming. Whereas previously if you wanted to play a game against another human being you had to be in the same room, now — as we all know — you simply connect your console or computer to the internet.

Children can use games to stay connected with friends, build community and engage with other kids from different cultures from all over the world. It also lets them have a lot of fun online playing together.

It also means that it is important that you set up the parental controls to limit how and what a child can share with other people. According to OFCOM, playing an online game is often the first place a young child will encounter and interact with someone they don’t know online.

The best way to keep things safe and healthy is to have game consoles and technology in shared family spaces. This ensures that you can see what’s going on. But also, if your child plays with a headset, get them to play without it from time to time so you can hear what’s going on.

This also makes it easier to take an interest in the games they play. Rather than just worrying about the total time on their screens, this means parents can start to understand the different activities that children engage in online.

Finally, we need to understand that all games are not equal. For instance, Fortnite, which I’ve included a parent’s guide video for below, offers an online gaming experience that is different from other games. Both in terms of why it’s enjoyable and what to watch out for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUnQroQu1lU

A new game that many children will say is basically the same as Fortnite is Apex Legends. However, for parents, this is quite a different proposition. Not only is it rated PEGI 16 as opposed to Fortnite’s PEGI 12 rating, but how you play and interact with other players is quite different. Again, I’ve included my video here so you can see in a few minutes what the differences are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFoYkmQ8rt8

There are lots of great resources to help you keep online gaming same and healthy:

Andy Robertson
Freelance Journalist
Forbes, The Guardian, BBC, AskAboutGames, The Mirror, Telegraph, FamilyGamerTV

@GeekDadGamer

Radicalisation & Counter Terrorism

We are really pleased that Sean Arbutnot will be presenting this webinar and giving some useful advice on how we should be talking within the school about radicalisation.

Sean Arbuthnot is a training consultant and Prevent Coordinator for Leicestershire where he works to safeguard vulnerable people from extremism and radicalisation. Previously, Sean was a police detective for 12 years in Northern Ireland and the Midlands where he fulfilled a variety of roles before specialising in counter-terrorism. He has extensive practical experience of working with people who have been directly affected or influenced by extremism. As the terrorist threat in the UK continues to develop, Sean is passionate about raising awareness of the dangers of radicalisation and preventing people from becoming involved in terrorism. He has a Masters degree with distinction in Conflict Resolution and is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.

These webinars will only last 30 minutes.

2nd April – When the Virtual is the Reality – a holistic approach to digital and ‘real world’ safeguarding

Please join Gooseberry Planet and My Concern on the 2nd April at 4pm

With the digital world being an integral part of our lives, we can’t expect it to be any different for our children and young people. In this webinar we will discuss current online risks such as grooming, online bullying, county lines and more. We will highlight the ways in which schools can enable early intervention to prevent risk from harm and will also explore what happens when virtual and real-life boundaries are blurred. During this session we will explain how digital recording and case management can help you manage the increasing wellbeing concerns facing today’s young people.

Martin Baker:

Martin Baker is the Managing Director of One Team Logic (the makers of MyConcern) as well as one of the company’s founders. Martin is also an experienced school governor and a Director of a Multi-Academy Trust.

Martin served in five UK police forces (including the Metropolitan Police). During his career he was responsible for all aspects of safeguarding and child protection. Martin’s final policing role was as the Chief Constable of Dorset Police, where he was awarded HM The Queen’s Medal for Distinguished Police Service (QPM).

Mike Glanville:

Mike Glanville is a founding member and Director of Safeguarding Services for One Team Logic. He is also a former Senior Police Officer, throughout his career, Mike led on a number of critical incidents and major crime investigations involving vulnerable children and adults. He was chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board in Dorset and represented the police at the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board. Mike is also an experienced school governor and is currently Chair of Governors at a small primary school in West Dorset.