Switched-on Liverpool youngsters pioneer online safety scheme
INTERNET savvy youngsters
are helping their classmates stay safe online, thanks to a
pioneering scheme launched by an ex-policeman. Whitefield Primary
School is the 1st in Liverpool to sign up to the eCadets scheme,
where youngsters advise other pupils on how to protect themselves
online. The scheme, which runs in 120 schools across England and
Wales, was the brainchild of former policeman Henry Platten and his
wife Danielle, who already run successful company eTreble9, advising
about online security for companies and individuals. Every school
that signs up to the scheme aims to have up to 8 pupils trained as
eCadets, who will advise fellow students how to protect themselves
when browsing the internet, using social media on smart phones and
tablets, or playing online games. The pupils also take the message
home; making parents and other family members aware of the need for
online safety, whether it’s ensuring passwords are secure or
discussing the pitfalls of making friends in the virtual world.
Henry said:- "As well as
keeping youngsters safe, the eCadet scheme has been designed help
schools meet targets in relation to online safety, health and
wellbeing, literacy and numeracy and personal development. We know
that children can find it difficult to talk openly to parents or
teachers about an issue like this but they are much more comfortable
turning to their friends and peers for advice. We are there in the
background to provide support and advice, providing a safety net
should something come to light that needs adult intervention. Our
approach is very much not to frighten them, not to scare them, just
to show them how to use it safely to give them that confidence, to
give them those skills to be digital citizens, and really to live
their lives safely online so that they get the most from it."
Nursery teacher Marie Beale, IT co-ordinator at Whitefield Primary
School in Boundary Lane, 1st came across the scheme through Twitter
and realised that it would be extremely useful in her school, which
has 250 pupils and is keen to prepare them for a future in a world
where internet use is commonplace.
“We know that many children use smart phones, iPods and tablets - in
a recent school assembly, many said they were on Facebook, even
children as young as Year 2, though they are not meant to join until
they are 13. They know enough to give a wrong birth date, or an
older sibling sets them up. Many also use X-Boxes, and play online;
so they can make friends with anybody around the world, without
knowing who they really are. We wanted to make them aware of the
dangers of being online and teach them how to stay safe. Being part
of eCadets will help address these issues, and it’s important
knowledge they will take with them as they move up into secondary
school and beyond. We find that newsletters and school meetings are
not always the best way to raise these issues with parents; under
eCadets the children themselves will be able to talk to their family
members and their friends and siblings about online safety. They can
also raise any concerns they have direct with Henry at eCadets."
said Mrs Beale.
Henry has taken care to ensure the
initiative is part of the computing curriculum, meets the needs of
inspections by schools watchdog Ofsted, and is closely linked to
PHSE and well-being requirements. To ensure it reaches out into the
school's community, there are now also eParents and eGovernors
alongside the eCadets, while in the third year of the scheme a
business mentoring project gets underway.
Henry quit his job with Cheshire Police to launch online security
firm eTreble9, which helps businesses and individuals protect their
assets online and eCadets was a spin-off, as the couple realised
that youngsters also needed to be kept just as safe. He launched the
scheme on World Internet Safety Day in March and has seen it spread
through schools massively in just a few months, often as teaching
staff recommend the scheme to colleagues elsewhere. He added:-
"At the last count there were 367 social media sites available on
the internet and that number is rising by the day. The eCadets are
select groups of children who will help their classmates to stay
safe when using these sites and playing online games. The eCadets
are given access to a secure area of our eTreble9.com website where
tasks are set for them to complete in connection with internet
safety. When they have successfully completed a task they are given
a reward sticker to put in the eCadets passport they are issued
with. They also compete in an eCadets league against their
counterparts, not just in Merseyside but the whole of the country as
the scheme is rolled out across the UK. We think this scheme is
vital because so many children now use the internet and social media
sites and they must be able to do it as safely as possible."
OFFICE PITCHES IN ON WORLD CUP FESTIVITIES
LORD Street North Post
Office in Southport has kicked off its World Cup celebrations by
turning the branch into a football pitch! The branch at Lord Street
in Southport had the goal of helping its customers get excited; and
they've kicked things off by laying artificial turf over the floors,
turning the counters into goals and decking the walls with flags.
Subpostmaster Mike Finch said:-
"We really wanted our customers coming into the branch to get
into the spirit of the world's biggest football celebration;
especially those picking up their currency before heading off to
Brazil." Lord Street Post Office in Southport is open from
7.00 till midnight for anyone who wants to test out their keepy uppy
skills on its pitch.
Lollipop lady gears up for 10th annual charity walk
A lollipop lady who has
raised £12,000 for the Royal Liverpool University Hospital will
complete her tenth annual Summer Solstice Walk this month.
Grandmother Joyce McLoughlin, 70, from Woolton, has taken part in
the four mile walk along the Mersey from the Pier Head to Otterspool
Prom every year since it started in 2005 and is preparing to do it
all again on Saturday, 21 June 2014.
Despite having undergone a hip replacement, Joyce has braved wind,
rain and sun to complete the walk after reading about the plight of
2 women who underwent mastectomy operations.
Joyce, who has helped pupils from Woolton County Primary, Bishop
Martin CE Primary and Much Woolton Catholic Primary cross the road
for 30 years, explained why she first got involved.
She said:- "It was just before the anniversary of my mother's
death. She died from cancer 40 years ago. I managed to make quite a
bit of money the 1st time I did it so I thought I'll keep doing it.
I'll keep going as long as I can. It's had a good atmosphere every
year since I started. You couldn’t ask for any better."
Joyce, who will don a blue wig for this year’s walk, has raised
£12,000 for the hospital’s charity in the past decade thanks to the
generosity of friends, family and local businesses.
The R Charity raises funds to give patients the most advanced
treatment with the latest technology, and provide staff with the
finest diagnostic tools so patients have the best prospects for
recovery and life.
Angela McShane, from R Charity, said:- "The walk is for all
those affected by cancer whether a patient, a carer or anyone who
has lost a loved one to the disease. All ages are welcome and fancy
dress is encouraged. You can dress as a hippy, wear some flowers in
your hair or go far out and wear a psychedelic wig. A prize will be
awarded to the person who raises the most sponsorship money, so if
you want to be in with a chance of winning you must return your
sponsorship money no later than 31 July 2014. There will also be
prizes for the top three costumes worn."
Registration is between 3pm to 4.45pm at the Pier Head and the walk,
which takes up to an hour, will begin at 5pm. Registration is £10
and includes psychedelic wig, refreshments and bus travel. Children
under 16 will walk free, but must be accompanied by an adult.
T-shirts will be awarded to all those who raise over £30 in
sponsorship. If you would like to register please contact the
fundraising office:- 0151 706 3172 or email:-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Once registered
you will receive a fundraising pack with information about the walk,
sponsorship forms, information about setting up a Just Giving page
and 10 fundraising ideas to help you raise additional funds.