BISM Newsletter - March 2019

Page 1


The British International School of Marbella

NEWSLETTER A Newsletter for Parents, Students and Friends of our School

March 2019



Headteacher’s Message Dear Parents and Students, March has been a super month of competitions, trips and, our wonderful, Book Week. As you may be aware, BISM is a member of COBIS (Council of British International Schools) which enables the school to not only keep up to date with best practice and pedagogy through a variety of training platforms but enables our students to collaborate and compete globally. This month, some of our secondary students entered the annual COBIS Art Competition. The work our students produced is stunning and we are very proud to have such talented students representing our school. Year 6, Year 7 and Year 8 had the opportunity to visit the future this month, unfortunately not in a time machine (maybe one day) but a trip to Algeciras University as part of their Tech-Week. You can read all about it later on in this newsletter. The highlight of the month was, of course, Book Week. The children had a great time learning about a variety of authors and titles through fun, creative activities. With the theme ‘Heros and Villians’, I saw many excellent comics designed by children across the school. Many students now have a good understanding of onomatopoeia and direct speech and how to use it to enhance their writing. The highlight of the week was seeing all the children and staff dressed as their favourite hero or villain at the end of the week. I would like to take this opportunity to say well done and thank

you to Miss Marseglia for organising such a special week. Best wishes, Ms Kirkham Headmistress


Pre-Nursery Storytellers

The story ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ has captured the children’s imaginations. We started the week off by introducing the children to the story. They loved the Tiger character and had fun trying on tiger masks and growling at each other. We then created a home corner area in the classroom where the children could make tea and cake for the tiger. There was lots of lovely language used whilst the children were role playing. The children especially enjoyed pretending to ring the doorbell just like the tiger. We put real tea and a tea set in the water tray and some little tigers, the children enjoyed making tea and feeding it to the tigers. As the story began to build in the children’s imaginations it was time to test their storytelling abilities. We sat in a circle on the carpet and looked at some picture cards depicting characters and images from the story. With verbal prompts the children were all able to put the story into sequence by telling the adult what happened next. The children mainly used two word sentences such as “Daddy home” or “coats on”. However some of our older children were able to use some description in their sentences. Such as; “ The tiger is hungry” or “Mummy is sad”. The children particularly enjoyed the part of the story where the family all went out to a cafe for their tea. Albie said “I like sausages” and “ice cream is yummy”. Amelia said her favourite ice cream was strawberry. The Pre-Nursery children have shown themselves to be wonderful storytellers, We hope they will continue to be inspired by stories as they grow and learn. Miss Pottinger Pre-Nursery Teacher




Nursery A Tiger Came for Tea Nursery read the book ´The Tiger who Came to Tea´, in the story the Tiger visits Sophie and her Mum for tea and eats all the food in their house including a plate of sandwiches. In response to the story the children were challenged to make some sandwiches for Sophie to replace the ones the tiger ate. As a class we talked about how sandwiches are made, what ingredients we would need, how we would make them and most importantly what shape to cut them. Camelia - ‘I make sandwiches in my house’ Ariana - ‘Jam is my favourite’ Anna - ‘I can cut them into triangles’ The children then watched a demonstration before working independently to make and then most importantly eat the sandwiches. The children could all make, fill and cut their sandwiches, it was great to see them working hard and with purpose and then enjoying the reward at the end. Mrs Riddell Nursery Teacher



Amazing Phonics

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will ever learn to do and it will unlock a future of huge possibilities. Here at BISM, we follow the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme to support your children in their journey to becoming fluent readers and writers. In Reception class, a daily phonics lesson is supported with reading-level appropriate texts and a range of fun, engaging and pacey activities to help your child learn to read. The children have learnt the sound that each letter represents and many have learnt how to blend those sounds to read a word. Once they can blend, children become more fluent in their reading of words and will begin to blend in their heads. Partner work takes place daily where the children play teacher and student and support each other to read the words in their books. They really enjoy this little bit of responsibility and are great at helping if their ‘student’ gets stuck! Writing tasks allow the children to build sentences with an adult verbally to improve and expand the descriptive language used before writing them in their books. They may also have to remember a sentence or correct mistakes in a given sentence(they love this one, especially when Mrs Rutherford gets them wrong!). Please support by reading with your child everyday at home, either their reading book, library book or by using their own books at home. As Dr Seuss says ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go’. Mrs Rutherford Reception Teacher




Year 1

Kind and Caring Class This month during our PSHE lessons we have been focussing on saying kind words about our friends. Being mindful of how we behave towards others and what we say might affect someone’s feelings and emotions is something very important to consider. The Year One class are very honest and we are all friends. To further this we have been doing an exercise where we randomly choose a member of the class and everyone must say one kind compliment about them. This compliment should be different from everyone else’s. The idea is, that in the end the person would have received a class full of kind words that makes them feel cared for and appreciated as part of the group. In turn the person who gave the compliment should feel the warmth inside of saying kind words about others. It is a really worthwhile exercise that the class have enjoyed a lot to do and only strengthens the bond that the class shares. The goal in the end is that kind words will come out naturally in all kinds of situations. I hope this transcends into your homes too! Have a lovely Easter Holidays! Mr Thomas Year One Teacher


Year 2

Minute of Madness Year Two having been learning about time this month, which is a very tricky concept! They have been practising telling the time to 15 minute intervals, before moving onto telling the time to the nearest minute, the class really needed a good understanding of how long a minute actually is. To help understand this concept the class began investigating what activities they could complete in a minute. They came up with ideas such as: how many times could they run around the playground in a minute; how many star jumps could they complete and how many times they could write their name. The children thoroughly enjoyed this investigation and are able to judge a minute more accurately. Well done, Year Two!! Miss Allen Year Two Teacher




Year 3 Marvellous Multipliers The children of Year Three all impressed me every single week in March as they continuously improved their multiplication skills and proved it week on week with incredible scores in weekly tests! Earlier in the year, as a class we started working our way through the times tables and to motivate the learners, started weekly times tables tests. We started with the easier ones like 2, 10 and 5 and on the last Friday of March we had made it all the way the 12! When we did the 11s, so many children were scoring brilliantly, including many achieving 24/24 in their test. To add extra spice to the challenge, we timed the tests. The children have to decide which they value more, speed or getting the answers correct. Some children were able to combine both speed and getting the answers right, including Maximilien who only took 45 seconds to answer 24 questions on the 11 times tables (including division). Sofia C, also spectacularly managed to answer all questions correctly in less than a minute, 51 seconds to be precise. Many other members of the class were not far behind. Daniyar, meanwhile, had to be given an even spicier challenge, as on a weekly basis he was scoring 100% whilst also timing faster than most adults would! Daniyar started having to work out word problems with multiplication in them and still managed to clock just 1 minute and 30 seconds whilst 24/24 on the 11 times tables. Marvellous multipliers indeed! Mr Holden Year Three Teacher


Year 4

Magnificent Multiplication This term, the Year Four class have been improving their multiplication skills in Maths. We have been practising all the times tables, including 7, 8 and 9, and related multiplication and division facts. Times tables knowledge becomes crucial in the curriculum going forwards and helps with many other areas of Maths. As well as this, the class have learnt a new method for multiplying 3 digit numbers, known as the ladder method. Please have a look at the examples from the children’s work here in the newsletter. If we use an example of 154 x 3, then the method involves first multiplying the hundreds by 3, then multiplying the tens by 3, and finally multiplying the units by 3. Once this is finished, all the totals are added together with column addition to give the final answer of 462. An example of how to lay this is out is shown in the picture below. In order to use this kind of method, the children need a secure knowledge of times tables and how to multiply multiples of 10, 100 or 1000 confidently using this knowledge. I think you will agree that the Year Four children have been working very hard in Maths! Miss Marseglia Year Four Teacher




Year 5

Animal Life Cycles Year Five have been learning about animals and their development. The life cycle of an organism refers to the sequence of developmental stages that it passes through on its way to adulthood. Mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, insects and other invertebrates--they each have their own unique way of reproducing life. There is an amazing variety of life cycles within the animal world. Surprisingly, only about 3% of all animal species give birth to live young as part of their life cycle. Most animals lay eggs some externally and some internally. Animals are small when they start life. Over time they grow bigger and their bodies change. When they are grown up, they might reproduce and have young animals of their own. These children will get older and may eventually also have children too, and so the life cycle keeps going! Animals need to eat, to grow, to be safe, and to reproduce. This is all part of the life cycle. Their bodies are adapted in a wonderful range of ways to solve these problems of survival. Year 5 have been learning about the metamorphosis of insects and amphibians. They have learnt that mammals can be divided into three more groups based on how their babies develop. These three groups are monotremes, marsupials, and the largest group, placental mammals. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. The only monotremes that are alive today are the spiny anteater, or echidna, and the platypus. They live in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. These mammals are really different from other mammals. Their body temperature is lower than most warmblooded animals, a feature that has more in common with reptiles. Their name comes from the fact that they have only one body opening for both wastes and eggs to pass through. Echidnas have sharp spines scattered throughout their hair. They look like a spiky ball. The female anteater lays usually one leathery-shelled egg directly into the pouch on her belly. The egg hatches after only ten or eleven days. The newborn baby is tiny, about the size of a euro coin. After the baby hatches, it stays in the pouch for several weeks and continues to develop. Babies are fed by their mother’s milk that seeps out of pores on her skin. Plants are able to reproduce in two different ways - sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves pollen from one flower fertilising the egg of another to produce a seed. Only one parent is needed in asexual reproduction and the offspring are exact copies. Some plants can also reproduce without an egg cell being fertilised to produce a seed. Instead, these plants produce an identical copy of themselves. This type of reproduction is known as asexual reproduction. Plants can reproduce asexually in a number of different ways. Some plants produce bulbs, like daffodils and snowdrops. Others, like potatoes produce tubers. These sit under the soil and develop into new plants the next year. Miss Ladds Middle School Science Teacher


Year 6

The Course of True Love Never did Run Smooth! Year Six have been studying William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Literacy this month. This Shakespearean comedy tells the tale of Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demitrius´ love triangle. The comedy begins when the infamous fairy Puck gets involved and tries to solve the love triangle with love potions! Chaos erupts but in the end, all is resolved and three marriages take place in Athens. We have studied Shakespeare’s language, performed drama pieces in Old English and even wrote summaries for the play, so detailed and descriptive, they could have been published! Year Six particularly enjoyed performing Act 1 and Act 2 and in particular the part where Demetrius tells Helena that he does not like her, in fact she made him sick! They dramatised perfectly the turbulent relationship between Demetrius and Helena. We have learned lots of phrases that have been coined by Shakespeare himself such as ‘all that glitters is not gold’, ´wild goose chase´ and ´green-eyed monster’. Can you think of any more? It has been a pleasure to watch our children read, analyse and perform using Shakespearean language - all of this in Year Six! As Shakespeare himself would say - ‘fair play!´ Miss Kerlin Middle School English Teacher




Year 7

Cobis Art Competition 2019 As part of the wider school community, BISM was involved in the annual COBIS art competition of 2019. Children from across the school worked very hard to complete entries for the topic ‘Introduce Yourself’. Representing over 500 member organisations, COBIS is a responsive school organisation that connects schools from across the globe to share, develop and enhance education. The organisation hosts a variety of different competitions each year, which allows the children to develop their creativity and give them a sense of achievement and ownership of their work. Year 7 were worked very hard to complete entries for the competition with two students in particular adding to the final submission list. Maria Lopez Garcia De Vega created a detailed and technical portrait, incorporating simplistic and intricate details. Alongside her was Maria Voronina, who created a wonderful canvas of music, using vibrant colours, thick brush strokes and realistic proportions. Overall, the effort that goes into such beautiful pieces of art must be acknowledged as it shows the technical skill, creativity and artistic ability of both the competition entrants. They should be very proud of their achievements! The winners of the competition will be announced in May 2019. Miss Flanagan Middle School Art


Year 8 Cloning

Ethical issue: Cloning of humans and animals Year Eight have been discussing ethical issues and our theme was on cloning. Children were given the task to write a persuasive text to either agree with the main principles of cloning or go against this issue. As there were good arguments both for and against cloning, this task challenged the children to choose only one side on this argument and make a stance on this controversial issue. For every strong argument for cloning there was an equally strong opposing argument. This made it very difficult to choose a side and stick with it. Everyone agreed that growing new cells, or even whole organs would solve many issues we currently have. However with a 90% fail rate, some thought about the numerous animals and people that will have to suffer before the technology is ready, is just too big of a risk. These were some of the benefits of cloning the children came up with: Cloning animals animals can be produced with a desired trait new organs can be ´grown´ proliferate endangered animals cloning of endangered animals Cloning humans study human development produce spare parts test for genetic defect increase chance of pregnancy Some of the negative points about cloning: Cloning animals the technology is very complicated survival rate of cloned embryos low (less than 90%) overweighing of calves at birth poor development of heart, lung and immune system might have genetic disorder Cloning humans clones may have reduced life expectancy clone may be abnormal lack of self-identity (Everyone could be replaceable) cloned children could be teased at school it could upset traditional family relationship like the relationship with their brothers and sisters Mr Kuhn Year Eight Form Tutor




Year 8


Special Event

Robotics and ICT Trip The students in Year 6, Year 7 and Year 8 were able to attend three lectures at the Technology Campus at Algeciras University as part of their Tech-Week. Pupils had the opportunity to experience life as a university student in a lecture theatre and took part in three workshops: 1. Internet Safety - The National Police and a psychologist from Mad Lions spoke to the pupils about the importance of staying safe whilst gaming online. They were given a series of scenarios and strategies to manage each one. We use gooseberry planet in school during PSHE lessons to cover all of this material with the students. 2. Technology of the future - New technologies which included the use of low energy consumption batteries which would last for seven years, futuristic, automatic cars with radar sensors and how GPS and sensors can be used in shopping centres and in cities to monitor the movement of the population. 3. Creating APPs - Students at a school in Ceuta have created a variety of APPS which include the development of games and one particularly innovative project whilst uses an APP for emergencies to connect directly to the health service and uses the phone to monitor the patient’s heart and other vital statistics to help save a person’s life whilst they wait for an ambulance to arrive. The seminars were given in spanish which promotes our integrated spanish curriculum here at BISM. Pupils were encouraged to ask questions and given the opportunity to interact with the guest speakers. A valuable experience we hope will enthuse our pupils to fulfil their dreams and go on to study their prefered career at their chosen university some day! Miss Ladds ICT Teacher Ms Escribano Spanish Teacher





Super Swimmers It has been business as usual for the football and basketball teams. In lessons, the children have also been working hard. They are enjoying honing their football and basketball skills in lessons and the improvement in their skills is impressive. Benjamin Team The Benjamin Team continue to impress with a 5-3 win over Atco Marbelli and then another 6-4 win over Marbella Paraiso. The third win was a 5-4 victory against Laude school, leaving us in fourth position with two games in hand. An extremely impressive performance. Benjamin top goal scorer - Hamza (28 goals in total so far this season!) Alevin Team The Alevin started March with a great 7-3 win against Sportcab. The teamwork and some of the goals scored in this game were absolutely brilliant! The next match was against a really tough Athletico Marbelli A team, the boys battled really hard but unfortunately lost the game 3-1. Next was a game against one of the best teams in the division and the potential league champions - San Jose B. Despite putting in a good effort we were outclassed and beaten 8-2. We will keep working hard in training and carry on improving together as a team! Alevin top goal scorer - Adam (36 goals) Basketball Team The basketball team continue to train hard and are looking forward to their next fixture in April! The younger players had a friendly game on Friday 29th March. They played extremely well against an established team and it is great to see how much they have improved. It has also been great to see so much interest in joining the school teams from our new starters. Miss Bruce and Mr Allen PE Teachers



Two Spicy Performances

As part of the Primary Instrumental Programme the children in Years 5 & 6 learn to play the guitar. This term we have been focusing on playing notes rather than chords. This entails playing the melody, rather than the accompaniment, and reading staff notation instead of chord symbols. The children have learned to play and read the notes E,C,B,A,G and D on the guitar and can play several melodies that use that particular note set. I was so impressed by the progress that children had made that I asked if they could do an impromptu performance in Monday´s Middle School assembly of their two most recent pieces: Mild Thing and Salsa Verde. The children performed confidently and with accuracy. I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do next term! Miss Conlan Lower School Music Teacher





‘Riffing’ Around on a Keyboard and Some Drumming Year Seven and Year Eight have been learning about ‘riffs’ in music; a term commonly applied to pop music and jazz, it is a repeated melodic pattern, frequently played by the rhythm section instruments, forming an accompaniment. We all spent some time listening to some really famous riffs - the opening of Europe’s ‘Final Countdown’, the bass line from Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’, and Duane Eddy’s ‘Peter Gunn’ theme. Some of the pupils were able to play along to some of these, whilst others honed their keyboard skills by consolidating their notereading ability and practising moving their fingers independently around they keyboards! Then came the real fun: class ensemble playing! Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ features a 4-bar keyboard riff that runs right the way through the whole piece (apart from a 5-bar Bridge section right in the middle - which was also learnt!) and, working in pairs, the pupils managed to learn this (rhythmically quite tricky) riff, either by reading the score, or by working out the notes from a given selection. Everyone has shown real determination during this project, and although it took some a while to master the rhythms, notes and fingering all at the same time, all felt a real sense of achievement at the end when they realised they were able to accompany the actual song, in the correct key, from start to finish! Well done, everybody! We also celebrated the brilliant percussive skills of one of our Year 8 pupils, Felix, who went above and beyond with his ‘homework’ from his IMP lesson, in which he’d been asked to listen to the drum part to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. He clearly listened well as, within a week, he’d learnt the whole drum part to the song, and he wowed the rest of the class by drumming through the whole thing, completely true to Roger Taylor’s original! A really tricky part, even in its ‘easier’ moments, Felix captured perfectly the essence of the part, and played it to perfection – well done, Felix! Mr Everist Middle School Music Teacher


Special Event Book Week

Book Week 2019 began with a Bang! Kapow! Boom! The theme this year was Heroes and Villains. The awesome Lower School band introduced a whole school assembly on Monday with a groovy rendition of Batman (those at the recent Talent Show, will have enjoyed it there). It was so groovy that the ‘real’ Batman appeared, whilst fighting two super villains, Catwoman and Harlequin! On Monday, all of the classes also enjoyed a visit from local author/illustrator, Andrea Prior. She read her funny rhyming stories and poems to Reception and the Lower School classes. She also gave a talk to the Middle School classes about being an author/illustrator and the work that this involves. It was a fun week filled with reading, writing and superhero related activities! All the classes enjoyed activities with their Reading Buddies, drop-everything-andread times throughout the week, a book fair and an exciting last day in hero and villain themed fancy dress! You can watch some memories of Book Week here: Keep reading everyone! Miss Marseglia Literacy Coordinator




Book Week


Picture News

Are Libraries Still Needed in Modern Times? Are Libraries still needed in modern times? This month news story concerns libraries and their disappearance in the UK. Personally, I think they are magnificent places and I only wish I had more time to spend in them. A bid to stop plans to close 25 libraries, and hand over several more to be “communityrun” by volunteers, has failed in Essex last week. At a meeting of Essex County Council, an amendment was passed which did not rule out closures but agreed to explore using libraries as community hubs. At least 846 public libraries have been closed nationwide since 2010, according to figures from library association CILIP, which has left several local authorities with the lowest library provision in Europe. Meanwhile, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 professional library workers have lost their jobs. Some points for discussion: (it might be helpful to read the following article first - https:// Read through this week’s story and talk about our experience of libraries. Do we use them now? Did we use them when we were younger? Do we have a library at school that we use? Talk about the concept of libraries and how they work, do we think the concept of borrowing books works well? Libraries are nearly always free and paid for by local councils, but many have closed in recent years. Why do you think this may be the case? Do you think more should be done to stop library closures? Why? Active library campaigner Helen Burton has said, “Those who suffer most when a library closes down often aren’t the loudest in society.” What do you think she meant by this and do you agree? In Essex, Susan Barker who is the cabinet member for libraries, said there had been 49 expressions of interest from communities wishing to run libraries in the county. She said: “We do want to keep all libraries open as community hubs, but the status quo is not the way to do that. Usage is falling off. We want to regenerate our libraries, to bring them into the 21st Century, to revive them.” How do you think they might be able to do this?




The author Robert Macfarlane says that public libraries are nothing less than “magic portals into learning and dreaming”. Virginia Woolf once said they were “full of sunk treasure”. Do you think these concepts and ideas are nostalgic ideals and no longer relevant in a modern world? Lots of libraries offer services beyond books. E.g. internet use, a space for community groups and clubs, audio books and braille. Do we think these services would be missed if libraries closed in some communities more than others? (In towns and cities or rural locations). Pictured above is a ‘free little library’ found in a Canadian road. People can swap books they’ve read and donate books. Do you think this would work well where you live? Why? As a school, we have been doing a lot of work to improve our school library experience. Please encourage your child to make the most of this facility and have regular discussions with them about their reading habits and the material they are reading. Also please encourage your child to share any of the discussions you have at home with their peers and teachers. Happy reading! Mr Herron Deputy Headteacher



Online Gaming Far and away the most popular game of the moment is Fortnite with more than 200m players worldwide. I hear a number of conversations between the children on a daily basis about the latest skins, which are the rarest and who beat who when they met up online the night before. Whilst the children clearly enjoy playing it, being online with complete strangers does pose risks. This month I thought it would be useful to give an overview of the game and some reminders about how to stay safe when gaming online: What is Fortnite: Battle Royale? In short, it’s a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a flying bus on to a small island and then fight each other until only one is left. Hidden around the island are weapons and items, including rifles, traps and grenade launchers, and players must arm themselves while exploring the landscape and buildings. It’s also possible to collect resources that allow you to build structures where you can hide or defend yourself. As the match progresses, the playable area of land is continually reduced, so participants are forced closer and closer together. The last survivor is the winner. Why is it so popular with kids? Well, it’s free, it’s fun and it has a very silly, offbeat sense of humour. Fortnite: Battle Royale has very bright, almost cartoon-like graphics as well as loads of ridiculous items and costumes, such as space suits and dinosaur outfits. You can also pull a variety of dance moves during the game, and some of these have taken on a cult appeal in schoolyards around the globe. It’s also possible to team up with a friend, or group of friends, and compete as a duo or a squad. This adds a social element, and participants are able to chat as they play using headsets and microphones. Many children are now forming Fortnite teams, and spending a lot of their free time playing and practising the game together. There is a non-competitive mode called Playground where pals can meet and practise, or make up their own activities, and a Creative mode, which lets players build and share their own mini Fortnite islands. Cleverly, the developer is adding new items, features and play modes on a weekly basis so there is always a new reason to come back and play, and fans like to show off that they have the latest gear. Right now, everyone is enjoying the airplanes which arrived as part of Season Seven. How do I limit how much they play? If they’re playing on an Xbox, PlayStation or Switch you can use the parental controls to limit the length of gaming sessions (or ban them from the game entirely if you’re feeling despotic). It’s a good idea to set definite play sessions of, say, an hour or 90 minutes using some kind of timer (a stopwatch, an egg timer, or maybe ask Alexa for a countdown).




You may need to have a Mastermind-style “I’ve started so I’ll finish” rule though: Fortnite matches can last up to 20 minutes and if you demand they finish playing in the middle of a game, they’ll leave team-mates in the lurch and lose any points they’ve earned during that bout. That’s going to cause a lot of resentment. Should parents be worried about the violence? Although Fortnite is a multiplayer shooter, it has a very bright, friendly visual style and it does not depict bloody violence. Like the Nintendo game Splatoon, it takes lots of the enjoyable gameplay concepts from more mature shooting games but places them in a non-threatening, non-realistic world. (Info’ taken from an article written by Keith Stuart for The Guardian) Below is rather a long list of points to consider. Ideas and questions to help you start the conversation with your child/children What is important to talk about? • Talk about the risks of online gaming and your child’s/children’s concerns. • Explore the idea of ‘griefing’ in online games. • Talk about what games are suitable to play for different people. • Talk about how your child/children can help themselves respond safely, responsibly and positively when online gaming. • Ideas for preventing, reducing and managing problems when online gaming. Creating the conversation: • What are the latest games being played online? Talk to me or tell me more about the online games you like? • Have you ever had any problems when online gaming? How has this made you feel? • Do you have any questions about the things you have seen or heard when online gaming? • Can we talk about how to keep safe online when gaming? Key Info • Online gaming should be a fun and sociable experience for people who choose to play but it should also be safe. • Most online games will have recommended ages for players to help protect them from inappropriate content. • Online games include apps that can be downloaded for free and for a fee from reputable online stores. Some online games require in-app purchases to make the game play more enjoyable. • People online can make contact through online gaming platforms, public and private messaging and through audio services. • Online games can be more enjoyable when played with other people online. It is possible to play online games with chosen friends and random people online. • Most online games have privacy settings to help protect players and have ways of reporting inappropriate behaviour online. • There are people online (griefers) who will deliberately spoil the fun and enjoyment of other players by losing games, interfering with games and verbally abusing other gamers.


Key Advice • Establish with your child/children who they should speak to or ask for help if they have any questions or problems about being online. • Establish ground rules and expectations about how they should behave to help reduce the risk of contact from other gamers. • Talk to your child/children about what online games they are playing, who they are playing with and what they are sharing online that may cause other people to be unkind to them or make contact. • Encourage your child/children to talk to a trusted adult if are at all concerned that they or people they know are having problems with people online whilst gaming. • Encourage your child/children to only accept requests from genuine friends who are known in the ‘real-world’ this can reduce the risk of inappropriate contact when online gaming. • Remind your child/children not to share personal information online that may make them a target for other online gamers. • Reassure our child/children that they are not alone and that there is help and support available if they experience problems when online gaming. • Take time to understand how personal and family devices work and know how to secure online gaming accounts before they are used. • Continually promote and encourage self-confidence and awareness online – it is important for your child/children to be able to recognise the importance of safe and responsible use of technology. • Talk to your child/children about what online games they play and the risks that they face. • Explore with your child/children how and why technology can be misused by people online. • Discuss the importance of privacy. Sharing certain things online can make people behave unkindly because they may feel jealous, upset or excluded themselves. • Talk to other parents about ensuring their child’s/children’s online accounts are secure and that they are following similar online safety rules. • Continually promote the idea that everyone has choices and makes decisions about what they do and how they behave online. • Remember, your child’s/children’s online accounts may be secure but the accounts of those who they are friends with online may not be quite so careful or maybe fake. • Reassure your child/children that everyone makes mistakes and although it may be difficult, it is important to ask for help if they have made unsafe choices online. • Reassure your child/children that it is ‘Never too late to tell’ – make sure that both you and they know who they trust and who they can turn to for help and advice. • Educating yourself and your child/children is to make them aware, not scare. Recognise the signs of too much time online: You know your child/children the best. Online gaming should be fun, safe and sociable but decide how much time should be spent online, when gaming and in general. Look out for: - changes to daily routines/activities, lack of interest in spending time with friends/family or preferring to be inside online. - excessive amounts of time online – interacting with people online in online games and at unusual times of day or night - lack of sleep could mean that your child/children are tired and have trouble concentrating - interruption of meal times or loss of appetite or greater interest in being online than doing anything else




Key Actions to help you help your child/children manage online gaming • Agree with your child what is acceptable use of technology – when it can be used at home and when it should be switched off. • Discuss, agree and compromise to create a list of mutually acceptable guidelines when online gaming. • Encourage your child/children to play with friends they know in real life, stick together and create closed gaming groups that are secure. • Disable in-game messaging and communications. • Consider setting up time limits and access to the internet to help manage time online. This can be achieved by accessing your router and adjusting the settings. • Manage the types of online games that your child/children are playing. • Take note of age recommendations and read online reviews about the game, app or website. • Play the game yourself to experience what your child/children would, if they played the online game. • Turn off or unplug headsets to prevent other players talking to your child/children in multiplayer games online. • Manage privacy and settings for the online game. This can be done when you are logged in to an online account. • Agree acceptable behaviour and conduct online when online gaming. • Monitor conversations, interactions, language and behaviour of your child/children and those they are playing with, when online gaming. • Together, go through their Friends Lists and contacts to make sure that they know each one in real life. Ask your child to tell you a bit about each person and how they know them. • Ignore, block or delete contacts that are unknown or who are causing a problem online. • Create usernames that protect the identity of your child/children when online gaming. • Encourage your child/children to take a break from technology and online gaming. • Delete apps or games that are causing a problem. These can be reinstalled later if you feel it is safe. • Listen out for the types of conversations that are being had with people online. • Together, secure all online accounts and devices by checking and setting the privacy levels to reduce the risk of inappropriate contact. • Create usernames and passwords for your child/children to use for online accounts that help you manage their online presence and keep personal information private. • Encourage your child/children to ask permission from an agreed trusted adult before they download or play an online game. Discuss and set boundaries to help manage your child’s/children’s online presence and what is and what is not acceptable to you, when sharing online. Responding safely to Griefers: Ensure that your child/children are aware of how best to respond to people who are causing a problem in an online multiplayer game. • Turn off all sound and in-game chat • Make a note of the person’s gamer tag or username • Restart a fresh game


• • • •

Report the player who has been causing a problem Block or delete the player who has been causing a problem Avoid the temptation of being unkind back Speak to trusted adult if something has upset or causes worry

Should these conversations raise any issues you would like to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact myself or your child’s class teacher. Mr Herron Deputy Headteacher




Talking Point

The Danger of Gossip In the Middle School, we have been discussing the danger of gossip and how hurtful it can be. It has been said that knowledge is power. Unfortunately, some people like to spread damaging information or intimate details about others, whether true or not. If you know something controversial someone did over the weekend, it’s easy to feel like you have to tell others. We especially like it when we hear something that makes someone look bad. Celebrity bloggers and gossip magazines make millions of euros out of this unfortunate reality. I’m sure you’ve encountered gossip. Some people seem to thrive on it. The most dangerous part about gossip is that it steals another person’s reputation. As a school, we are encouraging the students to not only stay away from it but to stop it in its tracks by challenging people gossiping. If you don’t want to have any part of gossip, here are some tips on how to do it: 1) Make a commitment you’re not going to gossip. Even though the temptation to gossip is powerful, you will always win when you choose not to. 2) Don’t listen to others when they gossip Gossip grows an audience. You simply being there listening to it adds to its appeal. If someone starts to tell you something gossipy, say, I’m sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about this person when they’re not here to defend themselves. Not only will you break the gossip chain, but you also will gain the trust of other people, as someone who won’t spread rumours. 3) Don’t judge people based on gossip If you should hear gossip about someone, you have two choices: allow the gossip to determine what you believe, or let your own personal experience determine what you think. 4) Think before you speak. Before you repeat something you’ve heard about another person, think: does this really do any good for me to spread this information? Or am I just trying to be in the know? Is the information even true? Could I be hurting someone by telling this, even if it’s true? If the person you are talking to is not part of the problem or part of the solution, do you need to tell them? 5) Stay away from people who gossip to you, they will likely gossip about you.


Don’t associate with people who find such great joy in belittling others. Be very careful about what you choose to tell these people. If it’s a close friend, you might consider saying how you want to stop spreading gossip, and that you’d really like their help. There’s an old saying: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.That’s not true. Being gossiped about can be extremely painful. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to others. In the end, it never pays to gossip. Ms Kirkham Headmistress







+34 952 779 264 -