Supporting our parents, children and young people with social distancing and self- isolation
We know that this is a very unusual time for young people right now.
You will be wondering what to do and how to support other people as we practise social distancing and self-isolation from one another. Luckily, technology, if used properly, can be a helpful way to stay mentally healthy and active. Your school will be providing a range of learning for you to do which will help to keep your minds fresh and help you to stick to a routine.
Here are some suggestions to help you to keep you busy, happy and safe over the next few weeks.
- Stay connected with friends. Keep your social connections, but try to limit how much time you are on social media.
- Spend time on your hobbies, or find a new one! There are lots of ways to explore art, music, drama, lego, you name it, during this time, including support for this with instructional videos on youtube or through apps on your tablet or laptop.
- Make sure you are watching content that is appropriate to your age. Your parents can check this on Common Sense Media before you go online.
- Play games with family/friends near and far. There are online games like Draw Something, Trivia Crack, Words with Friends, Forbidden Desert, Uno
A reminder for parents about the importance of staying safe online:
We know that during social isolation children and teenagers will inevitably turn to the digital world for entertainment and escapism as well as for learning and staying in touch. This offers tremendous opportunities for innovation and creativity, but inevitably new levels of risk. It may be also be that spending more time together at home may put some pressure on families. The Children’s Society has written a helpful article for families who are self-isolating at home: Dealing with conflict at home
If your child is following any online learning, either through school or home learning websites, it is important to consider how to keep safe. Any sessions that involve live teaching using a family webcam should consider the following:
- These should be group sessions only, absolutely no 1:1s
- Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
- Any computers used for filming or streaming by staff or children should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
- The live class should be recorded and backed up elsewhere, so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed.
- Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family 'getting on' with their day
- Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background
The following are useful resources for families to use and consider to support safe online use during this period of time.
- A fantastic resource has been provided by Parent Zone. They are offering 3 months free access! to their resources for digital safety.
- Internet matters is a parent online support pack https://www.internetmatters.org/schools-esafety/parent-online-support-pack-teachers/
- Childnet’s online Safety quiz for children https://www.childnet.com/resources/the-adventures-of-kara-winston-and-the-smart-crew/are-you-smart-online-quiz
- NSPCC have produced this Parents vs Kids activity quiz https://www.o2.co.uk/help/nspcc/parents-vs-kids
- Google’s Be internet legends: games for children to play https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_uk/toolkit
The following message has been shared on behalf of GMP/Community Safety Partnership
We are all working together to support our fellow Mancunians at this time. We ask children and young people to stay safe by observing the guidance that has been shared on reducing social interaction whilst they are not in school:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport,
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
There will be a greater police presence in the city to provide reassurance and to help keep all our citizens safe.