Firstly, a huge welcome back to all of our pupils, we have been overwhelmed with the positivity radiating from the children and their attitude to learning and engagement at school.
Now that we hope we can see the light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel, what better time to make some small changes to improve our wellbeing, our health and our fitness. After months of being stuck at home, this first step in the direction towards normality of schools opening up seems like the ideal time to make a change to improve your children’s wellness.
Most of us have heard of Change4Life and have seen the TV adverts with the colourful characters but I’m sure not many of us have explored their website and actually taken note of what they have to offer. I myself am guilty of this so have spent some time exploring their site and all it’s features to share with you what is on offer that will most definitely engage our pupils.
Indoor activity ideas to get moving and reduce screen time reliance
There are a range of ideas for indoor activities to get the children moving and include Disney themed 10 minute shake ups. Not all of these have a video instruction but have simple step by step guides as to how to play or set up the activity. I like the sound of Zootropolis: Gazelle’s Try Everything, Beauty & the Beast: LeFou’s line up and Cars: Mater’s Tow Truck Trail.
Food Scanner app
Get the children involved in the weekly shop – it’s the highlight of many people’s week at present! – by using the food scanner app to see the sugar content of different products and see suggested sugar swaps too. It’s child friendly and interactive to make them part of the decision making.
Takeaway top tips and Fakeaway recipes
The link below includes some great tips for how to enjoy a takeaway treat but make small changes to reduce the fat or calorie content. There are also great ‘Fakeaway’ recipe ideas for those brave enough to create their own treat nights at home that are instantly healthier due to no deep frying or excess preservatives etc.
Recipe ideas and Cook Together
Change4Life offers a free Cook Together program delivered directly to your inbox. You will receive 2 recipes a week for 4 weeks with instructions, videos and shopping lists which again is a great way to get the kids involved in what they’re eating. It is proven that this increases their interest in trying new things and being more adventurous with food.
A-Z of Sporting activities
With the world beginning to slowly open up again, you might be thinking about your children attending clubs – the Change4Life A-Z sports list not only gives you and your children inspiration of things to try but has direct links to sport sites to locate clubs in your area ranging from Athletics to Yoga and Skateboarding to Martial Arts.
It is recommended that kids should aim for 60 minutes of activity a day, try to ensure they achieve this to support them in developing healthy habits and boost their mood and wellbeing. If you would like any 1:1 support to improve your child’s health, fitness, weight or activity then please do get in touch with me as I can help directly or seek the support of our fab school nursing team.
Let’s get happy and healthy – good luck!
Our fabulous partners at Online Safety UK have provided us with a discount code that all parents are welcome to access for their amazing app. Find out more about what this can offer you below…
Firstly – Happy New Year! Doesn’t that feel like months ago already…
Although this may not feel like a new year just yet, it is and let’s remain positive that we can only move forward from the challenges faced so far – we’ve got this!
The below link provides some inspiration of how to engage your children at home with fun activities and games that don’t involve a screen…
Of equal importance is our well-being as adults or as parents. Hampshire have produced a great overview of ways to access support, advice and services to keep ourselves in the best place mentally. Please have a read, even if you feel you are coping well, this resource can be shared with any adults so it may help you in supporting those adults around you too!
Best Wishes to all our St. Peter’s Community,
I’m sure most of you have heard of TikTok, the social media platform which has grown in popularity over the last year or so excessively. TikTok does have a minimum user age of 13 which we of course agree is appropriate and advise that you follow, however we are aware that a lot of children do access TikTok.
With this in mind, I would like to highlight a fantastic feature called Family Pairing. TikTok joined forces with Internet Matters in their research to create and release the Family Pairing feature earlier this year. This feature lets parents link their TikTok account to their family members to enable a variety of new content and privacy settings. Implementing new features like this ensures that the app is right for the whole family.
Using the Family Pairing feature can allow parents to guide their child’s TikTok experience in a way that covers how they browse for content and how they interact with others. Some of the features include:
- Search: Decide what can be searched for. This includes content, users, hashtags, or sounds
- Screen Time Management: Sets how long your child can spend on TikTok each day
- Restricted Mode: Limit the appearance of content that may be inappropriate in your child’s feed
- Comments: Decide who can comment on videos (everyone, friends, no one)
- Discoverability: Decide on the account being private (you decide who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content)
- Liked Videos: Decide whether others can see the list of videos your teen has liked
- Direct Messages: Turn off direct messaging completely.
If your child is just starting to experience apps such as TikTok, then using features such as Family Pairing will gradually settle them in whilst allowing you to stay in control. As well as this, it will educate and encourage the family to consider how important online safety is on social media platforms.
If you implement the feature yourself, you can remove it when you feel your child is old enough to have the full experience. They may even choose to continue using the Family Pairing feature themselves. Despite how you choose to use it, creating online safety awareness for the whole family is an important step forward in any household!
CLICK HERE for the easy steps to set up Family Pairing.
The last few weeks have proved testing for a lot of us due to the second country-wide lockdown and the changes in school with Year 5 and 6 working from home. Here are a few top tips and resources for how you can support your child to comprehend and cope with the current world around them:
- Follow your child’s lead. Some children may want to spend time talking. But if your kids don’t seem interested or don’t ask a lot of questions, that’s OK.
- Speak calmly and reassuringly. Explain that most people who get sick feel like they have a cold or the flu. Children pick up on it when parents worry, so when you talk about coronavirus and the news, use a calm voice and try not to seem upset (even if you’re feeling it underneath!).
- Know when they need guidance. Be aware of how your children get news and information, especially those children who go online. Point them to age-appropriate content so they don’t end up finding news shows or outlets that scare them or have incorrect information.
- Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. Teach children that getting lots of sleep, washing their hands well and often, maintaining distancing and acting sensibly can help them stay strong and healthy. Be a good role model and let your kids see you washing your hands and socially distance often!
- Kids and teens often worry more about family and friends than themselves. For example, if children hear that older people are more likely to be seriously ill, they might worry about their grandparents or elderly relatives. Letting them call or video chat with older relatives can help them feel reassured about loved ones.
- Keep checking in with your child. Use talking about coronavirus as a way to help kids learn about their bodies and science but also focus on the other positive news out there, whether that be COVID related or completely separate. Finding the positives helps children to contextualise coronavirus.
Be sure to also take a look at the myriad of printable resources on the Pupil Wellbeing blog page for your child to use at home or complete with a parent or sibling to communicate how they’re feeling and manage any anxieties.
Take care and stay positive everyone!
I’m delighted to inform you of the release of the first EVER Online Safety app in the UK aimed for Parents and Educators. The app – Online Safety UK – is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.
The OSUK app provides access to a wide variety of resources regarding a large range of apps and games providing information, pros and cons, setting time limits, parent controls, age restrictions and hidden features etc.
Quite shockingly, a recent study (Kaspersky, 2019) found that parents only spends an average total of 43 minutes discussing online safety with their child across their entire childhood – let’s be the driving force in increasing this time and provide our children with the best knowledge and awareness of the online world when spending ever growing amounts of time engaging in it.
A fantastic new food service from Growing Places, based at Mill Hill Primary on Mill Road, is now available to support families who may be struggling a little with financing food for all the family. For just £5, you can access the Community Larder, supported by FareShare, and take a large bag-for-life and fill it to the brim with food items of your choice. The flyer below details the times that the service is available on Thursdays and Saturdays. There is no need to book an appointment, simply turn up and take your pick for just £5.
We understand how many families have faced adversity and significant life changes over the course of this turbulent year so make use of the friendly, non-judgemental and welcoming support from Growing Places to alleviate some of the added pressures of life we are facing in these ever changing times.
Welcome back to the new school year! I hope that you all enjoyed a restful summer break with your families.
I’m pleased to inform you all of a new service provided by the NHS school nursing team called ChatHealth 5-19 which is a text message advice line for parents of school-aged children. A text messaging service is an easy way for parents and carers to ask for help and information with a range of issues such as hearing, sleep, behaviour, transition to school.
The service is available for parents and carers with children in Hampshire schools, educational settings and, the elective home educated, to send messages to a dedicated number: 07507332417. Once received, the school nursing service will respond within one working day. ChatHealth 5-19 is available Monday to Thursday from 9 am-4.30 pm and 9 am–4 pm on Fridays (excluding bank holidays). Chat Health also has a 0-5 years text line for any queries you have about pre school age children: 07520 615 720.
Also new this school year is a website called Hampshire Healthy Families http://www.hampshirehealthyfamilies.org.uk/. The recently launched website provides health information and advice to parents, children and, young people and schools that we hope will be of great use including interactive games for children, a mums chat forum and information about what’s on in the local community.
Happy Summer Holidays!
The link below is a fantastic resource for your children to access across the summer holiday based around self-care and awareness but in the form of interactive and engaging activities to complete either independently or together with a parent or carer.
It is really important, this school holiday more than ever, that you try to spend time encouraging your child or children to look after their mental health and nurturing their self-esteem and sense of self. Part of this may need to include an age appropriate discussion explaining that everyone has mental health: some people have a really positive mental health and others may struggle to maintain this and have poor mental health. We don’t need to be struggling before we decide to look after our mental health, it should be something we aim to work on little and often no matter what our state of mind and wellbeing is to be preventative rather than reactive.
If you are able to, role model the activities that encourage a positive wellbeing and good mental health yourselves. This could include physical exercise/outdoor activity, maintaining a good bedtime routine and amount of sleep, eating a balanced diet as much as possible, socialising and interacting with other people (distanced of course!), doing things for other people to boost self-esteem and knowing when to open up and ask for help or just for a listening ear.
I hope you have a wonderful summer break and make time for yourselves, your children and your mental health!
Miss Megan Chapman
While we all wish for a sunny summer break and relaxing beach days, we must also consider the safety of the sea. It is imperative that you explain the dangers of water to your child while educating them on how to enjoy water safely.
The RNLI have created some amazing resources for your children to learn the basics of how to have fun safely this summer. Be sure to share these with your children – they’re in the form of entertaining video clips and an array of interactive resources with supplementary information for parents on the other pages of their website.