28 February, 2019

There is much being said in the media about the latest online challenges to children's safety, health and wellbeing, The Momo Challenge.

Having received several concerned comments directly from parents, I have spoken to all of the children in Years 3 to 6 about their anxieties, worries and fears that radiate from this challenge.

The first thing I explained was the difference between real and pretend. We talked about the image of Momo as a piece of artwork as opposed to a real, living entity. I am aware that some children have been saying that they have seen the character in the flesh. I unreservedly let the children know that this was in fact a lie as the image is a Japanese artwork which has been "stolen" for the purposes of the challenge.

Secondly we discussed their "superpower". This is the ability to talk to others when they are upset, confused or scared. In talking to

others, they can protect themselves from harm and allow us to support their needs.

Finally, I made the difference between talking for help and talking for upset. I let it be known that any discussions around the challenge intending to hurt someone or make them scared were wrong and needed to be shared with others.

Once again, I believe that the best way to support and protect our children is to make sure that any online activity is directly supervised so that any potential threat can be dealt with there and then and important messages about safety given. It is far better for us to be aware and not afraid.

Helpfully, Parentzone have published a short, 3 minute briefing on the challenge with support and advice for parents about how to talk to their children about it. This can be found at

We will obviously continue to monitor, support and challenge the matter in school inthe best interests of the children. Our thanks to those parents who brought this to our immediate attention.

On a more cheerful note, I am delighted to launch this year's Mothers' Day challenge! On Friday 29th March moms, aunts, grandmothers and older sisters are invited into school to build kites with the children and then fly them out on the field. Further details will be coming out shortly.

Finally this week, and talking about moms, I know that you will all want to join with me in wishing Mrs Collins all the very best as she goes off this week on her second maternity leave. In her absence, Miss Burke will ably take over the role of Inclusion Lead; Mrs Kitson Phase 3 Lead and Miss Russell class teacher for 5B.

Have a great weekend!