News

Magic Breakfast Launch

Dear Parent/Carer,

After being on a waiting list since the start of the pandemic, we are thrilled to announce that starting this week we will be working in conjunction with the ‘Magic Breakfast’ charity to provide breakfast to all students attending Oak Grove College.

Magic Breakfast believe that ‘no one can learn on an empty stomach’ and work across the nation with leading food producers to offer schools breakfast cereals and bagels free of charge.

From Monday in tutor times and emotional literacy (8:45-9:30am), students will be offered a choice of cereal, porridge and bagels to eat together. This is to ensure no student starts the day hungry as well as creating a fabulous opportunity for working on social communication and life skills.

Attached is the nutritional information for the foods we have been sent. We will also be using semi-skimmed milk and oat milk for the cereal and dairy-free margarine for the bagels.

Your young person does not have to eat anything and if you would prefer, they do not please inform their form tutor as soon as possible.

If there have been any recent diagnoses of allergies or medical conditions, we are not currently aware of, please also let form tutors know immediately.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Magic Breakfast for their support and generosity and Friends of Oak Grove College for helping to fund the set-up costs.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, please email me at the address below.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Ellis

Senior Teacher for KS3 Well-being and Behaviour

sellis@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

Magic Breakfast Launch Letter with allergens

DATE CONFIRMED – Covid Vaccination Programme for 12 to 15 Year Olds – 13th January

Dear Parent / Carer,

DATE CONFIRMED – Covid Vaccination Programme for 12 to 15 Year Olds

We have been notified today by the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust that they will be coming into Oak Grove College on Thursday 13th January to administer a round of Covid vaccinations.  Students aged 12-15 will be able to receive either their 1st or 2nd dose of the vaccine on this day.

Due to the short notice of this programme, it is important that you read the attached information carefully and complete the consent form as soon as possible.  Your child will only receive the vaccination if you consent to it.  If you choose for your child to not receive it, you will still need to complete the consent form to advise of this.

All consents will need to be submitted by 11am on Wednesday 12th January.  If you have any non-clinical issues, you can contact the NHS on 01293 227797. All clinical concerns should be directed to your own GP.

Yours sincerely,

Phillip Potter

The form for consent and the guidance has been emailed separately to families with details on how to access the NHS website – if you have not received this information call the college office. All the handling of the consent will be undertaken by the NHS and the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) team will be the primary provider of the vaccination programme and will be legally responsible for the delivery of the vaccine.

Letter to Families – 3rd January 2022

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Happy New Year. I hope you have all had a fun, restful and recharging festive break and that you are all looking forward to 2022 and hopefully a much more positive year.

Over the course of the holidays there has been significant discussion about the new Omicron variant, its impact on public services due to staff availability and the very high numbers of Covid cases.

Just to remind you of the arrangements outlined in my letter dated 16th December.

Tuesday 4th January 2022: college closed for teaching and learning but OPEN for LF testing for students.

9am Koa and Animus

10am Sixth Form and Animus

11am Year 7

12 noon Year 8

1pm Year 9

2pm Year 10 and 11

The DfE wants all students to have an on site LFT before they return to college. It is your choice to participate in the testing programme on site and if you have not completed a permission form these will be available tomorrow to be completed.

Staff will be outside college to welcome you and direct you to The Space or Rosie to take the tests.

If you do not attend for testing but you complete a LFT at home it is really important this is logged on the NHS website. This is available at this link: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

I am seeking to avoid the challenges of students returning on transport and into class and then spreading this much more transmissible variant. I strongly encourage you that all students should participate in this and if a student cannot tolerate the testing that everyone else in the family undertakes LFT.

Availability of tests:

If you have struggled to get access to further LFT over the festive period, these will be available from the testing centre to collect tomorrow. These tests are allocated to the college and it is important that people using them register the test results. When we have low supplies as shown on the number of tests recorded we can order more. If people do not record the results we may struggle to access more of them in a timely way.

You will be able to collect test sets even if you have not registered your young person for testing (but our availability is limited and is based on the number of people registered for testing).

Masks:

The DfE has published guidance recommending that students, who can, wear masks all of the time in communal areas and classrooms. If your young person can tolerate this please send them in with masks for this.

Staff will wear masks in communal areas and where appropriate in class and when carrying out manual handling/ care tasks.

Vaccinations:

All 12-15 year olds can book a second vaccination and those older can book their booster. There will be an on site vaccination for send jabs in early/ mid January if consent has already been given.

Family consultation evenings:

These will remain as on line events and further details will come out shortly.

Off site events:

These will continue to be to outdoor spaces only or specific leisure facilities where we can distance.

Provision at other colleges will continue and we will aim to undertake all relevant transition visits for year 11 and 14 students.

Coronavirus symptoms:

Please remember if you have a high temperature, change to taste/ smell or a new persistent cough then you should still self isolate immediately and book a PCR test. LFT tests are for asymptomatic testing only. A negative LFT result with symptoms does not mean you are safe to come into college.

I also advise if you or your young person suddenly feels tired or has a sore throat then you should also get a PCR test.

Changes to guidance in relation to isolation:

The guidance is now more complicated:

Since Wednesday 22 December 2021, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFT tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.

Close contacts of positive cases:

You will no longer be asked to take two PCR tests but follow this new guidance;

Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19:

People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Contact information:

If you change your email address or mobile phone number please let the college know immediately. This is vital in case we need to contact you. It is also important that families check their emails at least once a day. This is the primary way we will contact you about information regarding groups of students.

Staff absence:

As you will have seen in the media the government has asked specific departments to plan for high levels of staff absence. No guidance on this has been received by schools other than a reminder from the Secretary of State for Education that we close classes as an absolute last resort and for as short a time as possible and provide alternative learning options. In my view the lack of guidance on this is due to the fact we have been doing this for the last 22 months! We will only close classes where we do not have the appropriate trained staff to operate safely.

Potentially there are going to be real challenges in balancing the need for young people to be in college, minimising risk (remembering we have some very medically vulnerable children) and maximising safety. It is perfectly possible we will need to make different, difficult, decisions for different classes (especially in different family groups) due to the different contexts of each class. Sometimes these decisions are made at the last minute (especially in cases were people test asymptomatically positive).

I promise you that every decision and action is taken with the best interests of the community as a whole and our commitment to delivering the best service and the highest quality education is undiminished. I also understand that this whole, on going, situation is frustrating!

Opportunity to ask questions:

If any family members wish to ask questions about any of this members of the senior leadership team will be available to take telephone calls from 10 30 til 11 30 am tomorrow. If you phone at other times we will come back to you as soon as possible.

All of the team look forward to working with you in 2022 to ensure we provide the very best in education, care and development for all young people where “Everyone matters and every day counts”.

Your continued support and cooperation is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

Letter to Families 3/01/22

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Thank you for your amazing support this term. It has been wonderful to see the students getting back into ‘normal’ style learning, working in groups and succeeding with their staff teams.

We have had, at times, to be creative and flexible, to ensure that as many classes are open as possible and we are so grateful for your support in this, even when it has been short notice.

The challenges the Covid pandemic brings have needed, and will continue to require, a real team effort where every aspect of what we all do contributes to the greater success and safety of the whole community.

Friday 17th December 2021

Please remember this is an INSET day.

Return in January 2021

We are required to test before students return to college (where we have consent).

As such we will be closed on Tuesday 4th January and open for families to bring students in for a LFT test.

We will be closed on that day for teaching and learning but we would like as many students as possible to come in for a LFT. Timings are shown on the next page…

9am – Koa

10am – Sixth form

11am – Year 7

12 Noon – Year 8

1pm – Year 9

2pm – Year 10 and 11

This avoids students getting on school transport and if they’re asymptomatic, spreading it around and then spending time in college until they come down for a test.

The Rosie and the Space will be used for testing. The more students who test over the holidays and who take part in the return to college testing programme, the safer and more consistent the return to college will be in the Spring term. I cannot overestimate the importance of regular testing before the return to college in January. The highest level of the current wave is expected to be just after the return to school and we want to ensure we can provide as consistent service as possible.

Free School Meals 

Families entitled to FSM should have been contacted by us to receive their vouchers.

Covid 19 Vaccinations

The government have announced that all 12-15 year olds can have a second vaccination now and that this can be booked via the national booking service.

While the decision to have it or not is clearly that of the family, there will be a collective benefit in college if this happens.

Magic Breakfast

Staff have been working hard to get enough food together to enable many classes to offer breakfast and I know many staff do this for their own classes. We have an agreement with Magic Breakfast (a charity) to fund two years’ worth of breakfasts for every child in college. Exciting! More details to come shortly.

Opti-Beam 

A new addition to a ceiling in a classroom in the sixth form block has been installed and is a wonderful new sensory learning device called “Opti Beam”. As part of the consultation, the sixth form team asked for this to be part of the new build and Mia who has used it before advocated for this.

It is a great piece of kit that will support sixth form and Arts learning in a fun, sensory way. It has cost over £10K which has been funded from the capital budget of the LA.

The new build project really has enabled significant investment in our students and resources for staff to use.

                                                                                    

Winter Wonder Wheels – Dorney Lake, Windsor

It was great to return to Dorney Lake on Sunday 5th December to take part in Winter Wonder Wheels. We have been doing these events since their inception in 2016 and have had great support from families, staff and students who have continued to take part with the home events over the last 2 years.

In this event, 4 families continued to support the at home event and 2 families and 10 students physically went to Dorney Lake. Despite the bitterly cold weather, all had a fantastic time, made lots of new friends and received lots of free goodies.

Look out for details of the summer event which will be taking place on 20th August 2022.

Staff

At the end of this term we say goodbye and thank you to some colleagues: Carolyn Craig is retiring after many years’ service working individually and with class groups with many young people with very complex communication and learning needs. She has been exceptional at supporting the development of teaching assistants and enabling them to be the very best.

Lisa Moore who has spent her teaching career here and at High Down and has led and supported teams exceptionally well and focused on the holistic development of students so well. Her new role in a mainstream secondary school will enable her to put this into practice elsewhere.   Louise Curran, Caroline Gould and Emma Jhass are leaving the teaching assistant teams for new roles. Their hard work and care for individuals has been wonderful.

We wish all of these colleagues well in their new adventures.

I am delighted to have welcomed a number of colleagues joining the staff team this term:

Lisa Steventon, Anabel Rojas Leach, Janie Lewis, Peter Turner, Elizabeth Prince Iles, Abegail Donoghue and Rosie di Giovanni all as teaching assistants and Alison Cooke as a Manual handling Lead.

Sue Baker will be joining the teachers team in Koa and she will join the current class LM team sharing the role with Anne Binder.

Ellie Everson will be extending her teaching days and sharing this role with Jo Lee for the remainder of the academic year with her current Koa class.

The Sand Bay

The Sand Project (who year 10 attend) was evolved and staff attended the launch of their new site called the Sand Bay in November. It was wonderful to see 20 year olds who had attended OGC continuing in their journey of success and holistic development. One the LA officers also commented to me at the transition evening at the creativity of staff with three post 16/19 placements available now being set up by OGC staff.

Christmas Fair and Winter Fair

The fairs were excellent events that enabled students to practice the, much missed, opportunity to interact and use money and communication skills using the products they have produced with families. They all worked so well and visibly developed in confidence.

Thank you to all who supported this. We raised £587.55 at the Winter fair.

Carol Concert

It was wonderful seeing students performing again! It was great to have the opportunity in the cold car park to talk to some families and for them to see their young people performing. The Arts team worked exceptionally hard to provide an inclusive performance schedule that was as safe as possible.

Over £500 was raised to help support the Lion King Jr production.

The Lion King Jr Production

A lot of work is happening behind the scenes for ‘The Lion King Jr’. You should have received a letter to say that your child has a part in the show. Sue Yates has been doing a lot of work on the costumes already and has kindly asked if anyone is able to donate any plain brown, plain black or plain grey long-sleeved T-shirts and leggings or material/sheets in the same colours, it would be very much appreciated. They will be transformed into our wonderful animals.  If you can, please send them into college marked for ‘Arts Team’.

Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful:

Our college approach to behaviour is characterised by the following statement:

“Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful”.

All the community should be used to hearing this!

This “cartoon” is very powerful. I think it describes the feeling of many based on the last 22 months.

Dates For Your Diary – Spring Term

December 17th INSET Day
January 4th Testing Day
January 5th All students return to school
January 24th INSET Day
21st February—25th February Half Term
7th April Puzzle Day
8th April INSET day
11th April— 18th April Easter Holidays

Sussex Mental Healthline

The Sussex Mental Healthline is a telephone service offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems including stress, anxiety and depression. The service is also available to carers and healthcare professionals. You do not need an appointment.  They can be contacted on: Sussex Mental Healthline 0300 5000 101

The rest of this newsletter attached has information and photos of positive learning in college. Enjoy!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and we all hope you have a happy and healthy new year and get to take time with those you cherish and to rest!

#proudofteamOGC

Yours sincerely

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher and on behalf of the Governors and staff team

EOT Letter to Families December 2021

Winter Fair – Thank you!!!

A very big thank you to everyone who supported the Winter Fair today either by visiting or sending money in for their child to spend.

It was a great atmosphere and the students gained a lot of experience selling to real live customers!

So far over £300 raised towards the production of Lion King Junior – full total to be announced next week.

Carol Noble

Sixth Form Lead Teacher

Winter Fair – Thursday 9th December

We are really pleased to be able to open our doors once more for The Winter Fair on the morning of Thursday 9th December. Students will be running stalls to sell the items they have been working hard preparing over the last half term. Previously this has been a great occasion for us to come together as a community. However, due to the ongoing situation with COVID, and wanting to avoid anyone going away with anything other than their purchases, we are going to run a booking system for this event. This will help us manage numbers and avoid bunching in doorways etc where transmission would be most likely to occur.

Also, due to the latest government guidelines, we ask that people wear masks where at all possible. Hand sanitiser will be available around the hall. Transactions will be done by cash only so please bring your silver. Monies raised will go towards our production of Lion King Jr next year.

To help us manage the fair and to mitigate the risks around COVIb-19 we will be operating a booking system online. You will be able to book a 30 minute slot-hour slot at the following times:

This will help us manage the numbers we have on site.

Please visit https://ogc.schoolcloud.co.uk to book your time slot. (A short guide on how to add your appointment is included with this letter.) Login with your details and the following information:

Student’s First Name:

Student’s Surname: Date of Birth:

If you have any difficulties, please contact the Headteacher’s PA office who will be happy to help you.

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you on the day. Please be aware that with the everchanging situation regarding COVID, we may have to cancel this event at late notice. Your continued support in these challenging times is much appreciated.

Winter Fair – 9 December

End of term – Christmas Events in College

Christmas 2021:

Dear Parents / Carers,

As we approach the end of term and the Christmas celebration period I want to highlight the plans for the next couple of weeks. All of these are subject to change depending on COVID-19 rates.
Christmas will be a little different this year, although more like normal compared to 2020.
I want students (and staff) to feel it is Christmas and recognise that for everyone it will continue to be different and unusual. However, we want it to be as safe as possible for the whole community.

FE College Days:
Northbrook Met and Brinsbury College will be open in the last week of term, so Year 11 students will therefore be at college on Monday 13th December. However, OGC has an INSET day on Friday 17 December, so Year 10 students will NOT attend their Friday provision on this day.

Christmas Lunches will take place on the following days:
Tuesday 14th December – Koa and Animus
Wednesday 15th December – KS4 and Sixth Form
Thursday 16th December – KS3
A letter has been sent out separately about this to ensure all students who want one of the lovely dinners can book them, and replies have been requested by Monday 6th December.

Christmas Cards:
We will have the post box for Christmas cards to go in; the last date these will be accepted is Tuesday 14th December and then they will be sorted and issued on Thursday 16th December. Please include the class or surname of the student on all envelopes.

Decorations:
We will be holding a college competition for the best tree and best decorated class and will encourage the use of recycled materials for this.
Photos of the classrooms will be shared on our social media platforms.

Sign to Sing:
Students will have the opportunity to learn a signed version of a Christmas song. This is an inclusive and an important part of the total communication strategy we adopt as a college.
This will be released as a film on our social media platforms on Friday 17th December.

Koa Enterprise Christmas Market:
Students and staff in Koa have been preparing for their enterprise Christmas Market on 6th December and families will be able to book a slot to visit. Visitors will need to wear a mask. This will be based in the Rosie and a separate letter will go to Koa families explaining how to book slots.

Christmas Jumper Day:
We will have a non uniform day where people may wear a jumper (or any non uniform; please do not go out and buy a jumper just for this) on Friday 10th December. Please students can bring a donation in for Save the Children.
Thursday 16th December will also be a non uniform day.

Winter Fair enterprise:
This will happen on 9th December and families will need to book a time slot to visit and take part in this. This will run from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. This is also the day the raffle from the FOGC will be drawn. This is being organised primarily by the sixth form and again a slot to visit will need to be booked in advance. Please bring cash for all your purchases! A letter will be sent out separately with more information.

‘A Celebration of Christmas’:
Tuesday 14th December evening:
All tickets have been allocated for this: families who have been allocated tickets will need to ensure they arrive at their allocated time slot, wear masks when moving around, take a LFT test at home prior to the concert and only attend if it is negative. Also if you have any COVID symptoms please do not attend; no-one wants to take that home for Christmas!

Traditional events that we cannot hold:
Based on our risk assessments we still do not intend to have whole college events with all students and staff in the same space. Therefore we cannot hold a Christmas disco, whole college assembly or whole college carol concert at our local church on the last couple of days of term.

Please remember that the college aims to be a nut free environment and that chocolate selection packs are the easiest way of getting nuts into college accidentally: please be careful if you send any presents into college.
The return to college in January 2022 may need to be staggered as the DfE has instructed secondary schools to set up return to school testing on site for as many students as possible. I am currently waiting for the final guidance on this.
Thank you for your continuing hard work and support and we look forward to a lovely lead up to the end of term.
Remember Friday 17th December is an INSET day.
Yours sincerely,

Phillip

Phillip Potter
Headteacher

Friends of Oak Grove College New Logo Competition

The Friends of Oak Grove Committee, would like to invite your young person to participate in our ‘New Logo Competition’.

On the reverse of this letter is a template for them to draw what they would like the new logo to look like.

The competition starts today but we thought it could be an activity for you to do together over the holiday period. The closing date is Friday 7th January 2022.

The design needs to reflect Oak Grove College and our community and be eye-catching.

The winning design will be chosen at our January meeting and announced at the AGM in February (details of the meeting will be sent out nearer the time – everyone is welcome to come along).

The logo will then be used on all communication from Friends and on our social media sites. There will also be a prize for the student whose design is chosen.

In recent years Friends of Oak Grove College have raised money for many different items in school. These include a new minibus, trampoline, outdoor gym equipment, playground equipment, swimming pool equipment, leavers’ hoodies hoists and tracking systems, Acheeva beds and much more. Without this, school would not be able to offer the opportunities they do for the young people.

It would be wonderful to have you join the Friends and support the wonderful students at Oak Grove. Look out for our Facebook page and posts.

Please return any competition entries to Sarah Ellis Senior Teacher for Key Stage 3 Well-being and Behaviour.

 

Transition Evening – 9th November Y10, Y11 Subject Based learners and Sixth Form

A reminder that on Tuesday 9th November, we will be holding a Transition Evening to inform students/parents/carers of Year 10, 11 and Sixth Form of the services, further education provision, post 16/19 providers and support organisations available. This will run from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

This is a very important event where you will find out what opportunities are available to your child when they leave Oak Grove College. It is never too early to start informing yourselves. Providers will be available to discuss what they offer and answer any questions you may have. Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form staff will also be on hand to discuss the needs of your child and guide you to suitable providers.

To help us manage the evening and to mitigate the risks around Covid 19 – we will be operating a booking system online using an online booking system. You will be able to book a 1-hour slot between 6-7 or 7-8. This will help us manage the numbers we have on site.

Please visit https://ogc.schoolcloud.co.uk to book your time slot. (A short guide on how to add your appointment is below.) Login with your details and the following information

Student’s First Name:
Student’s Surname:
Date of Birth:

As part of the evening, Carrie-Anne Sillence and James Winchester will be available for Year 11 students to discuss Post 16 provision if you are still unsure of the options available. There will be 10-minute slots available with both of them which can also be booked via the School Cloud system.

If you have any difficulties please contact the Headteacher’s PA office who will be happy to help you.

Transition Evening – All students

Transition Evening – Year 11 Students

 

End of Half Term Letter to Families

Dear Parents / Carers,

The first half term of this academic year is rapidly coming to a close.

William:

The loss of one of the college community impacts us all and the death of William leaves a hole which cannot be filled.  All of those who knew and worked with him will have learnt so much from his tenacity, determination, humour and charm. In memory of William, his family are raising money for the Chestnut Tree Hospice, the MPS Society and Oak Grove College. Donations can be made via this link or sent into college in an envelope and we will ensure they are passed on.

Tributes and Donations (love2donate.co.uk)

The thoughts of the whole community are with the family at this time.

New starters:

Year 7 students and those who have joined in other year groups have had a wonderful start to their Oak Grove careers. Families and class teams have done a great job in working together for a smooth transition and the students are making great progress socially, emotionally and academically.

Free School Meals:

Free School Meal eligible families will already have received a link to a voucher for each FSM child for the upcoming October half term.

Students and families that are not eligible for free school meal vouchers will be able to access support for food and essentials, should they be required, via the WSCC Community Hub. The Community Hub can be contacted on 0330 222 7980 and is open 08:00 – 20:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 – 17:00 weekends and bank holidays. Further information can be found via West Sussex County Council website.

Covid:

I am grateful to the NHS vaccination team for an efficient and friendly Covid 19 vaccination session earlier in the month. This means that a large proportion of students have been vaccinated and this is clearly helping to keep numbers of cases in college low. We have had some disruption and I am grateful to the continued flexibility all are showing.

Other schools, especially where the vaccination programme has not yet happened, are experiencing quite considerable numbers of cases and we still need to all work together to ensure that this risk is reduced as much as possible for Oak Grove. In essence, my aim is to ensure that all students are getting a normal and full school experience as possible. This means that in other areas we need to be stricter; most meetings will still be remotely organised (Annual Reviews, for example), there are still limited off site visits and we have lots of windows open. As the weather gets colder it is vital that students come to college with a coat and jumper. Also please remember that if anyone shows any of the symptoms of Covid (changes in senses, high temperature or coughing) they must isolate and get a PCR test. The LFT tests are only accurate for non-symptomatic cases.

Staffing:

As in many sectors at present, recruitment is difficult.  This is especially the case in relation to tutors to support Covid recovery work and for teaching assistants. This does mean that we need to be flexible in allocating staffing across all classes and students.

Key date for Y10, Y11 subject based learners and Sixth Form students 9th November – Transition Evening

This is a very important event where you will find out what opportunities are available to your child when they leave Oak Grove College.  It is never too early to start informing yourselves.  Providers will be available to discuss what they offer and answer any questions you may have.  Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form staff will also be on hand to discuss the needs of your child and guide you to suitable providers.

A separate letter has been emailed to give further information on how to book on the evening to those students this applies to.

E-Safety

It is vital that families are aware and supervising young people on line. Here is some important information around current e-safety concerns:

What is Squid Game?

Netflix’s Squid Game is set to become the streaming service’s most successful show of all time, with huge numbers of viewers taking to social media to discuss each new episode. The South Korean thriller features some scenes of fairly brutal violence and is rated 15 by the BBFC. It follows a group of adults who compete to win innocent-looking playground games, but who are killed if they do not succeed at the tasks.

An unexpected success in terms of viewing figures, Squid Game’s popularity is beginning to spread across various online platforms. There has been a slew of content created – ranging from memes to apps – that convey the violence of the show, so it is important for parents, carers and educators to understand the basis of Squid Game and the potential risks to young people who might be exposed to it.

What are the hazards for children?

Squid Game’s 15 rating has not prevented clips and images from the show being uploaded onto social media sites such as TikTok, with the #SquidGame hashtag being viewed more than 22.8 billion times. There have been reports of children who have accounts on these platforms inadvertently viewing gory, explicit scenes from the programme, and parents and carers should be mindful of the prevalence of these uploads. 

The popularity of the programme has also led to online challenges based on various scenes, which see people taking part in seemingly innocent children’s games. On the show, however, characters are executed if they fail in the game – and videos of people pretending to kill each other after competing in Squid Game-style contests are going viral on social media, where they are easily accessible to children. 

What can trusted adults do?

As a parent or carer, keep a watchful eye on the content that your children are viewing. Speak to them openly and chat about how they have been spending time on their devices; let them ask questions, too. Ensure that the parental controls are activated on your child’s device and that age-restricted child profiles are properly set up any on-demand services available through the family TV (such as Netflix, in this case) to prevent inappropriate content being streamed.

If you see your child replicating the challenges from the show or hear them talking about scenes and characters from Squid Game, it would be a timely opportunity to discuss with them that the programme is not intended for children, that much of the content would be inappropriate for their age, and that the violence in the series is very realistic and often upsetting.

Work:

There has been lots of great work over this half term, it has been so pleasing to see students settle back into the more normal rhythm of college life and be thriving in their learning.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank families, students, staff and the governors for their ongoing hard work and I wish you all a great half term.

Yours sincerely,

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

Family Letter 211022

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