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Headteacher's News 8.10.21

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 8th October 2021

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,


Last year we were very fortunate to be able to provide each child with a Chromebook or IPad so that they could work from home during remote learning. Occasionally, the Chromebooks are accidentally damaged, so we will usually arrange for the Chromebook to be repaired at our cost. However, if the damage was due to carelessness and preventable or if it was repeated, we may be asking you to contribute towards the cost of the repairs.

We may also ask parents to pay towards the cost of replacing lost charger cables. Parents may choose to keep charger cables at home during the year instead of sending the cable into school with the child.  We are not able to charge the chromebooks in school, as there would be too many cables in the classes and not enough charging points, so please ensure that chromebooks are coming to school charged each day, thank you.

Keeping children safe at home:

It has come to our attention that some children have been watching ‘Squid Game’ on Netflix.

Squid Game is the new South Korean TV series gripping Netflix viewers across the globe, following the plight of several individuals who are in dire debt and desperate for a way out.  The group are offered the chance to win a huge jackpot of money if they take part in a series of survival challenges based on children’s games.  However, don’t let the mention of children’s games fool you, as this show is anything but targeted at kids.

Squid Game is brutal and violent, with Netflix stating on the UK site that it has a rating of 15.

On the website for the British Board of Film Classification, the organisation outlines that Squid Game contains ‘sexual violence references, injury detail, crude humour, sex, suicide, sexual images, violence’.

The BBFC emphasises that this means that this ‘particular form of media is suitable only for persons aged 15 or over’. 

Please be advised that ‘youtubers’ and Roblox are also making links to this show and so your child might be exposed to the content on these platforms too.

We strongly advise parents to supervise their children closely when they are online, to regularly look through their search history and to only let them access age- appropriate materials.

Our school website has information and tips for parents on how to keep children safe online. Please follow this link and scroll to the relevant section: Useful links- families, health and support 

Empathy Day:

Today (Friday) is Empathy Day. Children will be talking about empathy and what this means.  Yr 4 showed great empathy to me yesterday in our assembly, when I asked them to give me tips to help me if I was feeling ‘cross’ or ‘sad’. They came up with lovely and very helpful ideas, such as: ‘talk to someone’, ‘think of positive things’, and ‘do something you like doing’.

We also talked about what they might do if someone was angry with them, and agreed that being angry back at them was not a good idea.  Instead they thought that they should try to figure out if the other person might actually be worried or hurt or upset, and that they should ask them why they were angry, so that they could see if they could help them.  Some lovely empathy shown there.

Coco the school pet: 

Stepney Park Primary School will have an ‘occasional’ school pet from next week. Coco is a 9 year old (63 in human years!) labradoodle, who is very gentle natured and great with humans of any age. She has great empathy, and seems to sense when someone needs some caring attention by gently placing her chin on their knee  or gently pressing her side into someone’s leg, so that they can stroke her. Coco will be coming to school to ‘look after’ the adults, she will mainly be staying in SLT offices, but of course she may also come in to ‘look after’ our children.

Like many other schools, the reason for having a school pet is because we know that children can positively benefit from interactions with pets in a number of different ways. Learning to look after a pet teaches them responsibility, whilst treating a pet gently and carefully teaches them empathy.

Knowing that a pet will never judge them and can always be trusted, can be a great source of comfort for all children, including vulnerable children.

We imagine that Coco might occasionally visit some classes to ‘say hello’ to children and for children to discuss how Coco might need to be looked after and to learn about dogs and pets in general. We also imagine that Coco may do some more intensive work with individual children.

We would never insist that a child should touch Coco if they were worried or if they felt they should not touch a dog for a religious reason. We would also always ask a child to wash their hands if they had contact with her.  Our classes are well ventilated, and being a labradoodle, it is very unlikely that Coco will cause allergic reactions. However, please let us know if you believe your child has an allergy to dogs, so we can ensure that your child is not in the class during the visit.

We will always make sure that Coco is supervised by a member of staff and of course would never leave Coco alone in the company of children.

Have a great weekend!

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.