Tips for Encouraging Open Discussions about Digital Lives

Most parents frequently chat with their child about how things are going at school or what’s happening in their friendship groups – but those discussions often doesn’t extend to youngsters’ online activities. In fact, National Online Safety conducted a recent survey which found that only slightly more than half (54%) of parents regularly talk to their children about staying safe online. 

It can be an awkward topic to broach and, of course, it needs not to feel intrusive. However, just checking in with your child about their digital life can get them thinking about online safety and alert you to any issues they might be having. In support of Safer Internet Day 2023, our #WakeUpWednesday guide has some useful tips on potential ways to start those conversations.

In the guide you’ll find a number of useful tips such as being as honest as possible, discussing how misleading the online world can be and creating a ‘family agreement’. (Source: National Online Safety)

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Runners brave the cold at Scarisbrick

The ISA North Junior Cross Country Championships took place this week at Scarisbrick Hall and, as befitting a cross country event, the weather conditions were not the best – extremely cold and windy!

All of our runners did well in the testing conditions, but special mention must go to Prep IV’s Florence, who continued her excellent season, coming 17th out of over 100 runners in her age group.

Well done everyone.


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Would you like to fly my paper plane?

As part of their topic on Flight, Prep I have made their own paper aeroplanes and then used them to investigate whether they will fly further indoors or outside. They used metre sticks and trundle wheels to measure the distance.

After they gathered their results they discussed why they got the results they did and learned how the wind impacted them.

The children really enjoyed the activity and are keen to take their planes home and try them out again.

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Ordinary life at Ordsall Hall? Prep IV investigate…

Prep IV had a fantastic learning experience when History came to life during their visit to Ordsall Hall. We learnt about the types of feast the Tudors have, what they used to smell nice, how the servants lived compared to the Lords and Ladies, and we danced. We all enjoyed taking part in dressing up as Lords and Ladies, servants, farmers, jesters and merchants. 

Thanks to all the staff at Ordsall Hall for your enthusiasm and for teaching us more about life in the Tudor times. 

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite…

Prep I have been designing and making kites as part of their topic on Flight this term. We have been looking at natural and man-made things that fly as well as imagining where we would fly to if we had wings.

The children created their own designs for their kites and then used their technology skills to make the kites. We now have them displayed in our cloakroom and they are looking wonderful! Hopefully we can take them home soon and see how well they fly.

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It’s all Greek to me! Prep V bring history to life…

Prep Five travelled back in time today when we were visited by Penelope from Athens and Andros, a warrior from Sparta, each trying to prove that their city was the best.

Firstly, we investigated some Athenian artefacts. We enjoyed trying out the theatrical masks and wigs, looking at models of Athens’ famous buildings as well as pottery, jewellery and coins from the Athenian marketplace. We also examined a wax tablet, an abacus and a papyrus scroll showing the Greek alphabet from the Academy, and the rather unpleasant looking snakes and leeches which were often a Greek doctor’s remedies. 

Our next stop was the Greek theatre, where Ayesha was the evil, snake-haired Medusa and Alfie was the fearsome Minotaur. We also visited the agora or marketplace, where Emily and Henry – a rich Athenian couple – wanted to buy some slaves. There was a promising selection in Prep Five; poor Sam was chosen to work in the dark and dangerous silver mines, while Ruby was chosen to be a potter; both displayed excellent miming skills. Who knows, if they work really hard, they might even be set free some day!

Next, we looked at life in Sparta, a much more rural place with five villages each ruled by an ephor. With his white wig and walking stick, Keane played the part one of these elderly judges. Izabella was a strong Spartan woman who took her baby to Keane to inspect. If the baby was weak, it would be abandoned on the mountain side to die. Fortunately, the baby was deemed to be strong enough and named Heracles. Seven years later, the baby (now played by Daniel), was ordered to leave home and go to the agoge, the Spartan military school for boys. Pointing to the door, Izabella said there was to be no whining, and Daniel was to return when he had a beard in ten years’ time. 

Spartan school had no buildings, tents or dormitories but was just fields where the boys slept on the ground. They learnt to run, swim, wrestle, steal their food and most importantly, they learnt never to surrender or show pain. Disobedience was punished by a bite from the teacher; fortunately, Daniel behaved like a true Spartan warrior! We also found out that Spartan soldiers were very proud of their long curly hair which they thought made then resemble a lion with a long mane. Sam and Daniel carefully combed and oiled each other’s long curly wigs prior to battle. Next it was Oscar’s turn to be a Spartan soldier, and he modelled some heavy armour complete with a helmet, assisted by his faithful slave Oliver. The girls acted the part of harsh Spartan wives who sent their husbands off to battle with the words, “Come back with your shield or on your shield!” (In other words, come back victorious or dead!)

Next we learned about different styles of ruling in Greece. Jacob was a domineering king, who showed no mercy when Leonard dared to challenge his orders. Poor Leonard was ordered to drink poison and die! Ying Wun was a member of the rich ruling oligarchy and once again, her people had no power. Finally, Jenson represented democracy which was the method of government invented in Athens. We all supported people power with great enthusiasm!

We enjoyed two Greek games during our morning’s activities. Pattae, was rather like draughts, and we used black and white pebbles to capture our opponents’ pieces. Some of us showed great cunning and strategic skills! Next, we played an Athenian game of chance which told us our fortune. Using a dice, chance cards and a set of owls we had a series off adventures during which Ying Wun took the three headed dog Cerberus for a walk, Oliver and Adyan turned out to be geniuses at the Academy, Lucie married a rich man while Alfie successfully defeated the Persians. After lunch, we used our pottery skills to design clay coins. Many of us used snakes for decoration; Alfie put a one eyed Cyclops on his coin, while Ying Wun’s coin showed a beautiful Athenian pot. We left our coins to dry and went down to the hall to prepare for our performance of a Greek myth. We used singing, musical instruments, props and our acting skills to tell the story of Persephone and her mother Demeter, played by Izabella and Ayesha. Oscar was a sinister Hades, the lonely god of the underworld, and Ruby was the ferry man who helped the dead to cross the river Styx. Lucie, Emily and Olivia were an especially monstrous three-headed dog Cerberus. We rounded off the afternoon with some spirited Greek dancing based on the myths of Achilles, Medusa and Pegasus the winged horse. There was just time to learn about the goddess Hera, who sometimes came to earth disguised as a peacock.

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Cross country runners brave the frost

Well done to those hardy souls who braved the cold and frosty conditions last Saturday to run in the latest edition of the Salford Schools cross country race series. It was a tough competition with a big turn out of runners from other schools. Pick of the bunch from Bridgewater were Florence, who breached the top 30, and Izabella who got a personal best position, coming 42nd. 

Well done to all our runners.

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Ariya’s making moves in chess

Prep III’s Ariya in making waves in local and regional chess competitions. In a recent tournament – the Junior Trials – held at the Swinton Chess Academy, Ariya blazed a path through the field, winning all five of the games that he entered. This weekend, playing above his age in the U11 tournament, he won a silver medal, winning four out of five of his matches at the Kennilworth Junior Open.

As well as his practice outside school, Ariya also attends Mr. Wilson’s Monday lunchtime Chess Club held in the Prep IV classroom – new members are always welcome.

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Florence dances to success

Our very talented hardworking Prep IV student Florence has been part of a dance squad that has won the ICC Cheer and Dance Championships at the weekend. She has now been invited to the Battle of the Champions in July. Good luck Florence!

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London in Flames!

Prep I had an exciting morning today when they recreated their own ‘Great Fire of London, street scene on the playground.

Before Christmas as part of their topic on the Great Fire, the children created their own houses. Finally the weather was kind enough for us to go outside and burn them down.

Many thanks to Mr Lawrence and Mr Ward for their help keeping us safe and starting the fire for us and then making sure it was put out safely.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it really brought the topic to life.

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