Simple Mother’s Day craft gifts you can make with your class

Are you looking for simple, inexpensive Mother’s Day craft ideas? Then look no further! You’re sure to bring a smile to mum’s face with one of these projects. From paper flowers and pots of love to simple beauty treats for her skin and hair – you’re bound to find something suitable here to use with your children in class or at home.

1 – Sea Salt Spray

Give mum "beach hair" for Mothers Day by making this lovely salt spray. Credit Flickr CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/sophie_gray/6011496046/in/photolist-aaduky-5j5RHJ-9tvieE-3RXCmo-dfuuCy-e3KvAm-8tKtrC-qZZ7Ep-Sp6AuW-FkrUfg-6t2VZ4-jZmZwR-5W6pbC-q7oGxK-g3mAzc-7JGotb-dfuwB5-fknK7M-8HamXi-gp2HE-e9Zm5-R4ebuY-ohK48f-GmxNGN-bUb8KM-GkhraE-qkqRmq-xgq4J-d263wE-adsy9p-SwCJY3-ML1nq3-KGyJrE-dfuw1S-6ri6oN-aqHxPb-ftWx8i-eDwf7j-27z8Er-2WBVY-5Nx9Zg-3TN4aq-dh43Za-8sb6t1-6rp8BM-aryDQ3-9UoGGe-fJKgKk-dmNZsK-apRQgv

Give mum “beach hair” for Mother’s Day by making this lovely salt spray. Credit Flickr CC

Either save a spray bottle which can be re-used or buy an empty plastic spray bottle from your local chemist and you can make this incredibly easy gift which every mum will love!

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Hot/warm water
  • Almond oil (or any type of conditioning oil will do)
  • Plain envelope labels/sticky labels to “brand” your product

Instructions:

  • Fill your spray bottle with warm/hot water almost to the top
  • Add a big pinch of sea salt and a couple of teaspoons of oil
  • SHAKE for a minute or two (you could do this to music to make it more fun for your class and keep them going for long enough to dissolve all the salt)
  • Design a label and stick it on
  • Voila! A simple yet desirable gift that mum will love (especially if you know she buys sea salt spray for her hair!)

2 – Forever Flowers

https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/4029666743/in/photolist-7966wP-dAXbnn-ay8wDh-nMtw1-e3HQ8q-5SQvcc-5wKqkR-BjQiQa-ooE92y-zDQKe-bVNEVR-ehohTp-7QMYKN-4coSUW-pvsjR2-4kfMUz-4Jjifx-eGSv6C-djcNYy-8eE2JC-pETmGP-61L8Da-dgrhUM-7gfcsF-ayh3qt-9tzEN-n4fWFU-iyqTJ8-pLTp8-rFjDYa-97bXZc-8K5Q7F-i87DmY-5pVxCa-dNdqYM-4c7tJb-bQs7bn-dL3ng2-nLZpTy-9a65za-djcQUn-pzMfj4-CeqDN-a3nJ8m-o9cnww-4J3Pis-5BYsA-2JtpT-7sbKMn-aE5VMu

Tissue paper makes for a more delicate finish to your Mother’s Day forever flowers. Credit Flickr CC

Turn old newspapers or coloured tissue paper into a pretty bunch of flowers with this fun, simple craft project

What you’ll need:

  • Newspapers or coloured tissue paper
  • Poster paints
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Instructions:

  • Cut newspaper/tissue paper into circles (you could draw around a saucer or something of similar size like a roll of tape)
  • If using newspaper, paint and allow to dry. Skip this step if using tissue paper
  • Layer 2 circles of paper on top of each other and  fold in half
  • Lay a pipe cleaner in the middle (tape to secure) and then “roll” into a rose shape (it doesn’t matter if they are messy)
  • Pinch the bottom of the flower together and fix with a piece of tape
  • Fan out the top of the flower a bit with your fingers
  • Repeat until you have a bunch of pretty flowers!

3 – Toilet Roll Vase (ideal for your paper flowers)

What you’ll need:

  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Poster paints
  • Newspaper

Instructions:

  • Ball up some newspaper and shove it into the toilet roll tube to form a base (needs to be fairly tight) – put tape over bottom to hold in place
  • Paint pretty patterns or flowers onto toilet roll tube
  • Allow to dry
  • Voila – a vase for your paper flowers!

4 – Sugar and Spice Body Scrub

https://www.flickr.com/photos/beccapie/2445836866/in/photolist-4J8y69-6sQLFp-HYq9M-pGg2Se-6XVWRv-bFnYKx-5ezy68-8PCwt2-74pVfq-dnKGHC-6nKN5z-S6x7Fq-hgMoXE-gAMN9q-hgPJG6-d2pVud-ieCYJF-8e9X6F-bi37CX-dBx7wa-74kFQi-8RUGGx-ajqh2C-8WW2Pu-FqiHuN-pq1gne-ij3JTn-jXtiMZ-bst4z7-bC2SHW-e8en5s-cjEzu9-9kexMg-dnKBPX-fs4ohK-oKDfiq-dnKGNQ-6z6eTA-JfdL3w-HiRtH2-9JY8WM-K4b1S-bwCTbk-dxobTw-9xt5J2-9xn9WU-5pxaiF-a5ZqKJ-9xnbw9-dnKBDt

Make a simple body scrub for Mum which smells divine! Credit Flickr CC

A simple body scrub which can be made using cheap ingredients and which mum will love!

What you’ll need:

2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs almond oil
1 tbs ground oatmeal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A container with a lid or a small zip lock bag
Plain sticky labels

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into your container. Design a pretty Mothers Day label for your body scrub. Give to mum!

5 – Love Pot

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kateed/14060834035/in/photolist-qGQH2k-SPFKU-SPJ5L-SQHp8-SPN8h-pwY2jU-67k9QK-8d9hPo-nqvs62-5D2s4E-7AV8gT-6WdyAR-8fWNHT-6WhweL-6WhvBQ-6WdxWR-5PB9yn-6WhAoC-6Wdxun-8byNn7-6WdwuT-6Whzfm-6WhwNL-6Whvr5-6WdwVz-6Wdw2k-6Whx6q-6WhuMW-4yKpQA-pycuwE-8fX61F-8fY71Z-6Whynh-6Wdt4e-8g2mxs-bb9cr8-6WdvjM-2pTHd-7VPd2b-so4PH-8fZSFo-8fWLJZ-8fXkAH-55Fgeh-8g2JHb-8fWAd6-d7tNMN-dkJhhG-7DCHb1-8fXEDR

Turn an old flowerpot into a pot of love for Mother’s Day. Credit Flickr CC

Mum will love this flowerpot with love sprouting from it – a cute idea for a Mother’s Day gift

What you’ll need:

  • Small flowerpot
  • Stiff cardboard
  • Wooden skewers
  • Flower pot “oasis” foam or some polystyrene
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • Paint/glitter glue and any other craft items for embellishment

Instructions:

  • Either using a template, or by designing your own letters (teachers may need to differentiate on this one!), Cut out the letters L O V and E from your card TWICE
  • Layer the two L’s and sandwich a  wooden skewer between them. Use double sided tape to fix the two pieces of card together
  • Repeat for your other 3 letters (you could also do some added flowers for your pot – extension activity for teachers?)
  • Now cut a block of polystyrene or oasis to fit your flower pot
  • Paint and decorate your letters (and flowers if you’re adding some) and poke into the flower pot until dry

We hope you enjoy our Mother’s Day craft ideas – if you do these with your classes please send us photos – we’d love to see how you get on. Or post them on Twitter and @axcis in them to share your projects with us and the world.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Are you seeking work with SEND children? Axcis can help!

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

Paralympian Danielle Brown MBE announced as new patron for nasen

As proud sponsors of nasen, we are thrilled to bring you this latest press release from them – watch this space for a guest post from Danielle, coming soon!

nasen, the leading SEND membership organisation for education professionals and organisations announced on Monday that they have welcomed Paralympic Champion, Danielle Brown MBE as their new patron. 

At 18 years old, Danielle joined the Great British Archery Paralympic Team jumping in as World Number 1 and hanging onto that position for the rest of her career. Danielle won gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and retained her title in London 2012.

She became the first disabled athlete to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in the able-bodied team and won gold!

Coming from a world where one tiny mistake is the difference between winning and failing, Danielle’s experiences have given her a special insight into what it takes to deliver results and achieve challenging objectives. One of her real passions is working with young people, helping them to take ownership over their future and maximise their potential.

Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of nasen, said: “Since 1992, nasen have been committed to providing the most effective and relevant support for all those working with children and young people with SEND.

We are extremely delighted to welcome the support of Paralympian, Danielle Brown MBE, and together with her passion and influence, we are excited to start working with her on raising awareness of inclusion within the SEND environment”.

Dr Adam Boddison (right) with Danielle Brown MBE (left)

Speaking about her new patronship, Danielle said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to become a patron of nasen. The work they do makes a huge positive impact to the lives of young people, helping them to maximise their potential and I’m looking forward to working closely with them”.

Danielle joins renowned writer and journalist, Fiona Millar who joined as a patron of nasen in September 2017. 

Are you looking for SEND work or staff?

If you would be interested in a teaching or support position at a school or alternative provision, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

Need help with SEND jobs or staffing in Manchester? Our recent hire can help!

Are you looking for assistance to find a new SEND job in the Manchester area? Or perhaps you need to recruit SEND staff for your school or provision? If so, then our recent addition to the Axcis Manchester team can help! Find out more about Thomas Faithwaite as well as how you can register to work with him and his lovely team here.

We asked Thomas to tell us about himself

In 2013, I qualified as a primary teacher and began teaching in an ‘outstanding’ inner city primary school in Manchester, and later a ‘good’ school in Leeds. I taught for 3 fantastic years and in this time, I had the pleasure of teaching students from a variety of backgrounds with a range of SEND including: ASD, MLD, Visual & Hearing Impairment and Cerebral Palsy. My class teacher role gave me experience of liaising with outside agencies, support staff and the school SENCo, as well as working with EHC Plans. I also had responsibility for organising enrichment activities for looked after children.

As I obtained my first permanent teaching role through an agency, the mechanics of recruitment had always been of interest to me and in 2016, I progressed into education consultancy. To date, I have worked across the primary, secondary and SEND sectors, recruiting staff on both a temporary and permanent basis.

My passion for supporting children with special educational needs was founded during my time in the classroom. Having gained first hand experience of working with students with SEND, I saw the importance of having a specialist provision in place and the positive outcomes this could achieve. I was lucky enough to work with a number of inspirational SEND teaching assistants who worked with pupils in my class. Their specialist knowledge and passion for SEND not only facilitated learning for our students with additional needs, but created a tailored environment they could thrive in both socially and emotionally.

I have a young family, so I enjoy lots of quality time going on ‘bear hunts’ and play day adventures with them when I am not at work. I also enjoy all things football and am a huge Leeds United fan (for my sins). I also like to play the guitar (or attempt to) and I stay active through running. Brake – the Road Safety Charity is a cause close to my heart and I have been a fundraiser for them since 2011.

Would you like to work with Thomas?

If you are seeking work (or staff) in the Manchester area, then get in touch with Thomas today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

Careers advice and SEND (Guest Post)

In this guest post, Careers Adviser Theresa Petzold talks about how she caters for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) when undertaking careers advice sessions in schools.

How staff can support careers guidance for SEND students

As I work as an independent careers adviser in mainstream schools, I don’t focus purely on SEND students. However, each year group will have a number of students with mild to moderate support needs, including some with an EHC plan. I typically see every student at least once for a one to one chat, either in year 10 or year 11, but there are a few additional things I do to prepare for students with additional needs. This is where the input from school staff and particularly the SEND team is extremely valuable.

The importance of background research and preliminary meetings

One of the first things I do when starting with a new year group is to look for any priority students, and SEND students are high on the list. This not only ensures that they have contact with me early on – and with that more time to consider their ideas and options, but it also gives more opportunity to have follow up meetings where required.  Sadly this is usually not possible for every student in a year group due to financial constraints, but I always try to make sure it is an option for SEND students and others with additional support needs in particular.

A student may be flagged for anything from dyslexia to autism, so once I have that basic list from the school, I will speak to the head of year and the SEND team to find out further details. These are incredibly useful conversations for me and allow me to check if the student would benefit from individual or specialised arrangements.

Tips for facilitating SEND students in careers meetings

I will usually meet one to one with a student, but this may be quite daunting to some SEND students – especially if they have never met me before. They may benefit from plenty of warning that they will have a meeting with me, and we may move the meeting from the careers office to an environment they are more comfortable in. Or I might see them for a few minutes while they are working with an LSA or similar, so they know who I am and are aware of what our meeting will be about. Some students may prefer to have someone familiar with them, like an LSA or a parent. This can also be helpful from my perspective – particularly if there are communication issues. Someone who knows the young person well can help to do things like re-frame questions where appropriate and also support the young person after the meeting, particularly if they may struggle to retain or reflect on what can sometimes be complex detail.

Early conversations with SEND staff also help me to adjust my approach. For example, I tend to use a lot of metaphors in my work, which is something that can backfire when I work with a young person who may take words very literally, for example those on the autism spectrum. Therefore, any tips from staff on how to prepare both myself and the student and how to communicate most effectively with them is gratefully received.

It is also useful to know if a student is comfortable talking about their condition/needs. As I work in mainstream schools, students are usually on the “high functioning “ side of the special needs spectrum and may have only recently been diagnosed. I have worked with students with recent diagnosis of autism and found that some individuals embrace it and are keen to talk about it, while others may still be coming to terms with this new information and find it adds to the anxiety of the situation. Therefore, knowing if they are happy to speak about this, or if a more softly, softly approach is better, can be very helpful to allow the student to get the most from our careers meeting.

I find that it can help prepare students for their careers conversations by letting them know that all students will have this opportunity and they are not being singled out (provided this is the case in your school of course) and where, when and with whom it will take place. It is an opportunity to chat about their ideas and worries for their future and is not just about choosing a job (in fact it is rarely focused just on this in secondary school). We may chat about GCSE options, apprenticeships, college and university, as well as how the world of work is changing and what industries or even careers may link to their current interest. It is absolutely possible to focus more on keeping options open if they don’t feel ready to focus on particular paths.

In general I find going “blind” into a careers conversation  isn’t a big problem and can even be helpful, as I don’t have preconceptions. However, for students with additional support needs, SEND or otherwise, this can be risky as they may not disclose significant personal issues or support needs that may affect options after they leave school. Having some awareness helps me to point out what support and opportunities may be available and how to access them, as students may limit their ambitions and choices where they really don’t have to.

Advice to schools

Please let your careers adviser know about your SEND students! It can be so beneficial!

Who are they? Why are they flagged as SEND? Would it be best to see them ASAP or would they benefit more from a meeting later in the year? Knowing these things will help your careers adviser to do a better job!

What should the adviser know about the student to support them as best as possible and avoid potential pitfalls in the conversation?

Is it best to see the student with a parent or LSA or would they prefer a one to one meeting?

Always get in touch if you think an early, or additional, meeting would be useful. Any careers adviser worth their salt will do their absolute best to follow up and adjust their approach as needed. After all, it’s all about maximising the benefit of careers meetings for ALL students – whether they have additional needs or not.

About Theresa Petzold

Theresa works as an independent careers adviser, supporting young people in secondary school and college settings, and allowing them to explore their education and career options in order to make the right choices for their next steps. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma and an MA in Careers and has been working in mainstream education settings, as well as with individual clients for 10 years. If you’re interested in getting in touch with Theresa for your school or setting, or would like to find out more about the service she offers, why not visit her website or LinkedIn page today?

About Axcis

Axcis are a market leading employment agency specialising in the recruitment of SEND staff for mainstream and specialist provisions. Therefore, if you would be interested in a teaching or support position at a school or alternative provision, why not get in touch or register with us today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

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Free Science Resources with Explorify

At Axcis, we are always on the lookout for fabulous and free resources to share with our audience, and this week, we take a look at Explorify. Find out more about these free science resources here.

What is Explorify?

Explorify is a primary science resource base full of engaging, creative science activities which has been designed to spark curiosity, discussion and debate. From video to hands-on activities, it’s easy to get Explorifying!

Why is Explorify free? What’s the catch?

There is no catch! Explorify is totally free. Explorify is funded by Wellcome, a global charitable foundation. Wellcome’s education team works to ensure that all pupils in the UK have access to a world-class inspiring and relevant science education by supporting education research, professional development and primary science. Read more about the work of the Wellcome Education team.

How do you use Explorify?

To get started, you simply need to sign up via the Explorify website. When you do this, you can set which year groups you work with so that you get tailored resources (you can change this setting at any time). Once signed up, you’ll be able to log in and use any of the available resources. You can then mark which activities you’ve used so that you can keep track of what you’re doing and avoid using the same ones again by accident!

What topics are there resources for?

There are resources available to support a broad range of topics, so whatever you are currently doing with your class, you’re sure to find something that will fit your needs. From Earth and Electricity to Space, Rocks, Plants and Sound (and much more) – there really is an outstanding range!

Explorify and SEND

Teachers from both mainstream and SEND settings can make use of Explorify. On their website, you can hear from Joshua, who is a SEND specialist who uses these resources. He says:

“For my class it has been a great learning tool; it has helped them develop in so many ways, through their social communication, their interaction with each other, their speech and language skills, their scientific skills. I think it goes beyond the scope of what it’s delivered to be, and it opens up so many opportunities for the children.”

Do you want a school job or help with staffing?

If you would be interested in a teaching or support position at a school or alternative provision, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

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Do you need help with SEND staffing in London? Our recent hire can help!

Are you looking for assistance to find a new SEND job in the London area? Or perhaps you need to recruit SEND staff for your school or provision? If so, then our recent addition to the Axcis London team can help! Find out more about Isa Gaynor here as well as how you can register to work with her and her lovely team here.

We asked Isa to tell us about herself…

I have been working in education recruitment since 2013 and I hold a Level 1 Certificate in Safeguarding as well as a Level 1 GDPR qualification. In addition to this, my younger brother has autism and I have volunteered as a support worker in a primary setting myself.

I believe that this combination of skills and experience puts me in a fantastic position to understand the needs of the schools I work with, and to effectively recruit appropriate SEND teaching and support staff for them.

I am passionate about my role because I firmly believe that every child should feel supported to achieve their goals, be they academic or personal. I help with this by making sure that I understand not only the skills and qualifications required by the school or alternative provision – but also the personality type that will compliment the children concerned. I then make this information central to my search for suitable candidates.

Do you need help to find SEND staff or a new job?

If you are seeking work (or staff) in the London area, then get in touch with Isa today to see how she can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

The winning school is…..

Last term, we ran a competition with our client schools for a chance to win a £250 voucher to enhance the environment or resources for their pupils. Find out which school won here.

Giving something back

At Axcis, we feel that it is important to give something back to the schools we work with. That’s why, last term we decided that for every new booking our client schools made, their name would go into a hat for a chance to win a £250 voucher for their school. Lots of schools entered and one was selected at random to win the prize.

The winner is…

Lache Primary School in Cheshire were selected using a random winner generator (we like to keep things fair!) Liam, their Axcis consultant went along to the school to present them with their prize.

What the head had to say

“We are delighted to have won £250 Amazon vouchers. We are a school that never stops and all our children are always busy and active with their activities, I’m not sure what we are going to spend it on just yet, but it will certainly go to good use. We are very happy using Axcis, the service is great and consultants are very approachable.”

Mr. Pullen, Headmaster, Lache Primary School (pictured above, left)

What our consultant had to say

“It was great to bring the voucher to the school today, The school is fantastic with lots going on and visibly happy students. It’s always great to give something back and I’m delighted to pass this voucher on to a great team at Lache Primary.”

Liam King, Education Consultant, Wirral & West Cheshire. (Pictured above, right)

Would you like to get involved with our next giveaway?

At Axcis, we often run competitions and giveaways for our schools to get involved with. It’s just our way of saying thanks for working with us! If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a great prize for your school or provision, why not get in touch with your Axcis consultant today to find out what our latest offerings are?

How Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Can Stand Up to Bullying (Guest Post

In 2019 The Diana Award is offering Anti-Bullying Ambassadors training completely free of charge to schools. Find out all about it including how to sign up in this guest post.

Bullying doesn’t just have an impact within the confines of the school gates. It can take place on social media, on the school bus, on online games, in youth clubs – and its impact can stretch long into adulthood.

A survey of 2,000 British adults conducted by The Diana Award in 2018 found that:

  • 55% said they have experienced bullying while at school.
  • 69% who have experienced bullying at school said their confidence has been affected as a result of this experience.
  • 81% agreed with the statement “bullying is commonplace online”.

The fact that bullying still has a significant impact on confidence in adulthood goes to show what a devastating experience it can be for young people. Bullying can make young people feel upset, uncomfortable, and unsafe. It is an experience that is far too common: it’s estimated that at any one time, there are 16,000 young people absent from school because of bullying.

At The Diana Award we are passionate about empowering young people to tackle this as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.

We know that young people are the best agents for change in their schools and communities. Through our peer-led Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme, The Diana Award equips young people, staff and parents with the knowledge, confidence and skills to effectively tackle bullying in their schools and communities online and offline.

The best part? In 2019 the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors training is being offered completely free of charge to schools.

To date the programme has trained over 31,000 young people from over 3000 schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and help ensure that the 11,000 hours young people spend at school are happy, safe and bully-free.

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors educate their peers on bullying, promote a culture which celebrates difference, take the lead on anti-bullying and online safety campaigns, and help keep their peers safe – both online and offline. Our training sets them up to be successful in these areas and will also:

  • Help to boost attendance and attainment by creating a happy and safe learning environment
  • Complement teaching and learning across the curriculum, including PSHE, Citizenship, and ICT
  • Develop resilience, confidence, and positive healthy relationships between young people
  • Provide CPD certified training for school staff
  • Contribute to positive inspection reports; our programme has been referenced in hundreds of inspection reports as good practice

One of the many inspirational examples of young people making a difference as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors is Hereward College in Coventry. Hereward is a college for young people with disabilities and additional needs. The Diana Award trained a group of students as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors who then decided to focus their work around celebrating diversity and encouraging students to be proud of who they are. They have worked hard to make sure that their anti-bullying work is inclusive for all students, and the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors have created a number of different versions of their Anti-Bullying Policy so it’s accessible for all. To see a video of their work in action, check out this video.

We would love to work with your school this year. To register your interest in attending or hosting an Anti-Bullying Ambassador training event, register your interest here. Further information about the training is available here.

Are you looking for a school job?

If you would be interested in a teaching or support position at a school or alternative provision, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

How to keep children safe online (and avoid Momo and the like!)

Keeping children safe online is a hot topic. With the likes of Momo and other questionable content floating around, how can we prevent our children from becoming exposed to such things? Here are some suggestions:

1 – Keep them offline

The most straightforward way of preventing children from seeing questionable content online is to simply keep them offline. By turning off the WiFi/internet connection to the devices being used, you can be assured that children will not be exposed to threats online. However, as a parent of a 5 year old who is already working out how to turn off parental locks and change WiFi settings, this method is one with limited usefulness…. so what else can you do to keep your children safe online?

2 – Monitor during use

The next most straight-forward option is to keep an eye on children when they are using the internet. By sitting and playing games/watching YouTube videos together, you’ll not only be immediately aware of unsuitable content being viewed, it can also help to be a bonding activity which allows you to understand and discuss your child’s interests. However, this option is not terribly practical if, like me you use such activities as a chance to take a phone call, do some housework or get dinner on… so what else can you do to keep your children safe online?

3 – Set up parental controls

A useful compromise between no internet use and unsupervised use is to set up parental controls. Parental controls are software and tools which you can install on phones or tablets, games consoles or laptops – and even your home broadband. You can also use them to help you block or filter the content your child sees when searching online. And family-friendly public WiFi can help when you’re out and about. Parental controls are also available to help you to:

  • plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
  • stop them from downloading apps they’re too young for 
  • manage the content different members of the family can see.

How to go about setting up your parental controls depends on what devices and applications you want to apply them to. The NSPCC has some excellent guidance on this, as well as a helpline you can call if you’re not the most tech-savvy person and find yourself in need of assistance.

4 – Educate

Despite your best efforts, children may still be exposed to content which can be potentially harmful. Whether it’s a friend showing them something on their unrestricted device, or a game or application which has “hacked” it’s way through your parental controls, the risk of exposure is very much still alive and kicking. Educating your child is also therefore an important part of making sure they stay safe online.

Again, the NSPCC has some great ideas for how you can talk to your children and agree on what’s suitable for them to see online and what isn’t. Regular, open communication between children and parents/carers is essential. They need to know that they can discuss concerns with you and you need to know that you can warn your child if games like Momo are doing the rounds, and what to do if they see such things. These games can be insidious – telling your child that if they tell anyone about it, or don’t follow the instructions (to hurt themselves or others, for example), that something bad will happen. It’s up to you to make sure they know that this is not the case! Most schools also now have days or sessions dedicated to talking to children about staying safe online so it may also be useful to see how teachers are approaching the subject and what resources they are using – you can then back them up and reinforce the lessons at home.

Are you interested in working with children and helping them to stay safe online?

If you would be interested in a teaching or support position at a school or alternative provision, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

Axcis March Giveaway: Story Cubes

March brings with it World Book Day and in honour of this, we are giving away a set of story cubes. Find out more about these cubes here and how you can be in with a chance of winning them in the Axcis March Giveaway.

About the prize

This original set is an ideal first pack of Rory’s Story Cubes pocket sized story generator. Simply roll the nine dice and begin your story – Once upon a time…. and use the embossed images to spark your imagination. With just four lines of instructions and no time or story length limits and no right or wrong answers, anyone can become a storyteller.

Rory’s Story Cubes are a fun way to inspire creative thinking, encourage social confidence, develop language, improve vocabulary and promote problem solving skills for ages six and above.

Presented in a little magnetic box Rory’s Story Cubes are suitable for travel, waiting in a restaurant in the classroom, as an icebreaker, for idea generation or to make learning a language.

The nine dice, each with an individual image on all sides holds a total of 54 images – this means that with every roll, there are over a million combinations to use for storytelling inspiration.

How to enter

Our giveaways are always free to enter, no strings attached! We offer several entry methods so you can either take a quick peek at our Facebook page, Tweet us or sign up on our website for work and you’ll be in with a chance to win. Follow the link below and you’ll be sent to our third party giveaway page (run on there to keep things fair and square) – where you can choose your method of entry and get your name in the hat for this great prize!

ENTER THE FREE GIVEAWAY HERE

About Axcis

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking SEND staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!

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