Week A

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, teaching and non-teaching (including temporary and supply staff), governors and volunteers to share this commitment.

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre takes seriously its responsibility under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and existing documentation including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2014 relating to child protection to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure there are adequate arrangements within our school to identify, assess and support those students who are suffering harm.

Online safety information

The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. There are four groups of potential online risks:

  • Conduct:
    • Young people need to think about the digital footprint they will leave. It is easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important young people are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers.
  • Content:
    • Some online content is not suitable for children and young people and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for young people to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias.
    • There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.
  • Contact:
    • It is important for young people to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access.
    • If you, or someone you know, is concerns about being the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or about being approached by another person, it is vital it is reported to the policy via CEOP.
    • If you are the victim of cyber-bullying please report this to the Head of Achievement or mentor as soon as possible so that action can be taken, if the source is from a student of Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre. If the source is from outside this should be reported.
    • Remember you may be in contact with someone who is not who they say they are.
  • Commercialism:
    • Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications. Young people should keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, and turn off in-app purchasing on devices, where possible.

There are five key actions young people can take to remain safe online:

  • Protect your online reputation – think before you post. Content posted online can last forever and could be shared publicly by anyone.
  • Know where to find help – if something happens online tell someone.
  • Don’t give in to pressure – if you lose your inhibitions you’ve lost control; once you have pressed send you can’t take it back.
  • Respect the Law – use reliable service and know how to legally access the music, film and TV you want.
  • Acknowledge your sources – use trustworthy content and remember to give credit when using other people’s work/ideas.

[Information based on www/saferinternet.org.uk]

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Safety on a night out

Going out and meeting your friends can be a lot of fun, but remember to follow this advice to stay safe:

  • Remember you must be 18 years old to drink alcohol. If you are drinking alcohol, be careful not to let it affect your judgement or your ability to take care of yourself.
  • Watch drinks and food to ensure that nothing is added to them. If something tastes odd, do not eat/drink any more of it.
  • If someone you do not know well or trust offers to buy you a drink, you should either decline or accompany them to the bar and watch that nothing is added to your drink.
  • If possible arrange for at least one of your group to stay sober, in order to keep an eye on the others and see that they don’t do anything to put themselves in danger.
  • If you feel particularly strange after taking a drink (even a soft drink) or realise you have drunk too much, tell a friend immediately and make sure you are accompanied home by one of your own group.
  • Remember, alcohol can seriously affect your judgement and ability to make safe decisions.

Getting home:

  • Taxis & Minicabs:
    • Always use a licensed taxi or licensed minicab.
    • Taxis (Hackney Carriages) can be hailed in the street. They look like purpose–built taxis or black cabs and have an illuminated taxi sign on the roof.
    • Licensed minicabs cannot be hailed in the street. They must be pre-booked. The driver should have ID and the vehicle will have some sort of license displayed on it.
    • Always carry the telephone number of a trusted, licensed company with you.
    • When booking a taxi or minicab, ask for the driver’s name, as well as the make and colour of the car. Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive – is it the taxi or minicab you ordered?
    • Sharing a taxi or minicab with a friend and sitting in the back of the car are good safety strategies.
  • Buses/trains:
    • Know where you are going and which stop you need. Check departure times, especially of last buses.
    • Try and have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so your purse or wallet is out of sight.
    • Wait for a bus or train in a well-lit place near other people whenever possible.
    • Carry extra money in case you get stranded and need to take another bus, train or cab.
  • Walking
    • Whenever possible, stick to well-lit, busy areas where you can be clearly seen and where you can clearly see other people.
    • Never be tempted to take a risky short cut, e.g. through a quiet section of the park or down a deserted alleyway.
    • You need to stay alert to your surroundings at all times because the sooner you become aware of potential danger, the easier it is to avoid it.
    • Think about carrying a personal alarm with you, which can be used to disorientate and shock an attacker.

Carrying a mobile phone is also a good idea in case of emergencies but keep it concealed and only use it when you have to.

Always act on your instincts – if something looks or feels wrong it probably is, so don’t wait for your fears to be confirmed, get away from the situation as quickly as possible.

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Driving safely

Last year over 2,000 people were injured on roads in Thames Valley and Hampshire and an average of 4 young people per week were killed or seriously injured. Young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash on the roads, often due to inexperience and a lack of knowledge of the risks. Around 1 in 4 deaths on the road is aged 17-24. Road accidents are the biggest killer of 15-24 year olds.

The facts are that every day (2010 DFT):  

  • 9 people are killed on British roads
  • 62 people are seriously injured and a further
  • 505 have slight injuries.

Many of the 62 serious injuries a day are life-changing, such as brain damage, limb loss and paralysis. 

What influences the way young people drive?

  • The media – some magazines, websites, TV programmes and films glamorise fast cars and thrill-seeking behind the wheel
  • Media coverage for road crashes – given that 9 people die every day on UK roads, there is not much media coverage for road crashes. Most road deaths are not covered in national media because they are such an every day event nationally.
  • Your parents/carers/other older family members
  • Your friends (especially if you give each other lifts) – do you encourage each other to behave in a safe way? Or do you feel under pressure to take risks in their presence?

The ‘Fatal Four’:

There are four main reasons for crashes and these are generally termed the Fatal Four:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Speed
  • Impairment (by drink, drugs or tiredness)
  • Distraction, e.g. by passengers, music, mobile/tablet technologies, social media, etc.

Research shows that young drivers are more likely to crash if they have passengers. This may be because: 

  • The driver may be more likely to show off or thrill-seek by taking risks like speeding, and trying to pull off dangerous manoeuvres.
  • It may be easier for the driver to be distracted by what their passengers are saying or doing
  • The driver and passengers may be less likely to belt up (especially the back seat passengers if they’re all crammed in) because of being worried about being regarded as boring or uncool
  • The passengers may be worried about telling the driver to slow down or drive more carefully because they think they’ll be regarded as boring

Consequences of dangerous driving:

Driving safely is the smart option for a number of reasons:

  • One consequence of crashing is cost. If you stay crash-free, you’ll save hundreds of pounds in insurance costs as you build up a no-claim bonus and your premiums decrease year on year.
  • If you break the law behind the wheel, you face a range of possible fines
    • From £60 for speeding
    • Up to £5,000 for the offence of ‘dangerous driving’.
    • If you cause a death on the road, the fine for causing ‘death by dangerous driving’ is unlimited.
  • Lose your licence. In your first two years after passing your test, you only have to accumulate six penalty points to lose your licence (after these first two years, you lose your licence after accumulating 12 points). That means in your first two years of driving, you only have to get flashed three times by a speed camera, for example, to lose your licence. Losing your licence, or even accumulating a few penalty points can have a major impact on your life. When you leave school you may need to drive for your work. Many jobs involve driving as part of the work and therefore require a clean driving licence. Losing your licence could have a big impact on your leisure time too – for example, you may drive to visit a girlfriend or boyfriend or family, or to attend a sports club. If you lose your licence it may also mean that any money you spent on learning to drive and/or buying a vehicle has been wasted.
  • You, your passengers, other road users or pedestrians could suffer life changing injuries or even death. Every year, 1,885 under 21 year-olds are convicted of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ and ‘dangerous driving’.
    • You could spend up to two years in prison for ‘dangerous driving’
    • Your could spend up to fourteen years in prison for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’

The ‘Fab Four’:

A simple plan for safe driving:

  • Never drive while impaired by drink or drugs or when tired
  • Never speed, stay within the speed limit
  • Always belt up (and make sure everyone else does too)
  • Don’t drive distracted

Students must put safety first and stand up for safety in situations where there may be peer pressure to act dangerously. If you are giving your friends a lift, what can you do to ensure they’re safe? Possible ideas include:

  • Making sure they’re all belted in before setting off
  • Telling them to tone it down if they’re being noisy and distracting you
  • Focusing on getting you all there in one piece, rather than trying to impress them with cornering at high speed, overtaking, etc.
  • Ensuring you’re focused and alert for the journey
  • Staying within speed limits
  • Not driving on drink or drugs

[Statistics provided by Gloucestershire County Council, Road Safety]

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Useful websites

Education from the National Crime Agency

Child Exploitation and Online Protection

Safer Internet

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust


Government's Learning to drive