Keeping children safe is a cause to which we are all committed, and in light of this I was pleased to welcome representatives from Leicestershire Constabulary into the Academy on the 24th November 2016 and again on the 1st December 2016, to present “The Kayleigh Haywood Love Story”.
This 5 minute film has been well publicised, and as many of you will already be aware, relates to the tragic death of a 15 year old local girl following online grooming. Her death highlights the very real danger presented to all children and young people, and it is for that reason that we want to provide all of our students with the information that they need to stay safe.
Students in Year groups 7 to 11, were all invited to view the film and to engage in presentations, during which the opportunity for questions and answers was scheduled. Parents and staff screenings were also held and the feedback from those who attended was encouraging. I am also pleased to report that the impact that this intervention had upon our students was notable. Many of our students had little to no awareness of the grooming process or the potential consequences of befriending or communicating with strangers online prior to the event, and the hard hitting messages left many visibly moved.
The nature and content of the film rendered this inappropriate for our primary years, but as we all know the use of technology is rife amongst under 11’s. Therefore, Y5 and Y6 also received a presentation delivered by myself and the attending Police Officer’s at the end of the day, to help them to realise the importance of online safety. This session was followed up with them all being issued with visual aids, to help them to remember the key messages. I plan to facilitate a Police led workshop in the New Year for our younger children to promote general safety messages via the ‘Keep Safe Club’ launched locally by Police last month.
Finally, I would like to thank PCSO Rachael Wragg, Gill Edwards and Jason Robbins for their time, knowledge and insight which ensured that these events were a success, as noted in just a few of the comments made by students captured below:
“From Kayleigh’s story I have learnt not to talk to people that I don’t know and I am really shocked how someone would do that to her”
“I have learnt what grooming is and I am now going to look out for symptoms of grooming and if it happens I can tell someone about it”
“Grooming can be fatal”
As an academy we will continue to work hard to keep children safe, and to ensure that all children are aware of the risks of the internet so all are safe.
– Rachael Mann (Deputy Safeguarding and Looked After Children Lead)
To view more photos of the presentations, visit our gallery.