Useful Links and Information to support the Harrodian Prep Pastoral Programme
In addition to offering pastoral support to our pupils, we also offer advice to our parent/guardian community. We regularly recommend resources from advisory organisations and also invite external speakers to talk to both parents and pupils about potential pastoral concerns. Our pastoral programme of events is normally customised on a termly basis, depending on the requirements of individual year groups.
Online safety, social media, puberty and body changes are areas that we always focus on and will continue to do so. We also offer support, every year, to our PP3 pupils leaving the Pre-Prep and moving into the Prep School in Year 4. Please find more details below:
Online Safety, Mobile Phones, Social Media and Video Games
A whole topic is dedicated to internet safety as part of our PSHE sessions at school. We also have a number of nominated Social Media Senior Prefects, who work with children in small groups, to talk about age restrictions and the risks involved but also to give tips on responsible use.
Peter Cowley, ICT and Online Safety Advisor for Achieving For Children in Richmond, is regularly invited by our Prep Management Team to deliver talks to both our Prep pupils and parents. He is a qualified teacher and CEOP ambassador and offers expert advice and guidance on internet safety. Please find below (in our downloads section), Peter Cowley's parental guide to privacy settings and how children's devices need to be properly configured before use. He also recommends further reading on Europol, a site that outlines police requirements regarding privacy settings.
Higher up the school, in the Upper Prep, a company called ID You (http://www.idyou.org.uk) have worked with both our girls and boys in the 11s and 12s to inspire them to deal with the challenges they face in day to day life but in particular with online bullying, social media and identity.
With regards to mobile phone usage, we understand that some Lower Prep pupils may need a phone but we strongly recommend that they do not have access to social networking accounts. There may be older children in the household, so if your child does have a mobile device, we recommend that you frequently monitor your child’s account to enforce responsible use. All phones brought into school must be switched off and put in bags from 8.30am until 4.10pm. Follow the link below for some guidance.
Instagram and Facebook accounts are for people aged 13 and over. The School does not condone the use of this site for any pupil under this age and it is the responsibility of the parent to monitor this site, if permission is granted by them. For advice on parental monitoring of Instagram/ Facebook and how to delete accounts please follow the links below:
Kingston and Richmond Local Safeguarding Children Board also offer some useful advice with regards to setting parental controls on phones, tables and games consoles. They also urge parents/guardians to heed the age ratings on video games and game apps. The PEGI ratings 12, 16 and 18 are legally enforceable. The police are recommending to schools that, where they are aware that a parent has permitted a young child to play an 18-rated game, they consider making a referral to social services on the grounds of neglect. The Board also encourages parents to involve themselves in their kids’ online worlds, to ask questions and find out what they are up to. For more information please follow the link below:
http://kingstonandrichmondlscb.org.uk/media/upload/fck/file/Top three tips for parents and carers for safeguarding children online.pdf
Puberty & Body Changes
To prepare Prep pupils for changes in their bodies and the onset of puberty, there are also a series of talks organised for them. They are split into single sex groups to discuss the physical and emotional changes that they will be going through and also have the opportunity to ask questions in a sensitive manner and have these answered appropriately.
Here is a link to an article which you might find useful to read:
Pre-Prep to Prep Transition
We have a three-pronged approach to our transition process: 1) parents are given a detailed presentation by the Head of Lower Prep all about life in the 8s/Year 4 (please see the link to the presentation below), 2) pupils (both in PP3 and the 8s) are provided the opportunity to get to know each other and become friends over a special morning or afternoon of team challenges and fun activities; 3) taster lessons give our PP3 pupils the chance to meet new teachers and to experience life in the Prep School alongside a dedicated buddy from the 8s/Year 4.