28th February 2019
Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,
Thank you to parents who have recently brought this to my attention. I would like to share with you information sent to us from Leah Davis from Gloucestershire Police.
“I’m sure you are by now well aware of the ‘Momo Challenge’ – an alleged social media game that takes place on WhatsApp. We are of the opinion that this is a hoax akin to the Blue Whale challenge seen a couple of years ago.
Understandably, parents and schools are becoming increasingly concerned due to the intense media coverage and the story being further fuelled by ‘YouTubers’. Unfortunately this has led to some individuals adding doctored videos to YouTube and YouTube for Kids which have then been spread across social media as “proof” that the challenge exists.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind parents of the need to discuss internet safety with their children to ensure they know not to add / talk to strangers and that usage is supervised. Many of the stories seen have involved young children (mostly between the ages of 6-9) who have come across videos whilst using YouTube, an app rated for 13 year olds and over, unsupervised. We are also aware that some doctored videos have been added to YouTube Kids but the platform is working to get these taken down.
We would recommend that schools do not run assemblies on this unless they have reached the point where the majority of pupils are already aware and the school need to tell or remind them that this is not real. This is to avoid children who are currently unaware searching for Momo related material.
ParentZone have produced a three minute briefing for parents which may be useful to share: https://parentzone.org.uk/article/three-minute-briefing-momo-challenge “
On our Cirencester Primary School website, we regularly display information bulletins from Alan Mackenzie who is our safety advisor. In his next newsletter called Ditto, which is out next week, he will be providing parents with guidance and information about dealing with this particularly nasty media game. I will invite Alan in to school once again so he can run his information session for parents about the latest online safety information. He is well worth listening to as he has a wealth of experience in this pressing area.
Please check in to our Online Safety page on our website for his latest news.
'Caring for others' and 'thinking of others' are two of our school Values.
Here we have examples from our wonderful enterprising young people who have thought up engaging ways to raise money for charities which they wish to support.
We have a group of up and coming young choreographers who would like to offer an
After School Club to children in Years 2 and 3.
The club involves learnng dance routines set to music.
If you would like to join this club, please see Mrs Foster or Mr Archer for a letter.
The club is due to start on Tuesday 13th November and will run for the rest of this term.