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Orchard Park High School

Safeguarding updates

If you have any concerns about your child, please contact your child's form tutor, head of year or the safeguarding team at Orchard Park High School. 

Safeguarding updates will be posted below and on our Twitter feed @orchardparkhigh. There are also links to many useful resources about online safety here.


The Happy Child app

The Happy Child parenting app grants you access to research and tips that will help you raise a happy, well-adjusted child. Years of ground-breaking research and findings in psychology, neuroscience and pediatrics have been curated into one easy-to-use app… for free!  It is available on the App store or Google Play: https://www.humanimprovement.org/get-the-app


Family First

Family First is offering all parents/carers a free digita; copy. Please download your copy from this link:https://issuu.com/sevenstarmedia/docs/ff_summer2024_digital240624


MET Police Central Youth Team project 

The MET Police Central Youth Team is currently running a project offering free online parent/carer engagement webinars in partnership with IVISON Trust. The sessions will give advice to parents/carers on how to spot signs of county lines, gang affiliation, grooming and exploitation. The input will also include a lived-experience speaker who will explain how they, themselves, or their children, became involved with gangs and exploitation. The charity will also offer free long-term support to anyone who needs it or believes their young people have been or are being exploited.

Download the flier here for more information.


'Sextortion' – useful information 

All schools in the UK have recently been sent information from the National Crime Agency, raising awareness of the recent rise in reporting of financially motivated sexual extortion (a type of online blackmail often known in the media as ‘sextortion’). Children and young people worldwide are being targeted.

This type of crime involves an adult offender (often from an organised crime group based overseas) threatening to release nude or semi-nude images and/or videos of a child or young person, unless they pay money, or meet another financial demand, such as purchasing a pre-paid gift card.

Victims of any age and gender can be targets. However, a large proportion of cases have involved male victims aged 14-18.

A child or young person is never to blame if they have been a victim. Offenders will have tricked, groomed and/or manipulated them into sharing an image. Find out more about online blackmail on CEOP Education’s parents and carers website.

You can download more information here.


Vaping – the facts

We have some useful information about vaping to share with families.

Please see the attached toolkit and the attached carers and parents' leaflet.


Cali Vape pens

As the commissioned substance misuse provider for the borough of Croydon, I would like to  support the young people and the schools that have been effected.

Change Grow Live (CGL) offers a range of interventions that support young people who are using. misusing and at risk of using a substance. They offer individualised support using evidence-based psychosocial interventions, bespoke workshops and professional training with a robust commitment to multi-agency partnerships that enable our young people to thrive.

Please see the attached leaflet and the website here: 
Referrals - Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service - Croydon (changegrowlive.org) 


Vapes

We have been alerted by police that over the past week there have been a number of instances of young people collapsing/passing out after the use of a vape called a Cali Pen. A Cali Pen is a disposable vape pen containing CBD (Cannabidiol).  There is little research around the long-term effect of any vape and, obviously, it is illegal to sell vapes to anyone under 18. We encourage you to have conversations with your children around the dangers of vaping and reach out for support if needed.


Crime prevention advice

A useful sheet from the Metropolitan Police about crime prevention and personal safety can be downloaded here.


Registering your child’s mobile phone

As I am sure you are aware, thefts of mobile phones during street robberies are rising in the Croydon area.

With the return to school after the festive season, it is a timely reminder that serial numbers (IMEI numbers in particular) of high value items such as mobile phones/tablets can be registered free on the National Property Register for mobile phones, laptops, bicycles etc. The website to register on is: www.immobilise.com

In the event that an item is stolen and subsequently recovered by the Police, if the item is registered, this increases the chances of it being identified as stolen and subsequently being returned to the owner.


Non-violent resistance workshop 

NVR is an approach that helps adults in caring roles to resist violence, aggression, coercion and control from within the family. They are running workshops in January for parents and carers. More information is available here.


Safety (to and from school) at night and over the holidays

It is really important you are having conversations with your children about keeping safe on their journey to and from school.

It is inevitable that they will be travelling through busy parts of Croydon and Bromley – here are a couple of tips you can share:

  • Ensure you look carefully before crossing the road and use junctions. 

  • Take your headphones out – although good to unwind and listen to music, ensure the volume isn’t so loud you are unaware of your surroundings.

  • Travel with a friend – work out if you have a friend who lives near you and agree to travel together.

  • Stay downstairs on the bus – although not always possible, try and stay downstairs where you are in clear view of the bus driver and adults who will be able to support if necessary.

  • Don’t take shortcuts – stick to main well-lit roads instead of crossing parks to remain as visible as possible.

  • Have credit on your phone – phones are a tricky one to manage, but if you are using a phone, ensure it has credit so you can contact someone in an emergency.

If your child is concerned about anything outside of school, their main contact should be their parents or the police. We want them to come and tell us if anything has happened so we can continue to support them in school.