Flakefleet Primary School dared to dream of being the Christmas No. 1 – Headteacher Interview

This December has been a big one at Flakefleet Primary School where, hot on the heals of winning the UK Happiest School Award, the seed of a dream was sewn in an assembly.  That seed has now become a full-on raging express train of a mission to do the seemingly impossible: To be No. 1 this Christmas 2018 with their single ‘Light Up’ with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s UK.

As part of our School in the Fast Lane Podcast, we wanted to share the power of what can happen when a community gets heart and soul engaged in a common goal using social media, particularly Facebook, as a platform. 

John Bidder (Blippit Social founder whose services support Flakefleet) interviewed Dave McPartlin (Headteacher) in early December 2018 about the part played by social media in this school community-wide mission that also raises money for Alzheimer’s.

Listen to the podcast & subscribe for notifications of new episodes on all platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts & Anchor

Along the way Flakefleet has managed to gain local and national celebrity endorsements from far a wide generating press, tweets, videos and photos. Who couldn’t support a cause like Azheimer’s? 

Pre-order ‘Light Up’ for 59p today!
Official Release Date 14th Dec 2018
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2RhcSkU
iTunes: https://apple.co/2AChJ99
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PyAIHf

Silver fox Philip Schofield doing his bit for Alzheimer’s and the #daretodream Chrismas No. 1
Daring to dream!

https://www.facebook.com/flakefleet/videos/1955317947894612/
Sir Chris Hoy gets behind the dare to dream mission!
https://www.facebook.com/flakefleet/videos/2324562607617272/
LEGEND Bobby Ball gets behind the dare to dream mission!
Press coverage on Flakefleet’s bid for No. 1 in 2018
https://youtu.be/Rv7lapLfAFo
Watch the ‘Light Up’ video

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT FLAKEFLEET PRIMARY SCHOOL 2018 AND ARE USED WITH PERMISSION. 

What has fake news got to do with your school?

Schools, much like any other organisation these days, can’t exist in a bubble when it comes to reputation management and engaging with parents.

Ofcom’s 2018 study of where teenagers go to get their news is very insightful and just as interesting is where the adults (parents) go.

What are the implications?  Here are our initial thoughts.

Watch on Youtube

Related:

Pudsey Bear Children in Need

Pudsey Bear

To help with Children in need we’ve created 3 Pudsey Bear Facebook profile Frames.  Here’s what they look like & if you want to jazz up your Facebook profile temporarily just follow the links

 
Pudsey Bear

Augmented Reality Children in Need Glasses

Get yourself some Children in Need augmented reality specs for your camera on Facebook.

School in the fast lane – a new podcast series

In this new series we’ve called ‘School in the fast lane’, Blippit Social’s John Bidder talks about the reality for schools of being in the fast lane & having the mindset/tools to engage with parents through social media.

Subscribe to ‘School in the fast lane’ today using any of these popular podcast platforms for free.

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Here’s Chapter 1

Is social media disconnecting us from society?

Digital human

One of the major criticisms of social media is that it’s disconnecting us, as individuals, from society and from real physical interactions.

But if a key element of ‘tribe’ is communication and connectivity then the digital world arguably holds unlimited bounds for tribes.

If the internet has heralded the death of distance, what do these new kind of tribes look like? And do we relate to each other in different ways now that so much of our lives are lived online?

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Tribe: Listen to the broadcast (30 mins)

Digital Human Radio 4
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In this episode of The Digital Human (BBC Radio 4.), Aleks Krotoski asks if rather than separating us, the digital world is helping us revive old tribal connections.  It’s a fascinating way to look at schools and their parental communities for many reasons so do have a listen.

Not enough teachers & parents know about ‘Guided Access’ on iPad / iPhone

‘Guided Access’ is not new but just speaking to parents & teachers it seems to me that not enough of them know they can temporarily restrict their iOS device to a single app – perfect for those occasions where their children may ‘borrow’ their phone/iPad or even just be on their own device if they’re lucky to have one.

Apple describe Guided Access as “helping you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available.”

  • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction
  • Disable the hardware buttons

Here’s how you do it in a video I shared recently with schools we support via our Blippit Social services on Facebook.

Double tap this video on a mobile device to fill your screen.

If you want a more generous option that gives a user more rope, take a look at apps like Our Pact.

The Social School Award 2017

Social School Award

The Social School Award was just launched on 11th May at the Lancashire Association of School Business Managers Conference.

The Social School Award is designed for schools who have embraced social media for connecting, promoting and engaging with others in lots of different ways.

A collaboration between John Bidder and David Mitchell over the last year has led to what is now such a wonderful opportunity for any school who has taken the initiative, led the way and come up with new & innovative ways to communicate.

If you want to get started and see whether your school could apply for this exciting Award that rewards your boldness in recent years you can start with the 5 step self assessment process today.

David Mitchell
David Mitchell

John Bidder
John Bidder

Book your March 2017 Workshop place & boost parental engagement via social media

Blippit Social Bolton Workshops

Book a place for this March & April 2017 at one of our face-to-face school-based afternoon workshops and amongst the latest good practice for schools,  you’ll learn what hundreds of parents had to say about what it’s like to have children at a school where social media is proactively used.

These are unique insights that we’ve turned into actions that you can take away and use in your own setting.

Bolton School Workshops

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We’ll not just be sharing this unique parental insight with you.  As part of the workshop you’ll get the latest good practice for boosting meaningful engagement and advice on Facebook’s new focus on ‘video’.

It’ll be fun (yes that’s allowed) and we’re also going to introduce you to some new apps that’ll reinvigorate your timelines too!

All School Based

Online booking is now open for 4 Bolton school venues.  More dates will follow in other areas too. These are half-day sessions that include resources and refreshments for £69 +vat  Existing schools who have our Blippit Social service already can choose the free ticket option 🙂

Visit www.blippitsocial.co.uk  information on Blippit Social in general.

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Supporting information for schools on Musical.ly

Musical.ly co-CEO Alex Zhu last year said:

“Today the very proposition of the app is not about creating music videos. It’s not about lip-syncing. It’s about a social network,” Zhu said. “It’s a community. People want to stay because there are other people. ”  Full Article on UK Business Insider

The app is intended for teens not tweens but last year found itself in a social media whirlwind triggered by a Dad’s story who discovered his daughter had been receiving grooming messages from a user profile designed to deceive.

This week, one of the primary schools we support got in touch to say they were contacting parents in writing to advise on the inherent risks associated with the app for younger children.  The age limit is 13+ BUT the trap here is that we all get overly focused on this age limit.

Seeing as it’s ‘you’ reading this post then the chances are we’re preaching to the converted and you know that this is as much about being aware what our children are using, open conversations and knowing how to manage privacy as  much as any age limit.

Useful to watch

We quickly made this video to be shared with schools to help parents understand how to control just how visible and reachable they are on Musical.ly.  This is all common sense stuff and applies to other networks too as you’ll already know.

Useful to read

Webwise is the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre which is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the EU Safer Internet Programme.

Musical.ly has this for parents

 

Why did some parents get sweaty about Christmas Sweater day?

If, in the name of science, you want to cause stress in the life of primary school parents there’s one sure fire way to do it.  Just change what the children have to wear in school on one day and then stand well back.

To amplify the effect, the following would be recommended for consideration:

  • be slightly unclear about the date for this variation in uniform
  • pick a time when parents are already emotionally roller-coastering along on their own journey towards a critical event over which they have little control
    • e.g. religious festivals, transitions across key stage or school, national charity events like Sports or Comic relief
  • include the information at the foot of a newsletter as part of a much longer list
    • also, use Comic Sans pt size 10 or another any off-beat font to dissuade reading
  • if asked, tell parents you told them already in this month’s newsletter, text, radio broadcast or personal address by the Head
    • this reinforces their sense of powerlessness to control even the most trivial variations in their life
  • forget that parents are only half-listening anyway
    • What was that last one again?

In short, for ‘pre-stressed parents’, finding a Christmas sweater for their child has the potential to festively and royally de-rail their normally stable emotional centre.

How can a sweater have such an effect?

Well along with applying one or more of the above top 5 tips, it’s probably worth stepping back a bit and looking at these two graphs about why people think they were bullied in 2016. Take a look at the top reason.

Schools are so nurturing, so accommodating and probably unlike any other setting a child will ever experience, aside from their own family unit, when it comes to putting their needs first.  Schools with the best intentions may quietly tell a parent;

“It doesn’t matter really – just something red would be fine!”  or,  “Just send them in with their usual one on and we can put some tinsel on it for them.”

In reality, most parents, having once been in primary school themselves, don’t hear these kind offers as intended.  They want their child to ‘fit’ or if they’re going to stand out it’ll be for having the most awesome sweater ever made.  Back in the day when primary parents were in school it is very possible that the top reason people thought they got bullied was no different to the 2016 survey.  Judging by appearance in today’s society has arguably never been more shamelessly normalised by popular media and at some time probably everyone has been guilty of doing it. Even us perfect people.

The instinct to protect offspring is hard coded and seemingly trivial things like Christmas Sweater day can be a trigger for this instinct to kick in.  People act out of character.

Should this kind of thing be kept out of school?

It’s a difficult question to answer but perhaps, in amongst everything else that school leaders and teachers bear in mind every second of every day for every child, by stepping back a bit and seeing where parents are journeying from and to we’ll all have an even more wonderful <insert religious festival or special event name here> time.

Wishing you all the best!