At Orchard Mead Academy we are absolutely committed to creating a happy and safe environment for all members of our academy community. We work closely with students, their parents and carers in order to ensure that our young people are safe both inside and outside of school.

Students are taught how to keep themselves safe through PSHE lessons, tutorials and other wider experiences such as taking part in workshops and watching performances. At Orchard Mead Academy we aim to ensure that all students learn how to keep themselves safe both on and off-line, how to have safe and healthy relationships and how to avoid exploitation.

The academy has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular with the police, Children’s Services and Health. Schools are not able to investigate concerns but have a legal duty to refer any concerns that they do have on to the most relevant agent. In most instances, the academy will be able to inform the parents/carer of its need to make a referral and will ensure that the parent/carer is fully informed of the action that the school has taken. However, on occasion the academy may be advised by Children’s Social Care or by the police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The school follows legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child.

To ensure that all members of our academy are safe and well we liaise closely with the following agencies:

• Local Safeguarding and Children Board
• Children and Young People’s Services
• Child Protection Unit
• School Health
• Educational Psychology
• Open Door Leicester
• Looked After Children Service

Safeguarding Team

Ms Katie Lowe
Vice Principal
Email: [email protected]

Ms Vicki Hill
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Ms Molly Springthorpe
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Ms Francesca Roscoe
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Miss Leah Reeve
Alternative Provision
Email: [email protected]

Miss Kate Hulbert
The Grove
Email: [email protected]

Mrs Harpreet Sahib
Designated Teacher, Looked After Children
Email: [email protected]

Mrs Sarah Ford
School Counsellor
Email: [email protected]

If you have concerns about the wellbeing of a child please contact us via the school’s reception on 0116 2413371, asking for a member of the Safeguarding Team. Alternatively, you can email us: [email protected]. Please note, this email address is not manned 24 hours a day and is therefore not suitable for emergencies.

In the event of a serious concern outside of school hours you should contact: Children’s Social Care (Duty and Advice): 0116 4541005 or the Police 101/999.

‘PREVENT’ is short for ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ and is a joined up safeguarding approach between partner agencies which aims to protect vulnerable people from extremism.  The overall aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism by raising awareness of the issues and providing practical education and support.

There are many factors that can make someone vulnerable to radicalisation and these can apply to anyone of any age, gender or background.  It is important that we stay vigilant to changes in our young people and speak out if something doesn’t feel right.  It is important to note that seeking support from PREVENT is unlikely to lead to any criminal outcome – PREVENT aims to support someone before activity becomes criminal by re-educating them and helping them to turn away from extremist views or ideas.

The following list is provided as possible vulnerabilities which might make a person more at risk of being exploited.  Having a concern which links to one of these vulnerabilities does not necessarily mean someone is being radicalised. There can be other explanations behind the behaviours and we always need to consider the bigger picture and full context when considering what a behaviour might be communicating.

Some possible vulnerabilities and indicators might include:

  • Intolerance of others views or beliefs
  • Unwillingness to discuss own views
  • An obsessive and/or angry desire for change
  • Spending long periods online, looking at or sharing extremist views
  • Isolating self from friends and family
  • Looking to blame others
  • Need for belonging, identity or meaning

Acting early and seeking support is the most effective way to turn someone away from extremism, we know that it is possible to make a difference through education and specialist support.

In school, we might refer to PREVENT or our PREVENT Education Coordinator to seek advice if a child presents with concerning views or behaviours.  By doing so we can work together to identify what the concerns are and what the most effective support might be.  Wherever possible, we will work with parents and carers to do this.  If you are concerned about a child and want to discuss this with the school please do not hesitate to get in touch with us: [email protected] or by calling 0116 2413371 and asking to speak to a DSL.

You can find out more about PREVENT, the available support and what to do if you have a concern by clicking the links below:

To find out more about the signs of radicalisation, please look at this information provided by ACT Early

For tips on talking to young people about this issue, please click here

For support in seeking advice and acting early in relation to a concern, please click here

Our school is an Operation Encompass School.

Operation Encompass is a joined up approach between police and schools to help to share information regarding Domestic Violence incidents to help schools to take immediate action to support a child when they return to school.  Operation Encompass will also provide information connected to incidents where a child has gone missing or where they have experienced other difficulties in the home likely to impact on them and their wellbeing.

Operation Encompass ensures that there is a telephone call or email notification to a school’s trained to the DSL, usually Ms Lowe, prior to the start of the next school day after an incident.  This sharing of information enables appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.

Our Designated Safeguarding Lead and our Deputies have undertaken Key Adult training.  In addition, all staff have received training in connection with Domestic Violence, Missing Episodes and the role of Operation Encompass.

Please click here to read our letter to parents sent in September 2022

Please click here to read Operation Encompass’s information to parents

Sexual Behaviour

It is natural and normal for children and young people to develop and express their sexuality, this may be done through play, talk, questions and conversations, as well as through touch.  It can be helpful to think about sexual behaviour demonstrated by children on a continuum, from healthy to harmful.  Essentially, healthy behaviours are those which are typical for the child’s age, which are enjoyable and mutually consensual, whereas potentially harmful behaviours are those which would not be appropriate for a child’s age, which might be excessive or compulsive or where there is a significant difference in age or power.

As a parent or carer, children will look to you to model healthy relationships and to help them to navigate this area of their lives.  As with everything, talking to your child about healthy relationships from an early age will be beneficial for their future. It can also be a good idea to ‘drip feed’ information rather than go for ‘The Talk’.

Some things that you can go through with your child to help inform safe and healthy choices might be:

  • Discussing the issue of consent and the importance of gaining and/or giving permission in relation to sexual activity of any kind
  • Helping them to have the confidence to say no to things that they don’t want to do
  • Helping them to understand that nobody has the right to ask them to do anything that they are not comfortable with
  • Letting them know that sexual activity should be enjoyed by both partners
  • Discussing the importance of trust and respect

Parents and carers can get more information regarding healthy and harmful sexual behaviours by reading this guidance from ThinkUKnow

Finding out that your child has done something which might be potentially sexually harmful is likely to be upsetting for everyone involved.  It is important to try to stay calm and listen to your child.  Some tips might include:

  • Take what is being said seriously
  • Talk to your child to help you to understand what has happened – let them know you will listen without losing your temper
  • Let your child know that there is help and support and that you will help to find it
  • Seek support from professionals
  • Find someone that you can talk freely to.

Remember, if you hear information that makes you suspect a child has been seriously harmed or is at risk of harm, you must report this.  You can call the police (101, non-emergency/999, emergency) or report to Children’s Social Care (0116 24541004)

The Leicester City Safeguarding Board have produced information for parents and carers who’s child may have been involved in a potentially harmful sexual behaviour.  The leaflet gives information on what might happen, who might be involved and how everyone will be supported.  You can read that information here

Child Sexual Exploitation is often known as CSE.  CSE is a form of child abuse where a child is groomed into sexual activity, often in exchange for something such as money, gifts or alcohol.  This is always abuse, even if the acts themselves seem consensual.  You can read more about this important topic, how to spot the signs and how to seek help by reading this leaflet produced by Leicester City Safeguarding Board

The children’s charity, Barnardo’s has also produced helpful information on this topic on their website.  You can find it here

Our children are likely to spend significant periods of their day online, whether this be at school as part of their learning or at home.  Whilst there are undoubtedly great benefits to the internet and being online, we must also be aware of the potential downsides and take action to help our children to navigate these.

At school

Online safety is a focus in all areas of the school and staff will regularly reinforce online safety messages across the curriculum.

Within our Growth Curriculum, students will learn about the online world, how to manage risks and how to keep themselves safe in an age appropriate way.  As examples:

  • Yr7 Online Bullying
  • Yr8 Online Gambling and Gaming
  • Yr9 Online Grooming
  • Yr9 Extremism and Radicalisation
  • Yr10 Online Financial Exploitation

A full description of all of our Growth Curriculum content can be found under the Curriculum section of our website.

Students also specifically learn about online safety within their ICT and Computer Science lessons, which covers:

  • How to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely
  • Where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies

Key messages connected to online safety are also reinforced through planned assemblies, tutorials and in-school events.

In school, we have a range of measures to help keep students safe from online harms.  Our filtering systems are sophisticated, age-appropriate and will block automatically all sites on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) List.  All internet and email use is monitored closely, our systems will also alert the DSL to any searches or content that may be of concern so that swift action can be taken.

The school has in place an Acceptable Users Policy which students and staff agree to follow.

At Home

We know that parents and carers will also want to take steps to keep their children safe from online harms when outside of school.  The world of technology is a fast-paced one and keeping up with the latest developments can be tricky.

It’s a good idea to talk to your child regularly about what they are doing online so that the lines of communication are open, you can use this time to let them know that you are interested in their lives and that they can always come to you for help if they need to.  Conversation starters could be:

  • What sites do you enjoy looking at and why?
  • What do you use for chatting to friends?  How do those sites work?
  • What do you already know about online safety?
  • What would you do if you saw or heard something worrying when you are online?

The following basic advice can be useful in helping your child to stay safe:

  • Ensure that your privacy settings are high
  • Don’t reveal passwords to anyone
  • Don’t accept people as online friends who you don’t know if real life.  Consider who you can trust – do ‘friends of friends’ really count?
  • Don’t reveal personal details, such as your address or telephone number
  • Never agree to meet someone from your online world without ensuring that an adult knows where you are and, preferably, goes with you
  • Protect your online reputation because, chances are, your boss might Google you one day
  • Think about what you post – be kind online

It is also helpful to help your child to understand what action they can take if they see or hear something worrying when they are online.  You can advise your child to:

  • Tell someone.  Let them know that they can turn to you if they are worried.  They can also speak to someone in school
  • They should block people that post worrying or unkind comment or who send unkind messages
  • They can report to CEOP – if someone is abusive or posts concerning content then they can report this to CEOP
  • They can report to the platform directly – they can contact SnapChat or Instagram for example to ask for the content to be removed

You might find this guide from Internet Matters helpful in taking practical steps in connection with online safety.  Click here to read more

Please follow this link for further advice about dealing with and reporting harmful content

National Online Safety produces helpful guides for parents to understand social media platforms, gaming platforms and to keep abreast of new technologies.  You can access this here

You can also find more information under our Support for Parents section of our website

What is Early Help?

Early Help’ means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes.

Early help is for children of all ages and not just the very young.  We know that the sooner we act to support children then the better the results can be.

Day to Day Support

Most families can get on with their lives quite happily with little or no outside help for much of the time.  Schools support families to do this through the normal systems that they have.

Focused Pastoral Support

However, all families can have times when difficulties arise and they may not know how to start to put things right.  Schools play a role in supporting families to address these difficulties through more focused pastoral support, which might include bringing in support via an external agency. Click here to learn more about Orchard Mead’s Early Help Offer

Early Help Assessment

For those children and families whose needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, or where schools need the support of other agencies to meet the needs of the family, a co-ordinated multi-agency approach is usually best. In Leicester this is achieved through undertaking an Early Help Assessment and assigning a Lead Practitioner to work closely with the family to ensure they receive the support they require. Schools will be a key partner in any multi-agency work to support families.

Staff at Orchard Mead with responsibility for supporting with Early Help

The Liquid Logic Early Help Module (LLEHM) is an electronic case recording system for Early Help Assessments, which enables schools to:

  • See if pupils within the school have previously received or are currently receiving support via Leicester City Council’s Children Centres and Family Support Service
  • Track Early Help Assessment requests and outcomes of cases that have been to the Partnership Hub

Support for Parents

Online safety

For information in connection with online safety, including support for parents and carers to ask awkward but important questions in connection with things such as online relationships, sharing nude images and the dangers of online grooming, you might find the following site ThinkUKnow useful – click here for the Parents Information Section

For information in connection with understanding the dangers posed by online games, parents and carers might find this leaflet, created by the NSPCC, helpful.  Please click here to read more

Social Media can be both a wonderful way to connect with people but also, like many things, there are downsides too.  Parents and carers can read more about this topic in this leaflet created by the NSPCC.  Please click here to read more

Many families will have internet connected devices for their child or home – these might be toys, streaming devices or other things.  You can read more about the potential risks of these devices by clicking here

The NSPCC is a valuable resource when it comes to support for dealing with something upsetting and/or reporting something that you have seen online.  They can also offer support to remove nude images that have been shared online by children.  Click here to learn more about this

Supporting your child with their wellbeing and mental health

It is not unusual for all of us to go through periods where we might feel a little down or lower in mood than normal – this is normal human behaviour and is often in response to other factors that we have going on in our lives.  However, being able to recognise and respond to your child when they may be experiencing prolonged periods of low mood or anxiety for example can be difficult.

These ‘Top 5 Tips’ might be useful to go through together with your child to help them to find a strategy that works:

  1. Create routine

Having a routine is really important for your mental health and helps to alleviate anxiety:

  • Stick to a regular bedtime.  Get up at your usual time each morning
  • Eat at regular times – your body needs fuel just like a car needs petrol
  • Keep attending work or school and meet with friends—even if it’s an effort at first
  • Plan in time for fun/relaxation
  • Plan in time to be alone
  • Do something physical each day

You might find it helpful to write out your daily routine in a journal or diary

  1. Stay connected:

Although it can be tempting to pull away from friends when feeling down we recommend that you stay in touch with other people who make you feel good.  If you don’t want to see people face-to-face you could still catch up through sensible use of social media.  Take time to be with your family, try switching off the TV and talking or playing a board game.

At the same time, look at who you are surrounding yourself with.  If your friends put you down, make you feel insecure or feed into your negativity it might be best to move away or pause those relationships.

  1. Be physically active:

Try to have 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

There’s plenty you could do and being active will bring many benefits.  We know that physical activity causes chemical changes in your brain which contribute to a positive mood.

You don’t have to be in the gym, do something free and enjoy the added benefit of fresh air and nature – try walking, kick a ball with friends, follow a YouTube video or use equipment on the park.

  1. Talk about your worries:

It is common to feel worried and you are not alone – feelings, no matter what they are, are valid and understandable.  Find someone you can talk to— parents, friends or teachers. Even writing down worries can help you to manage them so you could try keeping a notebook or journal.

  1. Relax

Try deep breathing exercises to help you to relax and slow down. Try the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:

  • Empty the lungs of air.
  • Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle 4  times

Also try listening to music or to a mindful app to help you to switch off.  You might find a warm soak in the bath useful to help you to drift off.

Remember to limit the amount of social media sites, internet and even news you watch as these can make us feel worse and give us a perception that ‘everything is bad’ when it isn’t.

You might find some of the links below helpful

The NHS will now take self-referrals for certain mental health support requests.  This is really good news as it might mean that you can avoid GP wait lists.  Please see here for more information. 

For help on how to spot the signs and how to talk to your child about anxiety, this NSPCC link is really helpful

For help on dealing with self-harm, take a look at this link

Young Minds is a great resource for parents and carers as they have practical tips for supporting your child with mental health concerns.  They have a dedicated Helpline too.  Click this link for more information

You could also try Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity who also provide practical support for parents are carers.  Click this link to be taken to their website

Maintaining Friendships

Friendships are an important part of all of our lives, but particularly so when we are at school.  Making and keeping friends can be a challenge for some children and is something that many children will need guidance around at different points.

Some tips you can try:

  • Model good friendships and relationships  – let your child see how you speak to your friends, how you maintain contact and how you resolve issues through compromise
  • Talk to your child about the skills of being a good friend – this might seem obvious but these things often need to be taught.  For example:
    • Take responsibility for striking up a conversation.  They could try talking about film, TV or hobbies for example
    • Ask questions – this makes people feel that you are interested in them
    • Friends actively listen to each other – its really important to show you’re listening by asking additional questions, showing empathy and being kind
    • Friends take turns and compromise – let your child know that they won’t always get their own way and that’s okay.
  • Offer opportunities to help maintain friendships by offering to have other children over or arranging an activity.
  • If your child has trouble making friends try to stay calm and positive.  Help your child to look for opportunities such as joining extra-curricular clubs, attending events and getting involved in activities.  Engaging in an activity can take the pressure off for making small talk whilst also helping to find common ground
  • Listen carefully to your child, see if they want your support and what they need from you

This guide from The Children’s Society, is useful 


It is not uncommon for children to experience friendship fallouts or to respond in frustration from time to time.  Helping children to navigate disagreements as they happen is a really useful life skill and children will learn how to communicate their feelings effectively, how to work to a resolution and how to compromise as a result; all of which will be vital skills for the relationships that they will encounter as an adult.

Bullying, however, is different.  Bullying is defined as persistent behaviour, happening over time, which is designed to hurt someone. It can happen anywhere – including at school, at work, online or at home. Examples of bullying include name-calling, making threats, being violent or aggressive, spreading rumours and undermining, humiliating, excluding or pressuring someone.

If you are worried that your child is being bullied we would urge you to talk to the school as soon as possible so that we are aware and can take appropriate action.  Please contact your child’s Head of Year or Assistant Head of Year who will be best placed to help you.

Some things you can try at home include:

  • Listen carefully to your child’s experience.  Help them to work out if this is bullying or something else
  • Encourage your child to spend time with positive peers
  • If bullying is happening online, encourage your child to block and report users who spread hurtful content
  • Encourage your child to take part in activities that are good for their mental health such as exercise, listening to music, drawing or being with pets.
  • Keep a log of incidents so that you can give a clear account to whomever might need it.

You can get more support here

Also here

Romantic Relationships

At some point during their time at school many young people will begin a romantic relationship.  This can be emotionally challenging for some parents; acknowledging that your child is growing up can be tricky.  It is important to keep the lines of communication open at this time so that your child can be open about their feelings and can look to you for advice and support.

Some suggestions that you might want to try include:

  • Show an interest in the relationship – ask questions and offer opportunities to meet the new person.  Just like you would with other friends, you could ask your child to invite them over for dinner or to a family event
  • Establish rules that you are both comfortable with – When and where can they meet up? What are the rules for using their bedroom space?
  • Ensure your child maintains other important relationships with friends and family

Some conversations and guidance that you might want to explore with your child might be:

  • Is your partner someone you feel comfortable around?  They should be able to be their self, they should be able to express differences of opinion and they should feel safe
  • Does your partner respect your choices?  They must never feel pressured to do anything that they don’t want to
  • How will you work through problems?  Encourage your child to see that problems do happen and they are not the end of the world.  They need to learn to work through problems, to talk about things and to compromise.  Disagreements aren’t always bad, so long as they know how to communicate:
    • Explain how you feel clearly
    • Focus on the issue without making it personal
    • Listen to how the other person feels
    • Try not to interrupt
    • Don’t bring up past problems
    • Focus on a solution

Ensure your child can spot the signs of an abusive relationship – help them to see these sorts of behaviours as Red Flags:

  • If someone is constantly critical of you, putting you down or making you feel worthless
  • If someone tries to keep you away from your friends or family, if they demand all of your time and attention
  • If some wants to check your phone, your socials or your messages
  • If someone wants to use social media to monitor where you are
  • If someone tries to force you to do something you don’t want to do
  • If someone threatens to leave you if you don’t do what they want
  • If someone deliberately tries to make you feel jealous
  • If someone hurts you

Finally, parenting can be hard on your own relationship with your partner.  You might want to take a look at this article for support

All families can experience difficulties from time to time – managing teenagers can be both hugely rewarding and hugely challenging at the same time.  It can be difficult to decide when to allow your child certain freedoms and it is natural to worry about potential risks posed to them as they grow.

Parents and carers will know their children best, however you might find some of the following guidance useful at key times.  Please remember that you can always contact school for advice and support too.

General Advice

This leaflet from the Leicester City Safeguarding Board gives general advice for parents and carers on how to keep their children safe

For guidance on all aspects of safety in the home from storing medication to choking hazards, this website,  could be a good source of advice.  Click to read more

Drugs and Alcohol

Lots of parents worry about their children experimenting with alcohol or drugs.  Talking to your child from a young age about the potential dangers and how they can keep themselves safe is the best course of action to help your child to manage risks and to turn to you if they need support.

The NSPCC has advice for supporting you with these important conversations.  Click here to read more

Knife Crime

Most young people do not carry knives, however it is a very real concern for parents and carers.  Talking to your child about the risks and having honest conversations with them about their views will help to keep them safe.

Lives Not Knives is a campaign backed by Leicestershire Police.  The associated website, Live Safe, has practical advice for parents and carers.

The Ben Kinsella Trust is a national charity set up in the name of Ben Kinsella, a victim of knife crime.  It is a very well regarded source of help and support for both schools and parents.  Click here to read their guidance for parents

Fearless allows young people to report crimes anonymously.  Click this link to report a crime

Child Criminal Exploitation

Child criminal exploitation is commonly known as CCE and is a form of child abuse.  CCE is where children are groomed and manipulated by gangs and criminals into carrying out crimes such as carrying or selling drugs, carrying weapons or committing theft or burglary.  One of the most common forms of CCE is County Lines, which you may have heard of.  This involves a child being recruited to move drugs, often into rural areas.

A child may not realise that they have been exploited, as they may feel like they are friends with others in the gang.  Others may feel fearful and as though they have no choice but to do what they have been asked.

You can find out more about CCE and how to talk to your child about this important topic by clicking this link

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation is often known as CSE.  CSE is a form of child abuse where a child is groomed into sexual activity, often in exchange for something such as money, gifts or alcohol.  This is always abuse, even if the acts themselves seem consensual.

You can read more about this important topic, how to spot the signs and how to seek help by reading this leaflet produced by Leicester City Safeguarding Board

The children’s charity, Barnardo’s has also produced a helpful leaflet about CSE.  You can read it here


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is carried out for religious, cultural, social reasons, however whatever the given reason, this practice is illegal.  FGM is when a female’s genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘cutting’, but has many other names.  This is a form of child abuse and is illegal in the UK.  It also illegal to carry out this procedure on any UK citizen abroad.

The NSPCC has support and advice for parents on this important topic.  You can read more by clicking here

Support for Students

All students, from time to time, will need support.  We want you to know that alongside your parents and carers school are here to help you.

All staff in school will listen and help you.  However, the following adults have particular roles around  supporting your wellbeing

Ms Vicki Hill
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Ms Molly Springthorpe
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Ms Francesca Roscoe
Safeguarding Officer
Email: [email protected]

Alternatively, you can email us: [email protected]. Please note, this email address is not manned 24 hours a day and is therefore not suitable for emergencies.

If you want to talk to somebody outside of school you can contact Child line.  Their free phone number is 0800 11 11

If you want to report a crime you can call 101, this is the non-emergency number for the police.

If you ever feel like you are in immediate danger, you should call the police using 999.

Being online can be great – its fun, its often where you socialise and it can be a great place to learn, but it can also be a worrying place at times so it is really important that you know how to keep yourself safe.

Quick reminders:

  • Keep your personal details secure – don’t share your address or phone number online.  Remember that people might use small clues, such as the logo on your school uniform, to find out your location, so really think about what you post too
  • Don’t share your passwords with others.  Think about how secure your password is.  Check that your privacy settings are high
  • Think about your content – don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see.  Remember that a future employer is likely to Google you and will see your information
  • Watch out for scams – thinking critically about anything you see or are sent.  How realistic is this?  How trustworthy is the source?
  • Think about who you are talking to and who you accept as friends
  • Never arrange to meet up with someone you don’t know in real life

If you see, hear or receive something upsetting online, you can report it.  You can use CEOP who act to help young people under 18 safe from exploitation and abuse online.  You can access them by clicking here

You can get further advice regarding reporting concerns here

You can get more advice about staying safe online here

What is I’ve sent an image that I regret?

  • Don’t panic
  • Get help – the quicker you act, the better
  • There are ways to remove an image.  Use Report Remove, which is on the Childline website.  Click here Report Remove | Childline
  • Check your online profile – use Google, Bing and Duck Duck Go to check your online reputation and to see what is out there in your name
  • Bury it – the more positive content you upload, the further down your image will be and therefore less likely to be recovered

thers sources of support:

There is lots of support around online relationships, stalking, safety and harassment on ThinkUKnow.  Click here – 11-18s | CEOP Education

The first thing to remember is that everyone struggles from time to time; it is normal to feel anxious before an exam or stressed if things are going well with family or friendships, for example. It can be helpful to think of your mental health as just like your physical health – sometimes you feel well and sometimes you feel unwell.  Usually, when you feel unwell you will get better on your own – your cold will just go away or your tummy ache will just stop with no real help at all.  Your mental health is the same – you might feel down or stressed or anxious for a few days but then that will go away and you’ll feel better again.

If you feel down or anxious for longer and if negative thoughts are starting to impact your day to day life then it’s a good idea to talk to someone about this.

If you are feeling down, try:

  • Make sure you eat and drink regularly
  • Keep to your routine – try not to stay up late or lay in bed all day
  • Exercise – get out in the fresh air, walk the dog, play a sport
  • Find something that distracts you – music, drawing, watching a film
  • Stay connected with friends – even if it’s a real effort to do so
  • Try journalling to keep a diary of your feelings
  • Make lists to make tasks seem more manageable

If you feel that you are struggling then reach out and ask for support.  You can talk to anyone in school or email us: [email protected]

Our Padlet is a useful source of support.  To view the Padlet simply click the QR code

You might find the following platforms helpful

Home – Kooth Online support for mental health.  You can chat in confidence to a support worker.  Its free and confidential

The Mix – Essential support for under 25s This UK based charity has lots of great support and advice

Childline This is a well regarded UK charity which supports young people with a range of issues.  You can talk to someone for free and in confidence

Home – Move Mood App Move Mood is an App which can help you to improve your mood

Home – Calm Harm App  Calm Harm is an App that helps you to resist and manage urges to self-harm

Friendship fallouts and disagreements are a normal part of life.  Although this can be upsetting, this is not bullying.  Bullying is repeated behaviour that is designed to hurt or intimidate someone – we use the acronym STOP (Several Times On Purpose) to help us to understand the difference.

If you are being bullied, remember it is not your fault.  You don’t need to put up with this and you can get help.  You can talk to anyone in school or email us: [email protected]

Try these tips:

  • Speak to someone – don’t be alone with your thoughts, open up and get support
  • Keep a log of the bullying.  This will help you with reporting
  • Be selective with who you choose to be friends with – our friends build us up, look after us and make us feel happy.  If someone upsets you, puts you down or criticises you they are not a true friend
  • Know your worth – you have many great qualities.  Do thinks that make you feel positive about yourself and that lift your mood.  You could try exercise, music, art or watching a movie

Don’t be a bystander

We talk a lot in school about the power of the collective – when we act together as a community we are really powerful.  Part of that means playing your part in keeping our community safe – if you see bullying, don’t ignore it.  You can:

  • Report what you have see to a trusted adult
  • Reach out to the person – be a friend, show kindness
  • If you feel confident enough and it is safe, stand up for the person being bullied.  Let the bully know that we don’t stand for bullying here
  • Never join in with bullying.  Avoid spreading rumours or gossip too

Find out more and get further support from these places:

Dealing with bullying (

Bullying | How To Deal With Bullying and Getting Help | YoungMinds

Find help and support (


Friendships are important to us all.  Friends can be a great source of support, they can cheer us up, we share good times and make memories – having good friends is a great thing.

Sometimes, particularly when we are young, making and keeping friends isn’t always easy.  To help you to maintain friendships, think about these things:

  • Friendships take work – you need to be an active participant so be sure to make time and effort for your friends
  • Ask questions and show an interest in your friends’ lives – everyone likes to talk about themselves!
  • Compromise – you won’t always want to do the same things or talk about the same stuff but true friends don’t mind this so they compromise and take turns
  • Show kindness – support your friends, drop a text if they’ve been low, remember their special days
  • Friends fall out and this isn’t the end of the world.  If you’ve had cross words then don’t hold a grudge – talk it through and find a way to move on

Sometimes friends drift apart and that can be hard.  This will happen throughout your life – as you change schools, as you grow and later when you have other responsibilities.  You can look after yourself by accepting that this is a natural part of growing up and by looking to form other connections.  You could try:

  • Joining a new club, team or getting a hobby.
  • Looking out for people who have similar interests to you and joining them
  • It might seem difficult, but approach someone who is sitting alone and start a conversation – ask how they are, ask about hobbies, interests and get the ball rolling
  • Ask for help to make friends. Staff in school can help to link you with others

Useful advice can be found here: Friends | Childline

And here:  Friends | Tips and Advice about Friendships | YoungMinds

Romantic Relationships

Some young people might start romantic relationships – there’s no right or wrong time for this so don’t feel under any pressure to begin a relationship and this should always be your choice.

Remember that healthy relationships are built on respect, trust and communication.  Try these things:

  • Build good communication by talking openly with your partner.  Don’t bottle up your feelings or try to change your opinions to make someone else feel better
  • Arguments may happen but, again, good communication will help.  Try to explain your feelings clearly, try to avoid blame or unkindness.  Work on a solution that you are both comfortable with
  • Build mutual respect by listening to each other and respecting each other’s views.  Be sure to respect your partner’s boundaries and never put pressure on
  • Trust each other – if you are open and honest then trust will be there.  Try not to be jealous.  Don’t break someone’s trust
  • Spend time with your friends and family – relationships are actually better when you spend some time apart.  You might also need your friend’s support later on

You can get advice on aspects of sex and relationships here: Sex and relationships | Childline

Red flags 

Sometimes relationships can start to become unhealthy.  You need to be alert to anything that makes you feel uncomfortable – trust your instincts.  Some behaviours which might suggest that a relationship has become unhealthy include:

  • If your partner tries to stop you from seeing friends or family
  • If your partner always wants to know who you are talking to, where you are going etc
  • If your partner wants to look through your phone
  • If your partner puts you down or criticises you
  • If your partner puts pressure on you to do things you don’t want to do
  • If your partner threatens to break up with you if you don’t do something
  • If your partner gives you gifts but expects something in return
  • If your partner ever hits you or hurts you – this is abuse.

If you are worried about your relationship please speak to someone.  You can talk to your parents and you can also speak to staff in school who will be able to offer advice and support.

You can get further advice here: Healthy and unhealthy relationships | Childline