Year 4 – Science

Recently in Year 4, we have been learning about living things. We have been working hard to classify living things into groups – and have had some excellent discussions and debates about some animal species. Have a look at some of our work in the pictures below…

OoVoo – A Guide for Parents

OoVoo is among some of the most popular Apps for young children at the minute. However, with a minimum age limit of 13 to be able to use the app, this clearly shows that the creators deem the app to be inappropriate for primary aged children. Enabling video chat and group chats, OoVoo provides a popular alternative to facetime, Skype and Whatsapp. As it’s used by both adults and children, it does mean that adults can directly contact children on the App, and like most apps with an age restriction, some of the content on the app is adult in nature.  Ultimately, the decision of whether your child uses the App lies with you! CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) recommend that no child under 13 uses the app, and that children over 13 set their privacy settings to only allow contact with people in the real world. Please click the link below for further info!

Josh David – Computing Coordinator and 21st Century Learning Leader

‘Our Pact’ – a hassle free solution to parental controls…and it’s free!

‘Our Pact’ is an app for parents to download, which helps them set their own custom made internet controls. It works on all devices, smartphones, androids, tablets and computers. It also controls multiple types of devices, remotely, all at once.  You can set time limits on your children’s internet use as well as limiting their internet access. Have a look at this handy guide and trial ‘Our Pact’ in your home. I hope you find this App helpful. Please let me know how you got on.

Josh David – Computing Coordinator.

Internet Safety Talk – Thank you to everyone who attended!

Thank you so much to all the parents/carers who sacrificed their time to attend our St Catherine’s internet safety talk on Wednesday morning this week. We had an excellent number of parents attend and the support from parents has truly been fantastic.

I am aware, that for a multitude of reasons, there will have been parents who would have liked to attend but were unable to. Luke, who led the internet safety talk, has promised to send me over a copy of his slides he used in his talk, and I will be posting these on the ‘E-Safety’ page of the St Catherine’s website as soon as they arrive. I hope that you find these slides useful.

We will continue to work tirelessly at St Catherine’s to ensure that our children are taught internet safety in an engaging and thorough way.

For any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask either myself or a member of the safeguarding team.

Next Step for Parents:

Have a go at setting up ‘Our Pact’ (an app which allows parents to control and monitor their child’s internet use on all devices) and see what you think of it.

Thank you for your continued support,

Josh David – Computing Coordinator.


Free Internet Safety Talk for Parents/carers -Wed 28th September 9am – Main Hall

Calling all parents/carers! Your child’s internet safety matters!

On Wednesday 28th September at 9am – there will be a free Internet Safety talk for all parents in the school’s main hall. The talk is open to parents from Nursery right up to Year 6  – and will provide parents with children of all ages with invaluable information and support. The talk will be delivered by leading industry experts ‘Education Child Protection Ltd’. ECP provide talks all over the country and work closely with the government and CEOP to ensure the safety of children across the UK.

The talk will focus on general internet safety for children – with information, tips, parental controls and guides, as well as tackling the increasingly controversial issue of mobile phones – and how to keep children safe on them.

2 years ago we set a St Catherine’s attendance record for our internet safety talk. This year, we hope to beat it.

Please spread the word and make sure you put the date in your diary and attend the talk if you can.

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Thank you for your continued support,

Josh David – Computing Co-Ordinator


David Cameron – Internet Safety at Number 10

Whilst being quizzed by school children this week, David Cameron has given the public an insight into his internet safety rules at number 10.

The Prime Minister, who has three children, said that he limits their “screen time” and encourages them to lead “very active” lives.

When asked specifically about technology and internet safety, he explained:

“The children are allowed to use our iPad from time to time, but they don’t have a Nintendo DS yet and they haven’t got mobile phones and they haven’t got iTouches or whatever. That’s purposeful.

“We try to limit screen time. We have rules. We don’t do morning TV – they should be doing something.”

Well at least he’s doing something right…

Please do ensure that there are agreed times for use of technology at home and that these are enforced. For any help on how to go about doing this without causing an argument – pop in and have a chat with me – I’d be happy to help.

Josh David – Computing Co-Ordinator

Phones and tablets – When should children be allowed on technology?

It can be a very tricky situation to manage – your child has an I-Pad or a smartphone, but when do you stop them using their device? How do you stop them using it at certain times, without an argument?

It has been brought to my attention that some children at St Catherine’s are using their technology at very inappropriate hours, and that parents are struggling to find ways of preventing this from happening, without huge arguments. Most mornings I overhear children say that they are tired because they were up all night due to groups of children messaging each other on Whatsapp, Viber, Skype or by other means. This is having a huge impact on their ability to learn, as they are often too tired and unfocused in class.

How can I solve this issue?

A simple way to alleviate this issue is to set an agreed time with your child, for when they are no longer allowed to use their technology. Some parents choose to do this before a family meal and others before their children get ready for bed. Whatever you decide, this does need to be enforced and set in place as soon as your child has their device. As long as you have a discussion with your child, explaining why this needs to happen and agreeing together that this is necessary, then they won’t feel like they are being unfairly treated – this is important to establish trust and a willingness to talk to adults about their use of technology.

Syncing Devices:

Another hugely helpful way to monitor your child’s use of a device is to sync it to your own device. This can be done on a range of technology. You can do this in secret or agree this with your child, up to you. But it is an effective way of making sure that messages your child is receiving and sending are appropriate and only being sent/received as appropriate times.

How do I sync Apple products?

On your I-Phone: Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > You Can Be Reached By, and add a check to both your phone number and email address. Go to Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and enable the device(s) you would like to forward messages to. Your Mac, I-Pad, or I-Pod touch will display a code. Enter this code on your I-Phone to verify the SMS feature.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator

Don’t pay the price for your child’s online fun

If your child has their own smart phone or tablet, or has access to yours, read on…

Many parents are often given huge bills at the end of the month for phone calls, in app purchases and downloads that they know nothing about. ‘Phonepayplus’ (a rate regulator) explains what to look out for as a parent to ensure that you are not billed with a huge amount too.

I strongly recommend you have a look at this article. Once again, the importance of parental controls on all devices cannot be stressed enough.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator.