19 January 2024

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students/Annwyl Rhieni, Gwarchodwyr a Myfyrwyr

Positive approach to the world of social media

In this digital age, where technology and online platforms play a significant role in our daily lives, social media has become almost unavoidable – especially for young people.

According to the latest UK data, 91% of 12-15-year-olds and 97% of 16-17-year-olds use social media and in 2019, the Guardian reported that the average teenager spent one to three hours on social media every day.

At Llanishen High School, 51% of parents said that their teenager checks social media every few hours, while an additional 30% believe it’s checked hourly. For Gen Z (people born between 1996 and 2010) and Gen Alpha (those born during or after 2010), it’s second nature, an everyday necessity for checking in with friends, keeping up appearances (and their Snapchat streak) and staying in the loop with the latest trends. So as their online world continues to grow and evolve, parents (and teachers) must equip themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure their teenagers’ safety, well-being, and privacy online.

In today’s world, key threats include inappropriate content, predators, cyberbullying and more. It’s a lot for any parent to navigate, but you don’t have to do it alone.

We’ve been supported by our marketing agency, Station Rd. in the development of this to ensure we’re bringing you the latest advice and essential information.

That’s why we recently surveyed Llanishen High School parents across all year groups to understand their biggest concerns when it comes to social media, their teenager’s social media use, as well as the challenges they face when it comes to addressing issues around social media.

We’ve taken on board this feedback and in this guide, we’ll provide you with practical tips, useful insights, and proactive ways to address key concerns such as staying safe online, maintaining mental health, combating bullying, and safeguarding.

Website landing page for the guide which is available here. The main contents include:

We want to share this as far and wide as possible. We hope it will be a useful resource for parents, guardians, students and staff. We are sharing the guidance with students in assembly and are also keen to share it with our primary partner schools.

How the students chortled in assembly as I shared the social media that I enjoyed growing up!

It has been more than five years since we restricted the use of mobile phones at Llanishen High School and it has been positively transformational.

Lessons and learning progress without the distraction of social media, texts, tweets and toks. Learning is more focussed. Technology is used where appropriate to the learning, but devices are provided by the school to ensure equity.

Another notable area of positive change is break and lunch time. Social time is about social interaction on a human level. Depending on their age, our students play, run, talk, laugh. They play football or table tennis. They are active. They are noisy. But it is a great noise.

It might not be universally popular with all students, but we have absolutely no intention of changing our current arrangements.

Youth speaks success!

Next today, we bring great news. It may only be 19th January but our debaters have already achieved an admirable win.

On Tuesday evening, Llanishen High School hosted the Rotary Youth Speaks competition against Howells school. Two teams from Miss Davies’ debate club competed against one team from Howells in the intermediate competition. Sadinsa Dias (proposer), Ellie Hopkins (chair) and Emma Ford (opposer) argued the motion ‘books should be banned.’ This was indeed a controversial debate for an English teacher’s ears, but they both crafted convincing arguments and Ellie shone as a chairperson with charisma!

Secondly, Jack Heggaty (proposed), Ben Samuels (chair) and Alan Nazemi (opposer) debated the motion ‘veganism is a diet for the future’. They delivered powerful speeches that were peppered with puns and humour, which the audience and judges loved!

The teams competed against an excellent debate from Howells on whether we should study literature in school, but we are thrilled to share that LHS took the win! Jack, Ben and Alan will be representing Llanishen in the area finals next week. 

Our senior team, Freya Curtis, Fiona Garbutt and Maiwen Beynon Bernard will also be competing in the senior competition at next week’s area finals. We wish you luck!!

A huge well done to all teams that took part in Tuesday’s competition as well as our internal LHS heats to determine which teams would represent LHS this week. Here are the teams in action, firstly with Mr Ian Germain from Llanishen Rotary Club….

Next today, it might be very chilly out there, but Year 7 have been learning what it takes to grow your own food. And that starts with January preparation. Winter miles for summer smiles. Here they are assembling the frames for the runner beans in the polytunnel, under the watchful guidance of Mr Hurford (gold commander polytunnel and garden).

We’re all rooting for a bumper crop of runner beans (sorry).

The Great Reveal

This year, the creative brilliance that is (from right to left) Mr Grimstead, Mrs Brown, Mrs Gronow and Mr Wolverson, revealed this years production. If you want to find out, click the link below:

The Great Reveal

Get ready for some serious toe tapping

Tocyn Iaith Winners!

Finally, we finish in a flourish with the Tocyn Iaith winners from Year 7 and 8.  All winners  received WH Smith vouchers as prizes. They were given a Tocyn Iaith for using incidental Welsh around the school. 

The winners for year 7 are:

1st Place: Daniel Miclewright 7H

2nd Place: Isabel Allen 7B

3rd Place: Ruby Jones 7J

The winners for year 8 are:-

1st Place: Caden Morrisey 8C

2nd Place: Faith Lydall/ Seren Bennet 8B

3rd Place: Milan Slaiman 8D

Well done everyone! We look forward to bringing you more news and updates next week.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.