Fairlight Primary & Nursery School

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SQUID GAMES UPDATE

What is Squid Game?

Netflix’s Squid Game is set to become the streaming service’s most successful show of all time, with huge numbers of viewers taking to social media to discuss each new episode. The South Korean thriller features some scenes of fairly brutal violence and is rated 15 by the BBFC. It follows a group of adults who compete to win innocent-looking playground games, but who are killed if they do not succeed at the tasks.

An unexpected success in terms of viewing figures, Squid Game’s popularity is beginning to spread across various online platforms. There has been a slew of content created – ranging from memes to apps – that convey the violence of the show, so it is important for parents, carers and educators to understand the basis of Squid Game and the potential risks to young people who might be exposed to it.

 

What are the hazards for children?

Squid Game’s 15 rating has not prevented clips and images from the show being uploaded onto social media sites such as TikTok, with the #SquidGame hashtag being viewed more than 22.8 billion times. There have been reports of children who have accounts on these platforms inadvertently viewing gory, explicit scenes from the programme, and parents and carers should be mindful of the prevalence of these uploads. 

The popularity of the programme has also led to online challenges based on various scenes, which see people taking part in seemingly innocent children’s games. On the show, however, characters are executed if they fail in the game – and videos of people pretending to kill each other after competing in Squid Game-style contests are going viral on social media, where they are easily accessible to children.

 

What is the Squid Game Challenge app?

Squid Game Challenge (also known as K-Game Challenge) is an app for smartphones and tablets that has been released for Android and iOs, and the two systems differ significantly on their age ratings for the game. The iTunes Store rates the app as 12+ (advising of “mild/infrequent horror/fear themes”), while the PEGI rating for Android is just 3+, which means that very young children might be able to download and play the game even with parental controls activated on their device or through Google Play.

The gameplay is frequently interrupted by pop-ups and ads (sometimes appearing while the user is rapidly tapping their screen while attempting to complete the challenge). This could easily lead to unwanted purchases or accidental visits to inappropriate sites beyond the app.

 

What can trusted adults do?

As a parent or carer, keep a watchful eye on the content that your children are viewing. Speak to them openly and chat about how they have been spending time on their devices; let them ask questions, too. Ensure that the parental controls are activated on your child’s device and that age-restricted child profiles are properly set up any on-demand services available through the family TV (such as Netflix, in this case) to prevent inappropriate content being streamed.

If you see your child replicating the challenges from the show or hear them talking about scenes and characters from Squid Game, it would be a timely opportunity to discuss with them that the programme is not intended for children, that much of the content would be inappropriate for their age, and that the violence in the series is very realistic and often upsetting.

 

Internet safety

Keeping children safe online is very important. Please read this to find out more about a current issue that you may want to discuss with your child.

The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly our children’s. It is an amazing tool and resource. For parents and carers however this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of. For many of us, this can all be a bit too much. You might be struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online, you might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline? Even those parents who think they know about computers and the internet are struggling to keep up to date with the speed of the technology- Facebook, Whatsapp,Twitter, X Box Live etc. etc.

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

This is a great place for parents to find out how to be a good parent online and how to be proactive with working with children in keeping them safe.

As a school we would be happy if we get enough interest to run sessions for parents about online safety and how to keep your child safe. Speak to your child’s classteacher if you are interested.

Thank you for your continued support in ensuring our children are safe but also learn valuable lessons and are good members of both the local community as well as the online community.

As ever if you wish to discuss any aspect raised in this letter please do not hesitate to contact the school.

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ is a good place to go (it is supported by O2 and the NSPCC) if as a parent you want to find out more about the apps and technology that are being used. If your child uses Whatapp for example I would ask you to go to this link and read what is written by experts about Whatsapp.

Like me you may be shocked to find out the age recommendations and the fact that primary age children should not be using it. There is also advice on a range of apps used for communication as well as for mobile games.

 

SOME HELPFUL PLACES TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION

To support online safety at home please see the links below


Fortnite Information

Keep Children Safe Online Information

Zoom Bombing Information
Tik Tok Information
Tik Tok Information

NSPCC Information

COMPUTING & ONLINE SAFETY LINKS

 

 

Computing - Safer Online

The Following sites are excellent for advice about online safety.  In particular, they will advise you as to which apps and sites are suitable and also offer advice.  please check them out

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Online Safety Game Computing session Data Base Digital Connections  Screen Time Database
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