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For the 5th year running, Brainstorm Productions is proud to be a supporter of Privacy Awareness Week (PAW). PAW is an annual initiative run by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum. 

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We've had a bumper few weeks celebrating National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on 15 March 2019 followed by Harmony Week on 17 to 23 March 2019. 

Standing side-by-side with school students across Australia, we marked the ninth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence by promoting this year's theme of 'Bullying. No Way! Take action every day'.

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National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence 2019

Bullying. No Way! Take Action Every Day

The importance of bullying awareness and education in our schools cannot be overstated. Which is why we’re proud to yet again be a supporter of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence happening on Friday 15th March 2019.

Working with teachers and students we’ll be delivering our bullying programs to ten high schools and primary schools throughout Australia to help celebrate and reinforce this year’s theme: ‘Bullying. No Way! Take action every day’. This is a theme that is close to our hearts, with our anti-bullying programs performed every school day throughout the year and seen by over 360,000 students annually.

Bullying in schools

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Article on cyber safety

With a staggering 99% of 15-17 year olds being online and 97% of households with children under 15 having access to the internet, cyber safety education is critical in helping young people stay protected online. 

In partnership with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, last Tuesday the 5th February, we celebrated Safer Internet Day 2019 with a jam-packed itinerary of primary and high school live cyber safety theatre shows.

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Cyber safety education

On Tuesday, 5 February 2019 we are celebrating Safer Internet Day.

Coordinated by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in Australia and celebrated in over 130 countries, this year’s Safer Internet Day theme is: ‘Together for a better internet’ and is designed to raise awareness about the safe and positive use of digital technology, and to explore the role we can all play in creating a better and safer internet.

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Screen time is a major concern for many parents. Children are learning to use digital devices from a young age and primary school students regularly use technology for entertainment and to socialise with their friends. The latest Child Health Poll found that one-third of Australian pre-schoolers, two-thirds of primary school children and almost all teenagers own their own tablet or smart phone.

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The popularity of digital and online games is rapidly increasing, and it doesn't look like slowing down! Not only are more people playing games, but they’re also watching other people play through live streaming and esport tournaments. 

Many parents and teachers are concerned by the fervour surrounding games like Fortnite and the increasing use of games among primary school students. But no matter how you feel about gaming, there's one thing you can be sure of: gaming is here to stay.

Posted by on in Cyber Safety Articles

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This week was Stay Smart Online Week, a week to raise awareness about cybercrime and how to reverse the threat. Cybercrime is a significant issue in Australia, with a colossal 6.09 million adults having experienced an online breach in 2017.*

With tech-use among students rapidly rising each year, internet safety education is vital. In fact, Roy Morgan Research found that 97 per cent of children under 15 had continual access to the internet. 97 per cent! 

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We need to have more conversations with young people about mental health.

In the 2017 Mission Australia Youth Survey Report, mental health was rated by young people as the most important issue affecting Australia today [1]. While the majority of young people reported feeling optimistic about the future, they also saw mental health as one of the major barriers to achieving their work and study goals. 

Issues like anxiety, depression and substance misuse can have a devastating effect on individuals and communities, and if not addressed early, can impact on a young person’s ability to work, socialise and function throughout their life. 

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Humans are hard-wired to pay attention to the negative. This ‘negativity bias’ is an ancient survival tool that helps us remain vigilant and respond to threats in our environment. Parents, caregivers and teachers will know this bias all too well, often finding themselves honing in on children’s shortcomings and pointing out the behaviours they need to change. This is a normal human response – we do it because we want children to stay safe and do well in the world!

But in the process we can forget to acknowledge their strengths. 

RUOK Day 2018 Brainstorm Productions

Yesterday we hit the ground running as we celebrated the tenth R U OK?Day across the country. R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that every day’s the day to ask “Are you OK?” and support those struggling with life. As the R U OK? School Partner, R U OK?Day is about inspiring school students to make a difference by having meaningful conversations with friends and family, and talking to a trusted adult if they or someone in their life needs help. 

3 Little Words to Ask Every Day to Help with Student Wellbeing

This year, in the lead up to their tenth national day of action R U OK?Day on Thursday 13 September, suicide prevention charity R U OK? are on an epic cross-country tour to show Australia every day is R U OK?Day.

We sat down with Katherine Newton, Campaign Director R U OK?, to discuss why this is a message for everyone no matter their age or location. 

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As teachers we often get stuck. The busyness of teaching, the marking, administration and preparation can often leave you feeling as if your creativity has run dry and you are at a loss for a new, engaging way to teach a concept. I have found this especially to be the case when I have had to develop lessons about ‘big’ issues such as bullying, choices, healthy relationships and cyber safety. These are conceptual, sometimes abstract, life topics; topics very different to the more concrete maths and sciences. So I'm always looking for innovative and creative ways to teach these topics, and practical resources to support this. 

 

R U OK Konnect App Blog

Transform your smartphone into a positive wellbeing tool by downloading the R U OK? mobile app Konnect. This handy app encourages you to hit the pause button and make time for your friends and family, with the aim of boosting emotional wellbeing. 

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Our privacy is valuable. And now, more than ever, we need to protect it.

As a society, we are beginning to understand the consequences of sharing our personal information online. We are becoming increasingly concerned with how our data is being used and misused.

Advances in technology present new risks to our privacy and security. Spam, scams, identity theft and fraud are just some of the risks we face when we use our devices.

Privacy Awareness Week runs from the 13th to the 19th of May this year. It provides an opportunity to reflect on how we share and manage our personal data. The aim is to shine a spotlight on the issue of privacy, and to remind us that privacy does matter.

With this awareness has come growing concern for the privacy of children and young people online. So how do we keep them safe?

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Something happens when we go to school. Yes, we learn to read, we learn to write, to count, we learn about history, geography, languages, how our world works - all wondrous, valuable things. 

We also learn, very quickly, that learning is measured and should be tested, constantly. We learn that data drives schools and policies, and that one’s worth is often tied up in those final results. And in that, we lose our sense of play, of discovery, of creativity. Ken Robinson, in his seminal Ted Talk Do Schools Kill Creativity?, argues that our schooling systems are "educating people out of their creative capacities" and that we are not only growing out of our creativity, but "we get educated out of it’".  

Alongside this, schools are becoming increasingly aware of the need to nurture and implement wellbeing programs that foster agency, resilience and self-management strategies. When children are a part of a system, however, how can we do this?

Bullying Program

What a week! It all kicked-off with the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday 16th March, followed by World Day of Theatre for Children on Tuesday 20th March and lastly Harmony Day on Wednesday 21st March.

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Friday the 16th of March is 2018 National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. This is a day for school communities to take a stand together, and demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe and supportive environment for all students. 

The Australian government is getting behind this initiative, in response to growing concern about the devastating impact of bullying on children and teens. This week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Education Minister Simon Birmingham wrote a letter to every principal in the country, urging them to join the national effort against bullying and violence in schools. 

And the spotlight isn't only on schools - in recent weeks attention has been turned towards abuse and harassment occurring within Australian universities. 

It is clear that bullying is now on the national agenda.

So where do we go from here?

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On 6th February 2018 Brainstorm Productions celebrated Safer Internet Day, a worldwide event that is coordinated by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in Australia. 

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Transitions are a normal part of development, and will be experienced by all children at some point in their lives. Some transitions are planned, others are sudden and unexpected. And as we head into the new school year, most kids will be preparing for some kind of transition, whether that be the start of kindergarten, the transition to high school, adjustment to a new year level, or the move to a new school.

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