We are committed to providing high quality e-safety to our pupils to will make them creative and effective digital citizens. We want to teach our pupils that they should strive to make a positive contribution to our future world and be confident at using technology, but with the internet and technology changing daily, it is vital that our children are educated about keeping safe online.
We remind parents that pupils should have no need to bring mobile phones into school. In the event of such technology arriving in school, the item will be confiscated and kept in the office until parents come to collect it. In the unusual event of a mobile phone being required by a pupil, specific permission must be sought and the phone can then be handed into the office.
Our new ICT curriculum ensures that all children will be taught age-appropriate e-safety lessons. We hosted our first E-Safety week last year alongside an E-Safety Family Drop in session.
kidSMART is a really motivating site for all children as it is filled activities and games. Adults will also be able to find useful information and advice.
The ‘Thinkuknow’ website is another website filled with excellent resources for all age ranges from 5 – 16 years. In particular, the year 5-7 cartoon ‘Hectors World’ is extremely helpful for the younger children as it explains all aspects of staying safe in an age appropriate and fun way.
E-safety top tips
Follow these top tips to help keep your child safe when they are on the internet:
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
- Encourage your child to go online and explore! There are lots of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they come across something they don’t want to see.
- Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety settings you set are being used.
- Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers such as Sky, Virgin and BT are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Contact your service provider and learn how to set your controls.
- Know where to report any concerning issues. If you or your child comes across something unkind, concerning or inappropriate then it should be reported correctly. The CEOP website allows both children and their families to report online incidents and offer further advice. www.ceop.police.uk
We hope these tips are helpful, if you would like any further information regarding e-safety then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Internet and Mobile Phone Safety
Mobile phones and computers are a part of everyday life for many children and young people. Used correctly, they are an exciting source of communication, fun and education but used incorrectly, or in the wrong hands they can be threatening and dangerous.
The risks include:
- cyber-bullying, where hurtful texts or emails are sent to children
- children accidentally or deliberately accessing violent or sexually explicit websites, either on a computer or a mobile phone
- paedophiles talking to children by mobile phone or online and enticing them to engage in sexual conversations, photographs, video or actual meetings.
It probably is not practical to simply ban your child from using mobiles and computers as they may well try to find a way of using them, perhaps at a friend’s house or in an internet café. They also need to learn how to manage the risks. Younger children will be much easier to supervise and you will decide if and when they should begin to use these technologies.
Here are some tips to help you to manage the risks.
- Try to put the computer in a family room where it will be easier for you to supervise your child’s online activity.
- Ensure that your child knows they should never give their full name, address and contact details to people they chat to on the internet.
- Gently explain that some people they talk to on the internet may not be who they say they are and might say or do unpleasant or hurtful things.
- Investigate whether the ‘parental controls’ available from some internet service providers will be helpful.
- Consider installing software that can filter out inappropriate material.
- Talk to your child about their internet use. Ask them which sites they enjoy most, and why. Show you are interested, while understanding their need for some privacy.
- Impress on your child that they can talk to you if they are worried about something that has happened during their internet use.
- Make it very clear that your child must never arrange to meet someone they have chatted to online without your permission. Their new ‘friend’ might well be a local young person of similar age, but they might not.
- For further advice and information visit:
Internet Watch Foundation: www.iwf.org.uk
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: www.ceop.gov.uk
Stop It Now! www.stopitnow.org.uk
You may be alerted to question your child’s online activity if they are:
- spending more and more time on the internet
- being secretive – reluctant to talk about their internet activity, closing the screen page when you are close by
- spending less time with the family, or giving up previous hobbies and interests
- losing interest in their schoolwork, regularly failing to complete homework
- starting to talk about ‘new friends’ that you have not met and who do not visit your home
- overly possessive of their mobile phone or computer – perhaps overreacting if someone picks it up or asks to borrow it
- showing fear or discomfort when their phone rings, or quickly turning it off without answering
- undergoing a change in personality that you cannot attribute to any obvious cause.
Remember that none of these signs prove that your child is at risk in any way, but if you notice anything that confuses or worries you try talking things over with them. They may well tell you to stop fussing. They may be laid back.
In any case, think about their demeanour and attitude as well as what they say.
If you are still concerned contact one of the helping agencies listed.
Internet safety – national
ChildNet International: www.childnet.com
Child Exploitation and Online Protection:
0870 000 3344 www.ceop.gov.uk
Internet Watch Foundation www.iwf.org.uk
Think U Know: 0870 000 3344