Online safety booklet
At OSPA, we regularly promote the safe use of technology in school through ICT lessons, assemblies, national internet safety days and frequent enrichment / PHSE lessons. We feel that it is vital that both parents and children feel secure in using information communication technology at home as well as at school. We have secured strong links with the Grimsby Learning Partnership who have started to work in partnership with our academy to give parents an excellent opportunity to engage in this vital area of keeping children safe on-line. We try to provide regular workshops for parents with our aim to inform, advise and offer support regarding ICT issues. I’m sure that you will agree that although the advent of the internet and technology has opened up a world of opportunities for our pupils, the risks created by the misuse of social media, games and apps can have serious implications.
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.
Mr. Preston (ICT co-ordinator)
Here are some useful websites that has some excellent information for keeping children safe on-line: