Online safety has never been so important. Due to the current national lockdown, the vast majority of pupils are engaging with remote learning, which means time spent online has increased greatly for our pupils. The following information is intended to help school and parents to keep children safe online.
What does the school do to teach online safety?
The school has regular curriculum time set aside to teach children about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology. During the current period of remote learning, pupils are still being provided with online safety learning and tasks from the computing curriculum. Some different aspects of our online safety curriculum are provided below:
- Responsibilities about sharing data online
- Understanding cyber bullying and being considerate of others online
- How to protect information and devices
- How to seek help when they feel uncomfortable or are concerned
The school has a comprehensive PSHE scheme in place which covers areas such as safer online communities, online gaming, influence of online media on body image, dangers of online grooming and responsibility with technology use. This helps children understand how to manage their online use appropriately.
We celebrate Safer Internet Day in February each year. This is a further opportunity to embed the importance of online safety.
The school regularly reminds pupils of their responsibilities with our remote learning offer. All parents and pupils have agreed to follow our expectations with regards to live sessions to ensure all children are kept safe. These agreements can be found here.
What do parents need to know to keep their children safe online?
Parents should regularly use the following SMART rules below to talk to their child about their online use. It is important to have a continual, open dialogue with your child.
S – SAFE: Keep your personal information safe. When chatting or posting online don’t give away things like your full name, password or home address. Remember personal information can be seen in images and videos you share too. Keep them safe to keep yourself safe.
M – MEET: Meeting up with someone you only know online, even a friend of a friend, can be dangerous as this person is still a stranger. If someone you only know online ever asks you to meet up, for personal information or for photos/videos of you then tell an adult straight away and report them together on www.thinkuknow.co.uk
A – ACCEPTING: Think carefully before you click on or open something online (e.g. links, adverts, friend requests, photos) as you never know where they may lead to or they may contain viruses. Do not accept something if you are unsure of who the person is or what they’ve sent you.
R – RELIABLE: You cannot trust everything you see online as some things can be out of date, inaccurate or not entirely true. To find reliable information compare at least three different websites, check in books and talk to someone about what you have found.
T- TELL: Tell a trusted adult if something or someone ever makes you feel upset, worried or confused. This could be if you or someone you know is being bullied online. There are lots of people who will be able to help you, like your teachers, parents and carers or contact Childline – 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk
Parents should be aware of guidance relating to online platforms and social media. A range of links to this guidance is provided below:
Think U Know – containing internet safety advice for those aged from 5 to 16, along with parents and teachers, this site is produced by CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).
Bullying UK – Information and advice about bullying and cyber-bullying for children, parents and schools.
Kidscape – An organisation which helps to prevent bullying and child abuse.
Childline – ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK.
BBC Stay Safe – Test your Internet safety knowledge with Hacker and help the Horrible Histories gang stay safe online
Internet Matters – Advice for families on how to use the internet safely. They have help sheets on devices and how to control their internet access.
Net Smartz Kids – Click on the image opposite to visit the Net Smartz Kids website for lots of e-safety activities.
NSPCC – Help keep your children safe online
Childnet International – website to “help make the Internet a great and safe place for children”.
The NSPCC (NetAware) has put together an article, giving 8 tips on how to keep children safe online during lockdown.
Common Sense Media – categorises a very wide range of media including films, computer games and books. It gives
recommended ages and a review of why they give the rating and what to watch out for. A great resource to turn to before watching a film or giving a game.
A Guide to Social Media Apps and their Age Ratings – an overview of the age restrictions that apply to some of the most popular social media platforms.
TikTok Parent Guide– A clear guide with steps to help keep children safe while using Tiktok.
What Parents Need to Know About Loot Boxes– a guide to Loot Boxes in online games an advice for talking to children about these.
Parents may also want to use the following resources with their children to embed the important messages about online safety:
Looking after your eyes, body and mind when using screens
We are spending more time online than ever before, possibly sitting and working with poor posture as we use makeshift desks and chairs. There is a tendency to take fewer breaks and less exercise and this is affecting our physical well-being.
Beacon House the specialist, therapeutic service for young people, families and adults has produced a series of six posters outlining ways to keep safe and alert when working at home, whether children or adults. Download the posters here: https://beaconhouse.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Screen-Savers-1.pdf