Keeping your child safe online
From learning in class to playing games at home, children are doing more onthe internet than ever before. Just as in “real life,” however it is important to make sure that your child is staying safe on line.The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly our children’s. For parents and carers 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?
The ‘www.thinkuknow.co.uk’ aims to make online parenting simple.
What is Online Safety?
On-Line Safety is about protecting young people in the digital world and ensuring they feel safe when accessing new technology.
On-Line Safety is important because it safeguards the concerns of children and young people. It also emphasizes the importance and use of new technologies in a positive way as well as encouraging young people to develop safer online behaviours.
Statement on On-Line Safety from our Chairman of Governors William Jennings
Technology offers unimaginable opportunities and is constantly evolving. Access is currently becoming universal and increasingly more mobile, and pupils are using technology at an ever earlier age, Technology use and e-safety issues go hand in hand. Many incidents happen beyond the physical geography of our school and yet can impact on pupils or staff.
Just because these environments are online make them no less susceptible to potential harm compared to the physical world. This makes it vitally important that pupils and staff are fully prepared and supported to use these technologies responsibly.
The school staff and governors are, therefore, entirely committed to ensuring that our curriculum, teaching and guidance to pupils ensures that all children are e-safe and have an excellent awareness of e-safety issues.
All units of study throughout our school make specific mention of the importance of E Safety and all children and staff follow our Acceptable Use Policy. As a school we are supported by the work of CEOP who offer the following Top Tips for Parents to promote E Safety at home. I hope you find the information helpful.
If you have any worries or concerns regarding E Safety either at home or in school please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s classteacher. If you need further help or guidance please contact our Subject Leader for Computing Karen Whelan.
Chairman of Governors
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 is a wealth 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 stumble 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 setting you set are being applied.
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 are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly
As computer and other communications technologies have developed, new dangers have emerged for all those who use them. Schools have a duty of care towards their pupils, above all to enable them to use the internet and other communication technologies safelyThe steps we take:
We keep abreast of the latest developments
- We have an appropriate Acceptable Internet Use Policy in place, linked to other school policies
- The AIUP is regularly reviewed in a whole school context
- Our high-speed broadband connection is to the LGFL portal, a London wide organisation which provides secure e-mail and web filtering facilities.
- Staff are kept informed of new developments in technology
- Pupils are regularly reminded of the rules regarding internet use, sanctions are explained and used consistently when necessary
- Children are taught to use the internet safely
- Children are not allowed use of mobile phones in school
- Children are not allowed to access chat rooms, message boards, messenger services or other ‘social networking’ websites in school
- Children are only allowed access to websites under direct teacher supervision
Other aspects of Online Safety
Apart from the obvious threats to personal safety the internet involves other difficulties and dangers which the school also seeks to address through lessons on:
Copyright, acknowledgement of sources, assessing the usefulness of websites, assessing the reliability of information on the internet, the importance of cross-checking, verification and comparison of information, the dangers of viruses and other downloadable threats, the importance of responsible use of passwords etc.GuidanceWe have used the following sources in our work on e-safety:
- PrimaryFactsheetfor E-safety
As a school we are proud to be associated with the Ezsafe Project which seeks to provide advice and support in realtion to online safety for schools. The project is led by Safe Child UK in partnership with Suffolk University.
Netwareprovides excellent guidance in relation to social networkiing.
The following fact sheets have been produced by the UK Safer Internet Centre to help parents understand more about the technology many of our children already use.