Digital Citizenship (E-safety)
Students interact with technologies (such as mobile phones and the Internet) on a daily basis and experience a wide range of opportunities and situations. The social interaction and learning opportunities are greatly beneficial but can occasionally place young people in danger. Young people especially need to learn how they can take care of their own safety and security.
As a school we continually endeavour to develop skills and attitudes that equip students for our increasingly technological society. To do this we all have to operate within a framework which allows for safety and security - and raises awareness of issues affecting our school and the wider community.
Internet use is a part of the curriculum and a necessary tool for the school community. Students will learn how to locate, retrieve and exchange information using ICT. Please view our Parents Presentation and information on OurPact which can be used to assist your child through their digital journey.
Be involved in your child’s online life.
For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow, and just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Watch ‘Thinkuknow’ films to learn more.
The ‘Thinkuknow’ programme has films and advice for children from five all the way to eighteen. Your child will have seen these at school, but they can also be a good tool for you to find out more about what young people do online and some of the potential risks.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online.
Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. 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 continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
Know what connects to the internet and how.
Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you are aware of which ones can 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 your safety settings are being applied.
Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles, 'Alexa' or 'Hey Google' 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 are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are.
Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
Know what to do if something goes wrong.
Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.
We would wholly recommend that you visit the advice site www.thinkuknow.co.uk where you will find excellent information and guidance relating to the safe use of all digital methods of communication.
What about 'Selfies'?
CEOP (see below) has excellent information and guidance for parents on protecting our young people from the vicious circle of selfies and nudes photographs on social media.
Key Websites for Advice and Guidance
This link leads to the safety policy for Facebook and provides tips for staying safe while using the social network.
Here you will find a series of resources on internet safety for children.
This website, from CEOP and Parent Zone, provides essential advice on many aspects of caring for young people, from dealing with Fitness Apps, helping healthier eating and staying safe online.
Has someone done something online that has made you or a child or young person you know, feel worried or unsafe? CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) is an organisation which helps children stay safe online. If someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know, such as being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up, it is very important that you tell someone. You can report it to CEOP by clicking the link on the image below or visiting https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
NATIONAL ONLINE SAFETY
Do you have any questions about the every day apps, websites or games that your child might be accessing? National Online Safety have superb 'Top Tips' on many of the latest social networking, gaming or 'on screen' additions, from WhatsApp to Netflix and, in addition, has guidance on good mental wellbeing.
You can find the resources here:
Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline.
These free online safety videos have been created to assist parents and schools during the COVID-19 lockdown period. They are short and simple to give students support, advice and guidance on a range of subjects. All the online safety videos are free for all.
Childnet has some exemplary and highly recommended resources for parents and families, including their Parents and Carers Toolkit.