The use of technology is becoming a transformational tool for learning. Whilst the use of a wide range of different technologies can undoubtedly enhance pupils' learning experiences, there is a considerable need to ensure that all pupils are protected when embracing technologies such as accessing information on the internet.
We appreciate parents can have a difficult job keeping up with their children on the fast changing technology available to them, let alone knowing the dangers they face. The issues of safety, privacy, online predators or grooming and cyberbullying are sometimes complex, both technically and psychologically and parents can struggle to keep up. As a parent you'll know how important the internet is to children - they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. It's a highly creative place of amazing opportunities. But the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting and you might worry about the risks your child can face online - such as bullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content.
You can engage with your children regarding their use of the internet while at home. Here are some conversation starter ideas from Childnet International:
Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
Think about how you use the internet as a family and what you could do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online.
You can download the DofE advice for parents on cyberbullying here.
Parental Control Guide
This guide will help you set up parental controls to provide your child with a safer online environment. Parental controls can help to protect your child from seeing something that they shouldn’t - although it is important to emphasise that no system is effective all of the time so it is important to engage with your child and talk to them about their online life regularly. Download the guide here.
As part of your child’s curriculum and the development of computer skills, we provide access to the internet only in teacher supervised lessons. We strongly believe that the use of the web and email is hugely worthwhile and an essential tool for children as they grow up in the modern world. However, because there are always concerns about children having access to undesirable materials, we have taken positive steps to deal with this risk in school. Our school internet access provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials.
At the start of the school year, each class discusses how we can all stay safe online and the dangers we may face on the internet. We then ask every child in KS2 to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement so that we know they have read and understood our school's rules on staying safe.
To help parents we have put together a selection of links to websites that will help them to ensure that their children can reap the benefits of the Internet while staying safe. We also include regular support for parents from National Online Safety with our newsletter.
Advice for our children
- Always be careful when you are using the internet. It can help you to keep in touch with your friends and help your education – but it can also cause harm – to you and to others.
- Remember help is always available at school if you are having any problems online.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your teacher or another adult at school.
If you or anyone you know is worried about Child Exploitation, Online Protection or anything related to Internet safety please click the link below which will take you to the CEOP reporting website:
Helpful links to look at with your family
Tips for staying safe online:
- Make sure you keep new online friends strictly online. If someone you don't know asks to be your online friend you must ensure an adult knows about it.
- Know how to use the CEOP Button and how to report it to the CEOP Centre if you are concerned about someone’s online behaviour towards you.