All the children in our schools use the Internet on a regular basis as part of their learning. It is vitally important that we teach them how to remain safe online and we do this regularly with different activities. It is also essential that you as a parent/carer know how to keep your child safe online.
It is inevitable that children will occasionally find themselves with unsupervised access to the internet at home. We would ask for the protection of your children that you follow the tips below to ensure your child is safe at all times.
Most social media sites like Facebook have a minimum age limit of 13, our pupils should NOT be using them. We strongly advise that you never release personal information about your children (where they can be found, locations and ages), or other children from the school community on any of these sites.
Please also note that we have a zero tolerance approach to social media and online comments about staff from across our schools. Negative and slanderous comments will not be tolerated and in certain circumstances will be referred to the police. We strongly ask that if you have an issue or complaint concerning your school you speak at the earliest opportunity to the Head or Deputy Head.
Here are some tips and useful links to help you to keep your children safe online:
- 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 settings 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.
A handy guide for parents of primary school age children:
If you have any further questions or concerns please do talk to your childs teacher as soon as possible.