Children have access to the internet at school and many do at home whether through a tablet, games console, phone or computer. This brings great benefits but also some risks. Our new online safety policy is here Online Safety Policy
At school we:
- Supervise children when they access the internet, have filtering in place and check logs of internet activity on school computers.
- Teach children about online safety so that they know some ways of keeping themselves safe online and know how to behave responsibly so that they don't harm others by their conduct. This includes rules for online safety at home, such as asking a parent/carer's permission and sticking to agreed sites.
- Teach children what to do if they come across something that worries them online. This might be content that they recognise as inapproriate or an interaction with someone that is bullying, suspicious or just 'feels wrong'
Children may not have taken on board all of our online safety messages. Some children can get carried away with the freedom and lose sight of the potential consequences. Some key messages for children:
- People aren't always who they say they are. People can sound very convincing and spend a long time befriending you online - but how do you really know who they are and what they want?
- Be careful about posting personal information. Although most children are fairly clear that they shouldn't give out their full name and address, they can easily forget that a first name, school, details of daily activities can give away a lot about them.
- Whatever you post whether text or images could be out there forever even after you remove the post. It could be downloaded, altered, kept or shared by anyone who could access your post. Even if you are sending a private message to a friend, what would happen if you fell out with that person?
- Conversations online can quickly get out of hand. For online chats you can't see or hear the other person's reaction and if your comment upsets someone it will stay there in black and white.
- Keep your passwords to yourself.
- Behaviour that is wrong in everyday life is wrong online - name calling, threatening, bullying, abuse of any kind. Don't do it and if someone else is doing it, report it - for anyone's sake.
Some pointers for parents and carers:
- Remember to check privacy settings regularly, particularly on any social networking site used by your child.
- Many parents supervise childen's use of the internet on laptops, tablets, but don't forget about other devices with internet access, in particular games consoles. Online multiplayer games have been used to target children for radicalisation as well as other predatory forms of grooming. Similarly mobile phones are now mini computers with access to the internet, cameras and a plethora of instant messaging and photo sharing apps.
- Be suspicious! Our experience has been that on occasion, parents have been shocked by their children's online activity. Children can be good at giving the 'right answers' to parents to protect their online freedom. Their exploration of this perceived freedom can expose them to danger of course.
- See the list of useful websites page for further information and support. You can always ask for advice at school - if we don't know something then we can usually find out.