Being online is an integral part of the lives of children today and they are having to navigate growing up with the advantages and disadvantages of social media in a way no other generation has.
As with other subjects the understanding and support of our parents, carers and the wider community is essential to truly embed awareness and good practice in our children. We all have a role to play.
E-safety is about keeping safe whilst using technology online. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops, tablets and smart displays both at school and at home. The dangers range from personal safety to emotional health. Thankfully there is really good sources of help which we have included here.
Please take some time to take a look at these resources and always speak to your child's teacher for further information if required.
Going online is a key part of any child's experience. It's fun, creative and essential to keep strong connections with wider family, contacts and friends but risks introducing inappropriate material, strangers and unacceptable behaviour right into the heart of the home.
Rather than trying to shut down the use of the internet it is advisable to be open with your child about using it openly and correctly. Childnet produces a guide to the conversation and a family agreement that can help everyone understand the dangers and how to deal with them.
Social games that allow chat whilst playing and apps that encourage the posting of videos and images are now a large part of children's down time.
Net Aware is a superb guide to the different apps and games and gives advice on the tools available to manage them with your child.
Further advice and information can be found at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command website, which also is a portal for reporting incidents of online abuse.
Childline also provides help in cases of anxiety, cyber-bullying and other abuse.
SAFE – Staying safe online involves being careful and thinking about whether it is safe to give out personal information.
MEETING – Meeting up with someone you have contacted in cyberspace can be dangerous. Only do so with your parent’s/carer’s permission and then only when they can go with you.
ACCEPT – Accepting e-mails or opening files from people you don’t know can be dangerous. – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
RELIABLE – Anyone can put anything on the net and remember people can lie and not be who they say they are in chat rooms.
TELL – Tell your parent/carer or teacher if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
The internet and mobile technology allows children to:
Research – access to a huge amount of information;
Collaborate – support each other with homework etc.;
Contribute – using join discussion forums and creating;
shared online resources such as wikis;
Communicate – speak to other children across the world;
Create – children design their own web pages;
Publish – share ideas and resources with a world wide audience.
Be aware of the dangers:
How accurate and reliable is the information being accessed?
Who are children collaborating and communicating with?
Is any of the communication upsetting or threatening?
What personal information is being shared online?
Sharing resources may involve sharing viruses and other damaging material, it may also be illegal.
Is the content appropriate?
Does private mean private?
Remember the school can always give advice on these issues.
Within school we think it is really important that the children become confident users of the internet. Therefore for both ICT and other subjects they will frequently use tablets and laptops. A member of staff will always be present to help and guide them. We have filtered access to the internet which keeps educational resources available.
The ICT curriculum includes regular e-safety sessions, which include topics such as:
the dangers of talking to strangers;
what to do if confronted with material that makes you uncomfortable;
appropriate language and being kind online;
keeping your accounts safe;
where to go for help;
posting appropriate material to social media and the dangers of sharing.
Click on the images below for excellent advice and guidance for parents on how to support you child's safe use of the internet: