At Patterdale CofE Primary School we take online safety very seriously. New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in society, both within schools and in their lives outside school. The Internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other, and these technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning.
Children and young people have an entitlement to safe internet access. The requirement to ensure that children and young people can use online and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. The school Online Safety Policy and Procedures will help to ensure safe and appropriate use. The development and implementation of such a strategy will involve all the stakeholders in a child’s education from the Head teacher and Governors to the senior leaders and classroom teachers, support staff, parents, members of the community and the pupils themselves.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote pupil achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk within and outside the school. With that in mind, here is our Online Safety Policy along with some top tips for keeping your child as safe as they can be online along with useful links to home activities that parents and carers can do with their children to enhance their own knowledge of online safety.
TOP ONLINE SAFETY TIPS
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 www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents has films, games and advice for parents and children from 5.
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.
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 inappropriate.
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 Wi-Fi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Use parental controls
Set 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. There is a link on the 'Think u Know' website which can help you find your service provider and set your controls.
Help you child to understand that they should never give out personal details online
Personal information includes their messanger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family and friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone could be looking at their images!
Spam/junk email and texts
If you child receives spam remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them. It’s not a good idea for your child to open files from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain—it could be a virus or worse—an inappropriate image or film.
Help your child to understand that some people lie online
Therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
Teach your child how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable
USEFUL LINKS TO ONLINE SAFETY ACTIVITIES & HELP
Internet Safety Test
The lovely folk at VirginMedia have devised this little test for parents to do with their children so help familiarise them with the methods to stay safe online:
This site has some excellent home activity packs and is easy to use!
Engaging online safety stories for young children aged 3-7 yrs
Get expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.