IT is a fast moving area and one which our children often enjoy. Despite the benefits and positives of technology and the internet, there are dangers which both our children and parents need to be aware of in order to stay safe.
At Friars, we ensure that our school curriculum empowers children with a clear understanding of technologies, the internet, and of various platforms where they might have contact with others. Our computing curriculum is delivered by our specialist computing teacher and children receive regular online safety lessons. During these sessions the children are taught about the dangers of the internet and how to respond if they should ever encounter something that upsets or worries them. Online safety is addressed elsewhere in the curriculum too, for example PSHE, where our class teachers build on learning. We also work closely with external agencies and groups who come in to deliver workshops and training. In the summer of 2021 The Two Johns, two former police officers who worked in child protection, delivered workshops for children, parents and staff which were very valuable. We also had pupil workshops for Years 5 and 6 provided by Essex Police.
What can you do to help your child stay safe online?
Talk to your child about what they do on the internet and ensure that your child is confident to tell you if something has happened or if they have seen something which they should not have. Do not tell them off after they have confided in you. This may stop them doing so again.
Check the age ratings/requirements of games and social media platforms. For example, children should be 13 to have a Facebook account and many popular games have 15 or 18 certificates.
If your child does have a social media account, ensure that they link to yours so that you can see what they post and who they connect with. Make this a condition of them having an account.
Ensure that your child only has ‘friends’ which they know in the real world.
Remind them that they should only post something online that they are happy for the whole world to know. For example, if you would not want it on the screen in a busy cinema, do not post it online.
Remind them that they should never meet up with someone who they have met online.
Keep the computer in a public space in your home. Do not allow them to use technology in their rooms. This includes computers, mobile devices and games consoles.
Use parental controls or filters on your computers to prevent them from accessing inappropriate material.
If children are not comfortable speaking to their parents, they should click on the CEOP button on whichever platform is being used (if it has one) or click on the relevant ‘report’ button.
Parental Controls and Filters
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or web browsers provide parental controls and filters in order for you to limit what can be accessed on your computer. The ISP or browser which you use will determine the process for installing them. We cannot, therefore, list all of the methods. You will need to contact your ISP (e.g. Sky, BT, Talk Talk etc) for specific instruction on how to utilise their controls. However, below are links to instructions on how to install parental controls on two of the most common web browsers – Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
The following videos have been made as part of a series call Live My Digital in partnership with Digital Awareness UK in order to help parents and children further understand the challenges of the online environment.
Relationships & Grooming
This is a superb guide to 48 of the most commonly used social websites. Simply typing in the website name e.g. Club Penguin, Minecraft etc. will enable you to see how to access privacy settings, safety advice, reporting and signing up.
This site aims to make online parenting simple. It gives practical tips and simple guidance for using the internet.
You can get advice on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) helps children stay safe online and works nationally and internationally to bring offenders, including those involved in production, distribution and viewing of child abuse material, to the UK Courts. It is often referred to as the online 999. You can get advice on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online.
a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.