Online safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Spalding Primary Academy
All of our pupils are taught how to stay safe and behave appropriately online, but this approach is only successful if we work together and reinforce safe behaviour online at home too.
E-safety is an integral part of children’s education in today’s digital world and is embedded in their learning at school. We also want to help our parents, carers and children improve their own understanding of e-safety issues so they can learn to use the internet and all digital media in a safe and secure way.
We also know that children are becoming more accustomed to unsafe programs and being exposed to the content through alternate social media services such as youtube, twitch.tv (a video game streaming service) and TikTok. In this time, more than ever, it is important we safeguard our children from inappropriate content and unsafe programming.
Below are some helpful tips you may like to use at home to support this mission and you can view a range of guides for parents on various aspects of keeping safe online on the following website https://nationalonlinesafety.com/guides
Talk to your children:
- In order to protect children online, it is vital that we take an active interest in their online lives and engage in the digital world with them.
- Let your children teach you about their online world and how they use technology; playing new games and exploring websites together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online.
- Make sure your children know that you are safe and approachable; remind them that they can tell you if something happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable, without being told off or punished.
Take a look at the conversation starter ideas and family agreement template available from Childnet International: www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/have-a-conversation
Be ‘Share Aware’:
- If your children love to socialise online, it can be difficult to monitor who they are talking to and what they post all of the time. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help minimise the risks.
- Talk to your child about what is and isn’t appropriate to share online; whether it is their date of birth, location or photographs, they should be really careful about posting their personal information.
- Make sure your child understands how their privacy settings work; show your child how to make their online accounts private and discuss how to block and report other people online. The UK Safer Internet Centre have helpful guides: www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers
- Some parents feel guilty about the amount of time their children spend looking at a screen, but you can help your child maintain a healthy balance between online and offline activities.
- Set boundaries for children online the same way you do in the ‘real world’. Don’t try to ban the internet; instead agree as a family how long tech should be used for and what the limits, expectations and consequences are.
- Share quality time together. Consider nominating ‘tech-free’ areas or times, such as your child’s bedroom or dinner time, where you can give each other undivided attention and share offline experiences, like reading a book together.
- Familiarise yourself with the parental controls on your home devices or from your broadband provider; if ‘rules’ aren’t enough for your children, you may find switching the ‘Wi-Fi’ off in the evenings or keeping chargers downstairs may help ensure that they get a good night’s rest.
- Be a good role-model; remember that your children will follow your example, so think about your own use of technology and how often you pick up your devices.
Make it enriching:
- As adults, it is important that we acknowledge the many wonderful and positive opportunities the internet provides for our children; we just need to steer them in the right direction.
- Encourage your child’s creativity by teaching them how to take photos or make videos safely; these can be used to make a collage or be shared with family and friends.
- Create learning opportunities; just because they’re not at school, doesn’t mean children can’t continue to learn new things. There are a number of educational apps and resources available online or simply encourage your children to safely research different things online.
It's important to remember that the legal age to have an account on most social media - Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Yubo - is 13 years old.
E Safety At School
As part of your child’s curriculum and the development of ICT skills, we provide access to the internet only in teacher supervised lessons. We strongly believe that the use of the web and email is hugely worthwhile and an essential tool for children as they grow up in the modern world. But because there are always concerns about children having access to undesirable materials, we have taken positive steps to deal with this risk in school. Our school internet access provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials.
At the start of the school year, each class discusses how we can all stay safe online and the dangers we may face on the internet. We then ask the children to sign an E Safety Agreement so that we know they have read and understood our school's rules on staying safe.