The Internet can be a wonderful resource for children. They can use it for research, to communicate with friends and family, and play interactive games. However with the rise in access to the internet, through the wide range of gaming, mobile devices and smartphones, comes the increase in the potential for harm from inappropriate use. That's why it's vitally important to be aware of what your children see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online.
Online safety covers a wide range of topics and devices which comprise the 'online' experience. As parents and carers please do talk to your children about how they use the internet and keep themselves safe online. Please see the link to the school's online safety policy.
Children are taught about Internet safety as they progress through our school, but it is also important that parents and carers are fully aware of the how your child uses the internet. Up to date information and activities for parents and students can be found on the ‘Thinkuknow’ website
We advise parents to follow these top tips for ensuring your child safety when using the internet:
- 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.
- Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
- 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.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- 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 they don’t want to see.
- 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 wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Use parental 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. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.
You may also find this link useful, and some more below:
Bullying UK – Cyber Bullying
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Childnet (Know It All)
DirectGov : Click Clever, Click Safe
Get Safe Online
OFCOM – Advice for Parents
ThinkUKnow (Hector’s World)
There are a wide range of technologies available now which have access to online resources and the following documents give specific information on some of these.
Internet Safety Resources
There is a great new online safety tool designed for parents launched by the Department for Education called Parent Info. It's has advice on everything from keeping children safe from online trolls to WhatsApp - a guide for parents.
Childnet is a great website resource for parents and children on online safety.
Think U Know has a great section for parents and covers topics such as gaming and talking to strangers. You can also search by topic or age range to find information that is relevant for your family. You can find the site here
Internet Matters is another great site to use - it has advice on cyberbullying, how to talk to your children about internet safety and quick guides to different types of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. You can visit their pages here Internet Matters.
You can download the DofE advice for parents on cyberbullying here
You can access the DofE online parents support website called Parent Info here
Here are quick links to a range of Internet safety sites that you may find useful too...
Please click here to find a copy of our Code of Conduct for you to sign and return to school.