Dear Parents and Carers,
As you are aware, the online world is posing an ever-increasing risk to children and it is important that we work together to take an active role in teaching children about online dangers and how to act safely when using the internet.
We are therefore delighted to announce that St Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School is continuing to show our commitment to protecting our pupils online by taking a proactive whole school community approach to internet safety and we are now working towards achieving National Online Safety Certified Community accreditation. Therefore, we are working with National Online Safety- providing resources for all parents and carers.
Please do speak to us if you have any concerns about anything your child is doing or experiencing on the internet.
We know how important staying safe is at St Roberts and we know you’re always keen to promote ways to stay safe at home, too. Our children are computer wizards and we need to keep up with them!
Safe and responsible use of the internet is something which is ever growing in importance and is an issue we are keen to continue to raise awareness of and will continue to act upon. E-safety is a key part of our curriculum for both Computing and our daily lives.
As teachers and parents, we’re aware of the ways in which the use of social media, online gaming and the internet have become part of young people’s lives.
We must embrace the educational and social benefits of these new technologies and encourage responsible internet use. We’re also increasingly aware of the potential dangers and opportunities for misuse these technologies can offer. The key to promoting online safety is open and honest discussions about the sites we’re using and the ways we’re using them – keep the dialogue open with your children about their internet use.
The following list contains lots of ideas and resources to help you to promote online safety:
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) have published a short, really helpful guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media. The guide includes practical tips about the use of safety and privacy features on apps and platforms, as well as conversation prompts to help families begin talking about online safety. It also contains pointers to further advice and support. See link
A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friends house. To support parents in creating a family agreement, Childnet International have put together some free advice and a family agreement template.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance has joined forces with internet security company McAfee to produce a series of videos on the topic, looking at how and why cyberbullying occurs; advice for children and young people to protect themselves and tips to pass on to parents about steps they can take at home.
This video from Common Sense Media gives pupils five basic rules for engaging with social media, including switching on privacy settings and turning off location tracking features that harvest data (parents might be interested to watch this Guardian video which explores this in more detail).
Common Sense has also created videos explaining how the most popular apps and sites work, so if you have ever found yourself wondering what Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are, these are a good place to start your education.
The ever-brilliant Horrible Histories tackles similar themes in a sidelong way, with Lady Jane Grey clicking a dodgy link and getting spammed; a prudish Victorian lying about his age and stumbling across scandalous content (ladies without gloves); and Guy Fawkes learning a valuable lesson about privacy settings as his plot fizzles out.