How safe is your child online?

At Wickhambrook Primary Academy, we know that technology can be a wonderful tool for enhancing learning and communicating with others, but we also know that we need to teach children about the potential risks when using technology. Therefore, e-Safety is an absolutely crucial area of a child's education and we are committed to raising awareness and educating children in this area. E-Safety is taught to all ages through our Computing curriculum as well as within other areas of the curriculum.

Using the 4 C’s created by the Safer Internet Centre is a useful starting point to keeping children safe online which are embedded through our Computing curriculum:

Conduct

We make children aware of the impact they have through the choices they make when communicating online or offline. It is important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, what they put online.

  • Keep personal information safe and do not share with people you do not know.
  • Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.
  • Make children aware of their ‘Digital Footprint’: once something is online, it is often difficult to change.
  • We want to empower children to be responsible for their actions and ensure that they know how to report unkind behaviours.

Content

Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias.

  • Internet filtering systems can be set up to prevent young people from accessing inappropriate content – guidance is available here and here.
  • Beware of publishing personal/confidential information about yourself or others, as this could put you at risk.
  • Encourage children to question sources of information and teach them about assessing reliability.
  • Use Guided Access features on iPads or other tablets.

Contact

The Internet opens up a wide variety of networks that children would otherwise not have access to.

  • Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step.
  • Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access.
  • If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk).

CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) is an organisation run by the NCA (National Crime Agency), and is therefore government run. They are tasked with keeping children (and adults) safe while online. As well as offering many resources to educate children in this area, they are also somewhere where safety concerns can be raised if required. We teach the children in KS2 about this ‘report’ feature (while encouraging them to speak to an adult and complete it together wherever possible) and have included a link above so that parents can familiarise themselves with it too. You will also see the link on various social networking and messaging websites.

  • If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline.
  • Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.
  • Reiterate:

safe – not giving out any personal information;
tell – tell someone if you see something that you don’t like or upsets you; and
meet – don’t meet up with someone you have met online.

Commercialism

Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications.

  • Encourage your children to keep their personal information private.
  • Learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails.
  • Turn off in-app purchasing on devices where possible.
  • Use a family email address when filling in online forms.

Below are some examples of persuasive adverts on why you should never meet up with someone that you have only met online. These were written by children in Deer class as part of their writing lessons where they used their e-safety knowledge to support their writing.

Please see the attachments for further information and resources for support. These include:

  • A monthly publication called #ditto (Free Online Safety Newsletter for Schools and Parents (esafety-adviser.com)) to keep parents and carers up to date with online safety risks, issues, advice and guidance related to keeping children safe online, with a view to enjoying and learning about technology.
  • A useful website called www.thinkuknow.co.uk with hints and tips for parents and carers on areas such as parental controls and also tools for children to use computers safely.
  • A link for internet matters.org advising parents about how to help their children use social media safely along with information on other online topics.
  • An ‘Online Gaming’ leaflet that explores the online gaming environment and provides a wealth of safety advice.

+ NSPCC Online Safety Helpline for parents and carers to call for technical advice: 0808 800 5002

If you have a safeguarding concern about any child, please contact your child’s teacher or the designated person(s) for Safeguarding in the school immediately.