🌟🖥 ONLINE SAFETY 🖥🌟
💻 Children and young people’s lives have changed dramatically because of the coronavirus. Children will be spending more time at home and online. 💻
While the internet is a great way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends and keep busy, it can also bring risks. Now more than ever it’s important to talk to your child about staying safe online and about the apps and sites they’re using.
👩🏼🏫 We have got some advice outlined below to help. 👨🏫
⏰ SCREENTIME ⏰
While many parents and carers may be worried about their children spending more time online during lockdown, it’s important to understand what they’re doing online rather than setting limits on their total screen time.
For example, a child may spend hours searching the internet, while another child may spend less time each day talking to people they don’t know on a livestreaming or video app.
Asking them about the sites, apps and games they use regularly can be a great way to start a conversation and help you identify any risks in what your child’s doing online or who they may be talking to. We’ve got some great tips below to help get you started.
💻 LIVE STREAMING AND VIDEO APPS 💻
Many children will find it hard not being able to see their friends or family in person, and video apps can be a great way for them to stay in touch during lockdown when used safely, but there are also risks for young people.
It’s really important to help your child understand how to livestream and use video apps safely and make sure they’re speaking to people they know already.
🚨 SOCIAL MEDIA SAFETY 🚨
Children are also likely to be spending more time on social media. While social media can be a good way for children and teenagers to stay in touch with friends they’re unable to see in person, it can also be unsafe. Children using social media may also be at greater risk of online abuse or online bullying.
Talking to your child about what they’re doing or sharing online can help you to understand any risks and keep them safe.
It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you.
It can help to:
For children, online life is real life. It can help to think about how your child could feel sharing what they're doing online before you talk to them.
Some emotions they could be feeling are:
Online safety, in all cases, in schools and elsewhere, remains a paramount concern. Schools play a crucial role in raising awareness of the risks, highlighting the impact of behaviour when engaging with online technologies and educating children and young people about how to act appropriately and stay safe.
(DENI Circular 2016/27, Online Safety, December 2016)
Online Safety is one of the major factors affecting our pupils today. As ‘Digital Natives’, our young people are spending an increasing amount of time engaging with online technologies. As a school, we play a crucial role in educating children on the responsible use of technology, raising awareness of risks and how to report any unwanted behaviour or content. It is also vital that all stakeholders are aware of these issues.
Our pupils are encouraged to recognise the potential of the technology in our lives and the opportunities afforded to enhance learning while at the same time learning and experiencing good practice. We offer lessons across all key stages as well as raising awareness of Online Safety through events such as 'Safer Internet Day' and 'Sticks and Stones Week'.
As a school we are continuously monitoring new developments in the online world, offering up-to-date advice and updating and amending policy.
We encourage parents to take time to look at the useful links provided as a point of reference for any questions or queries and attend our Online Safety events for parents and pupils.
Useful Links for Parents: