The internet is a wonderful and powerful tool that has become part of everyday life for children; they have never known a time when the internet did not exist. They use it to research, play games, send messages, talk to friends and family, watch videos and much more.
As a school, we are keen to help children see the positive power of the internet and help them to become digital citizens of a global community. However, we also want them to be educated about the risks involved, the rights they have and the action they can take when something goes wrong.
As a school, we take numerous steps to keep children safe online: internet access in school only takes place under adult supervision; the Local Educational Authority provide up-to-date filtering on all internet searches and we embed e-safety into our curriculum. This involves delivering specific, age-appropriate lessons in each year group from Foundation Stage to Year 6. Click each of the bold links below for further information.
In Foundation Stage the children learn through the story of Smartie the penguinwho wants to use his big brothers laptop without asking.
In Years 1 and 2, the children pair up with Hector the dolphin and his friends who are learning about keeping their personal information safe online.
In Years 3 and 4, the children work with Kara, Winston and the SMART crewas they learn about the SMART rules that are shown in the poster below. These SMART rules form Abbey Road’s e-safety steps and are displayed in every classroom.
In Years 5 and 6, the children explore Band Runner to learn about how to safely use social media.
After exploring these resources, the class agree on the rules that they will follow when online. At our school, we have created the ‘Abbey Road Technology Promise‘ – these are our rules for using technology safely in school. This is signed by the class and displayed in each classroom as a reminder to the children.
The Equals Trust have created this very useful blog that is regularly updated with ideas and advice for parents.
You can also download a simple checklist here that may help you protect your children online and decrease the risks they face. Or you can engage with your children regarding their use of the internet while at home with these conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com
Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online
If you would like to know more information on how to keep your child safe when they are using a smartphone here is a very useful and informative linkhere
There is a great new online safety tool designed for parents launched by the Department for Education called Parent Info. It has advice on such topics as keeping children safe from online trolls to WhatsApp – a guide for parents.
Childnetis a website resource for parents and children on online safety. Click here to watch an interactive video on how to keep your child safer online.
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.
Here are quick links to a range of Internet safety sites that you may find useful too…
With so many games and apps available to children, it can be a challenge to know which ones are okay for your child. To help with this, nationalonlinesafety.com have produced some helpful posters, outlining a number of the main considerations.