There is a lot of online learning taking place in every household across the country and the world.
We urge all parents to constantly check on what their children are doing online and making sure that they are accessing sites and activities that are safe.
The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly our children’s. At Langdale, we strongly encourage sensible use of digital and online technologies. They open up huge possibilities for learning for all of our children; children can use the internet to research new information, as well as connecting to children they know online or via mobile phone. For parents and carers, this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of, in particular the need to ensure your child’s safe and responsible use of technology.
On this page you will find useful information and guidance to help you keep your children safe when they are using the Internet. Remember this does not just apply to using a computer as many games consoles, tablets and smart phones allow access to the Internet.
Risks your child may face online
The 'thinkuknow' website has lots of information about the possible risks your child faces online. Clicking on the hyperlink to their site below will take you to some practical, primary-school appropriate information about things such as:
- Inappropriate websites
- Losing control over pictures and video
- Viruses, hacking and security.
What you can do to help
As a parent or carer you have a challenging job: you need to know what your children are doing online and also to help them to do it in a safe way. With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the best way to stay informed is to get involved! Conversation starters might include watching some of the videos on the 'thinkuknow' website together and talking about them afterwards, or asking your child to teach you how to do something online. You can use these discussions as a basis for reaching family agreements about how the internet and mobile phones should be used at home.
The most important thing to do is to talk to your child about their online behaviour; what sites they visit, how they behave and what they need to do if something happens online or via mobile phone that makes them feel unhappy, uncomfortable or afraid. The Centre for Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) recommend that access to the internet should be via a computer or device kept in a family room, not in the child’s bedroom or away from where an adult would be able to see what they are doing and who they are communicating with.
If you are speaking with your child about e-safety and they say something that concerns you, don’t panic – try to keep an open mind. Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken. Provide a quiet, calm place where they can talk about what is happening. Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do. It may not be easy for a child to talk about their concerns so it is important to try to find out how they are feeling, what has happened, when and where. However, at this stage it is not so much about establishing a set of facts as listening, encouraging and talking – it could be that through your discussion your concerns will be allayed as you understand more their experiences and feelings.
We also recommend the following:
- Don’t deny access to technology. This may prevent your child from speaking to you about their safety online. Some of our pupils are worried that if they tell someone about anything bad that has happened online, their access to the internet or phone will be removed. The best thing we can do for the children is to teach them how to deal with technology, not to avoid it.
- Discuss online safety with your child. Explore the tools available together and know how to report nasty messages or inappropriate behaviour.
- Save the evidence. Encourage your child to save the evidence of any messages they receive. This is so they have something to show when they do report the issue.
- Don’t reply. If your child is experiencing cyber-bullying, most of the time the bully is looking for a reaction when they are teasing or calling someone nasty names. Tell your child not to reply. If they do they’re giving the bully exactly what they want. Instead, they should tell someone about what they have seen.
- Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience – and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam).
- Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends — personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could!
- If your child receives spam/junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them. It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain — it could be a virus, or worse — an inappropriate image or film. Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
- Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Teach them how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.
Below are useful links relating to online safety
Safeguarding our children from extremism and radicalisation
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 obliges schools and other authorities to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism or extremism.
It important that these risks and dangers are considered for every child, right across the country. This includes those places that have not traditionally seen themselves as being at risk, such as in a primary school like ours. We recognise this fact and ensure that children are safe from online terrorist and extremist material in school, via appropriate levels of filtering, we check the suitability of visiting speakers and make sure that our staff are equipped to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, as well as to challenge extremist ideas. They know how to refer children for further help.
Please remember that everyone has a responsibility to take action to report any concerning content online including our parents, staff, governors and children:
- Report extremist content to social media providers. Find out more at www.seeitreportit.org and in the UK Safer Internet Centre’s guide to safety tools on social networks at http://tinyurl.com/p49pbaq
- Report terrorism-related content to the police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism
The National Online Safety organisation have produced some very useful online safety guides for parents.