The internet is essential in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. As children move up through the school their access to various types of technology increases and it stands to reason that their exploration and curiosity increases too.
The positives of the digital world overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives but children, schools and parents all need to be aware of various online risks.
Online safety is an integral part of children’s education in today’s digital world and is embedded in their learning at school. We want to help our parents and children to improve their own understanding of online safety issues so they can learn to use the internet and all digital media in a safe and secure way.
Online Safety is a vital part of our curriculum and is embedded throughout the academic year through Computing and PSHE lessons, as well as whole school events including annual training for staff, pupils and parents and Safer Internet Day, which takes place each February.
All pupils begin each academic year with a series of lessons carefully designed to promote positive behaviour online. Pupils continue to receive dedicated Online Safety lessons at the start of each new half term. During these lessons we address a range of issues including:
- Self-image and Identity
- Online Relationships
- Online Reputation
- Online Bullying
- Managing Online Information
- Health, Well-being and Lifestyle
- Privacy and Security
- Copyright and Ownership
At New York Primary School we follow the SMART rules:
These rules are displayed in all classrooms and are referred to at the start of all Computing lessons.
At New York, we strongly believe that the ability to safely and critically use the Internet is an essential tool for our pupils in today’s technology driven world.
However, whilst there are many benefits to having Internet access in schools, there are also always potential hazards. We have taken a number of positive steps to restrict these risks in our school. Pupils only have Internet access during teacher supervised lessons and our school internet access provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials.
We provide children with an Acceptable User Agreement appropriate to their age group, which they sign to show that they understand our school’s rules on staying safe online. Copies of these documents can be found on the right.
As a parent or carer, you'll know how important the internet is to children - they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves.
But the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting and you may worry about the risks your child can face online. Online safety is not just about protecting children from some of the dangers of the internet – it is also about helping them manage their use of technology.
One way to do this is to engage with your children regarding their use of the internet while at home. Here are some 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.
There are also a number of fantastic resources designed to help parents to stay up to date with the fast moving and changing world of internet and social media.
They contain information on different types of social media and how to help keep children safe. We have provided details of some of these resources below:
Internet Matters is a website which provides schools and parents with age-specific advice regarding different areas of online safety. It also contains useful advice about how to set up devices safely and how to add parental controls to different digital devices.
The NSPCC has a site called Net Aware which provides unbiased up-to-date information on current apps and sites along with advice to parents about how to deal with any potential issues.
The Department for Education has launched an online safety resource called Parent Info. It has advice on different popular apps and websites and advises parents on how to handle difficult online safety issues such as trolling.
ThinkUKnow is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency. It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues. It also has lots of games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.
LGfL have produced a free video which has some great advice and a very catchy song to support younger children with their online safety education.
Childnet is a great website resource for parents and children on online safety. Click here to watch an interactive video on how to keep your child safer online.
At New York, we have a new checklist for parents to help their children stay safe which you can download here
To see the latest information for parents on how to keep their 4-7 years old safe online, please click here
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 link here
Here are two booklets parents may find useful. Young people and social networking sites and Supporting children online