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Online safety

Online Safety information for parents

Our pupils are growing up in a world of ever-changing technology. While we feel that the use of technology is a largely positive aspect of modern life, we cannot ignore the risks that can be associated.

Throughout school, we aim to teach children:

  • About the impact of cyber-bullying and what to do if they have been affected.
  • To be vigilant when communicating online recognising that people may not always be who they say they are and to be sensible about what they share.
  • To tell an adult they trust if something is upsetting them.
  • To question the reliability of information given through a web based source.
  • To search responsibly for information while using Internet browsers.

We understand that much of our pupil's use of the Internet will occur at home, away from the school filters.

Below are a list of useful websites, advice and resources that you may find helpful when navigating the issue of online safety with your child. At the bottom of this page are resources that your child can directly access as well to help them learn about online safety.

Useful resources and links

Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. Since 2006, it aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them. 

Internet Matters
A comprehensive web resource with a wide array of tips and advice on how to navigate the online world with your child. Some of their guidance we attach below, but you can find even more by visiting the link. 

National Online Safety
National Online Safety's mission is to make the Internet a safer place for children. They aim to do this by equipping school staff, parents and children with the knowledge they need to understand online dangers and how best to react should an incident arise. The link above provides up-to-date information about a wide variety of social media apps and platforms your child might be using.

The NSPCC are the first to admit that the Internet is amazing. Children can play, learn, create and connect - opening up a whole world of exciting possibilities. But with the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child’s staying safe? That’s where the NSPCC come in. Whether you’re an online expert or you’re not sure where to start, their tools and advice will help you keep your child safe.

Childnet International is a registered UK charity that aims to make the Internet a safe place for children and young people. Packed with resources it is a great resource for parents.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) is part of the National Crime Agency and their website can be used to report if you are worried about online abuse or the way someone is communicating online.

The BBC have a website and app called Own It. The website has a lot of content for children to help them navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most.

SafeToNet is technology that educates children “in-the-moment” as they use their device. It is a safeguarding assistant that helps them become responsible and safe digital citizens. Its power lies in a smart keyboard that detects risks in real-time. It steers children away from trouble by filtering harmful outgoing messages before they can be sent and any damage can be done.

A guide to Apps & Social Media

Is your child ready for social media?

It is REALLY important to think about your child’s current social and emotional skills as well as their maturity, when asking yourself if your child is ready for social media. Consider if they are able to deal with the pressure, risks, emotions and unpredictable nature of using social media while using it responsibly.

Children who struggle with social interactions offline may find online friendships difficult because there are fewer visual clues online. This can make it difficult to tell if something is inappropriate.

Boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour might be different online to offline. Children who struggle with self-regulation or peer pressure may not be ready yet.

Children may see or experience things they do not want to on social media, including embarrassing pictures, mean comments, and inappropriate content and people.

When they set up their social media account, you will probably want to come to an agreement about how they use it and supervise their online activity. You will also want them to feel like they can come to you if they are ever worried or upset about something they have experienced.

What are the minimum ages to open accounts?

13+: TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Kik, YouTube, Snapchat, Discord & Facebook

16+: Whatsapp

Talking About Safe Social Media Use

If your child uses social media, here are some of the things you should discuss with them.

Friends and relationships

With younger children, talk about what it means to be a good friend online, how they would deal with a disagreement or what they would do if one of their friends was unkind to them. Remind them that they should treat their friends online as they would offline.

Whatever their age, it can be really tempting to accept as many friend requests or follows as possible, as this makes you feel popular. But remember, they could be anyone. Before accepting a request, do you really want them seeing your pictures, videos or comments?

Know how to report and get help

It is important that children and young people always know where to go if they come across something that worries them or makes them feel uncomfortable online. Make sure they know that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online.

Most social media services will have a reporting system. So, if someone’s shared an embarrassing picture or someone is being unkind, they can report this on sites and apps by visiting their ‘safety’ pages.

Make sure they know how they can report unwelcome behavior or, if they are worried about something else, they can speak with a 'trusted adult' in school.

Other popular Apps are:

  • Fortnite
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube
  • Minecraft
  • Clash of Clans & Clash Royale
  • Kik
  • Friv
  • Dubsmash
  • Wink
  • YOLO

Resources for children to use

Below are some links that children themselves can access for help when navigating the tricky subject of online safety,

Year 3 – Year 6

Below are links more suitable for older children.