The internet opens up a world of entertainment, information, opportunity and knowledge. The internet is here to stay and we embrace it as a learning platform.
In school we have filters and control over the different devices we use; however we know that instead of restricting pupil use, it is better to educate children on how to safely use the internet and what to do if they run into problems.
We know the best way to educate and support children to be safe online is by working together with parents/carers. Our PSHE and computing curriculum enables our children to become digitally literate as well as having the tools to be digitally resilient and safe and we encourage parents/carers to:
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.
Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
Below are some links that can support you as parents/carers. Please contact us if you have any concerns about helping your child stay safe online.
Click here for the CEOP safety link.
Useful online safety resources for parents / carers