The Internet has become an integral part of children’s lives, enabling them to undertake research for school projects, talk to their friends and access information from around the world. Increasing provision of the Internet in and out of schools brings with it the need to ensure that learners are safe.

Internet development is constantly evolving into ever more innovative areas with many websites enabling amazing creativity and interaction between peers.

Unfortunately though, there are times when Internet use can have a negative effect on children. Schools should be aware of the potential dangers taking measures to ensure safe usage by all.

This area of our school website is dedicated to helping users better understand the issues around online safety and manage the risks more effectively.

Teaching Safe Use of the Internet and ICT

We believe that it is crucial to teach pupils how to use the Internet safely, both at home and at school, and we use the Kidsmart safety code to support our teaching in this area:

Kidsmart has been developed by the Childnet charity and is endorsed by the DfES

The main aspects of this approach include the following five SMART tips:

· Safe – Staying safe involves being careful and not giving out your name, address, mobile phone no., school name or password to people online.

· Meeting someone you meet in cyberspace can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’/carers’ permission and then when they are present.

· Accepting e-mails or opening files from people you don’t really know or trust can get you into trouble – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.

· Reliable – someone online may be lying and not be who they say they are. If you feel uncomfortable when chatting or messaging end the conversation.

· Tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.

Take age-appropriate precautions

  • 13 years old to use Facebook.
  • 13 years old to use Instagram.
  • 13 years old to use Snap Chat.
  • 8 years old to use Roblox.
  • 16 years old to use WhatsApp.

With young children:

  • Use technology in a shared family room.
  • Check the age rating of the games your child plays.
  • Develop trust
  • Listen to your child

Danger signs you should look out for

If your child is:

  • Using technology excessively.
  • Staying online through the night.
  • Being secretive about what they are doing.
  • Behaving very differently in what they wear, their attitudes or friends.
  • Receiving gifts or money from unknown sources.

These signs may all be perfectly innocent of course, but remember to always talk to your child. Be supportive.

Finally….Use the internet safely and responsibly!

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