Online-Safety at Shirestone Academy
New technologies give children a range of exciting and valuable learning opportunities, but it is important that children understand how to stay safe and behave responsibly when online.
Online-Safety is an important part of the curriculum at Shirestone Academy and is embedded throughout all learning, as well as being taught in computing lessons. Areas covered include cyberbullying, keeping personal information safe, awareness of strangers online and responsible internet use.
Children are encouraged to be SMART on the internet:
Safe – Don’t give out personal information online, keep it safe.
Meeting – Don’t meet up with people you have only met online.
Accepting – Be careful when accepting e-mails, messages or files. They might contain viruses or nasty messages.
Reliable – Some information you find online might not be reliable, check information from a few websites. Some online users might lie about who they are.
Tell – Tell a trusted adult if something makes you uncomfortable or worried, or if someone you know if being cyber-bullied.
Online-Safety at home
At home, children have an ever increasing range of ways to access the internet. As well as laptops, iPads or tablet PCs, children can now also connect to the internet via games consoles, mobile phones and iPod touches.
CEOP’s Think U Know website offers the following tips for parents and carers:
- 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.
- Watch Think U Know films and cartoons with your child. The Think U Know site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
- 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.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- 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 settings 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
For more detailed information to help you keep your child safe online, please see the links below:
Childnet - http://www.childnet.com/
ThinkUKnow - https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
A parents' guide to social networks, games and apps. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
A parents' guide to parental controls. http://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/interactive-guide/