Keeping Safe Online.
The Internet has become part of everyday life. Like all of us, our pupils are increasingly using the Internet to communicate with friends, to learn, do research for their home-learning tasks and topics, and find information about almost anything.
For the most part, the Internet provides a wealth of creativity, ideas and ways to communicate with the world. However, as it is developing and changing daily, we need to be vigilant about the safety of our pupils, in school and at home.
With this in mind, the school and its pupils, parents and carers – all need to be aware of the risks and dangers the Internet can pose, to ensure we have taken the necessary safeguards to ensure the Web and internet are used safely.
Within lessons at Loudwater School, our pupils use the Internet regularly and are frequently reminded how to keep themselves safe when they are online. E-safety is now part of the Computing Curriculum in the new National Curriculum.
As a school however, we have no way to ensure that our pupils are using the Internet safely at home. It is here where we need the co-operation of our parents and carers.
You can help by:
Supervising your child’s access to the Internet by making sure your child uses the computer in a communal area, where you can keep an eye on what websites and content they are accessing.
Discuss what your children are doing online, what their homework/research is, so that you can assist access if necessary. This is particularly necessary with younger pupils, or pupils who are not confident spellers, as they can often mistakenly access incorrect websites because of what they have misspelt in the search engine.
Google SafeSearch - screens sites that contain sexually explicit content and removes them from your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, it sieves out most of the content you would not want your children to stumble across.
By default, Moderate SafeSearch is usually turned on. This helps keep explicit images out of your search results. If you prefer, you can change your setting to Strict filtering to help filter out explicit text as well as images. You can modify your computer's SafeSearch settings by clicking on search settings at the top right of the Google homepage. You can also go to Internet options, Content, Family Safety.
Monitoring the use of Facebook and all other Social Media Sites, Twitter, Instagram etc. Parents need to be aware that many of these sites have a minimum age limit of 13 so our pupils are too young and should therefore not be using them.
(This includes sharing photos of themselves and their friends on these sites, unless they have the explicit permission from all parents concerned!)
Why not explore useful e-safety sites with your children, so that you together you can see how to use the Internet safely.
The following links have some very good information for parents and children:
Resources from the BBC for parents
CEOP’s (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) site for parents