Although there are certain risks associated with internet use we have taken steps to ensure these are kept to an absolute minimum. Our School Internet provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials. This may not be the case at home, but your internet provider may be able to offer a ‘nanny filter’ which will let you restrict your child’s access to inappropriate sites. If you have further questions on this matter please contact us.
In Southwold Primary School and Early Years Centre we take the following steps to ensure acceptable use of the internet.
- Use of a filtered Internet Service Provider
- Children’s use of the internet is a supervised activity
- Websites used by the children will be viewed by staff prior to use and also regular checks will be made on the computer’s Internet browser, bookmarks, cache or history.
- Children will be informed about and understand the Rules for Responsible Internet Use
Whilst every endeavour is made to ensure that suitable restrictions are placed on the ability of children to access inappropriate materials, the school cannot be held responsible for the nature or content of materials accessed through inappropriate Internet use. As long as your child follows rules and instructions their use of the internet should be safe and appropriate.
If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the school for further information.
Below is a link to our letter to parents and the policy for you to download.
Southwold Acceptable Use Policy
There are also some useful videos and quizzes relating to e-safety on the BBC website:
http://parentinfo.org/ – Expert information to help children stay safe online
CEOPS(Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre-UK Government Child Protection Site
A Parents Guide To Techonolgy-UK Safer Internet Centre
The internet – an inspiring and positive place
The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your child has better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online. Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities. We have grouped potential online risks into these 4 categories.
Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers. Encourage your child to be respectful and responsible when communicating with others online, and to consider how what they share may reflect on them. Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.
Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.
It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access. If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk). If your child is bullied online, this can also be reported online and offline. Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.
Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within apps. Encourage your child to keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, turn off in-app purchasing on devices where possible, and use a family email address when filling in online forms. Make your child aware of scams that may seek to gain access to their accounts, and advise them to be wary in following links or opening attachments in emails that appear to be from organisations such as banks and service providers.
There are real advantages in maintaining an open dialogue with your child about their internet use.
Not sure where to begin? These conversation starter suggestions can help.
Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
Encourage them to help someone! Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
Think about how you each use the internet. What more could you do to use the internet together? Are there activities that you could enjoy as a family?
Find out more ways of starting a conversation about online safety at www.childnet.com/have-a-conversation
What can I do right now?
Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example who they’re talking to, services they’re using, and any issues they may be experiencing.
Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet. A template agreement can be found at www.childnet.com/have-a-conversation
Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities.
Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to educate them about the internet.
Encourage your child to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others.
Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.
Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others. Be able to recommend legal services.
Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites, services and apps.
If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.
Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful.
Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online.
Encourage your child to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.
Sign up to our Childnet newsletter at www.childnet.com.
Help make sure that your children know how to stay safe online, by using our SMART Rules for primary aged children, or 6 Tips for Teens.
SMART Rules for primary aged children:
Safe: Keep your personal information safe. When chatting or posting online don’t give away things like your full name, password or home address. Remember personal information can be seen in images and videos you share too.
Meet: Do not meet up with someone you only know online, even a friend of a friend, as they are still a stranger. If someone you only know online ever asks you to meet up, for personal information or for photos/ videos of you then tell an adult straight away and report them together on www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Accepting: Think carefully before you click on or open something online (e.g. links, adverts, friend requests, photos) and do not accept something if you are unsure who the person is or what they’ve sent you.
Reliable: You cannot trust everything you see online as some things can be out of date, inaccurate or not entirely true. Always compare 3 websites, check in books and talk to someone about what you find online.
Tell: Tell a trusted adult if something or someone ever makes you feel upset, worried or confused. You could talk to a teacher, parent, carer or a helpline like Childline 0800 11 11.
Heart: Remember to always be smart with a heart by being kind and respectful to others online. Make the internet a better place by helping your friends if they are worried or upset by anything that happens online.
6 Tips for Teens:
Protect your online reputation: use the tools provided by online services to manage your digital footprints and ‘think before you post.’ Content posted online can last forever and could be shared publicly by anyone.
Know where to find help: understand how to report to service providers and use blocking and deleting tools. If something happens that upsets you online, it’s never too late to tell someone.
Don’t give in to pressure: if you lose your inhibitions you’ve lost control; once you’ve pressed send you can’t take it back.
Respect the law: use reliable services and know how to legally access the music, film and TV you want.
Acknowledge your sources: use trustworthy content and remember to give credit when using other people’s work/ ideas.
Be a critical thinker: not everything or everyone is trustworthy; think carefully about what you see and experience on sites, social media and apps.
Further advice and resources: www.childnet.com www.saferinternet.org.uk