The internet is an amazing tool for children and adults alike, providing the opportunity for research, gaming and communication with others. At St. Edward’s School we make sure that the children are aware of the risks to their online safety, what they can do to stay as safe as possible and what to do if they have any worries. We do this through lesson times, assemblies and workshops with parents. We would encourage parents/carers to be as proactive as possible regarding safe internet browsing and to discuss what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour online. We've detailed some tips for keeping children safe online below, but please have a look at this age-related online checklist too!
- Talk to your children 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 children to go online and explore the different age-appropriate websites that are available to them. There are many fun, educational sites that will also enable them to develop safe online skills.
- Keep up-to-date with your children’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. They can, in many ways, know more than adults and it is important that as your children learn 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.
- Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The website has films, games and advice for children from 5 all the way to 16.
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. This ensures that 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 – are they using a home connection, possibly connecting to a neighbour’s wifi, or even using an open wifi connection at a café or on a train? This will effect 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 such as Xbox, Wii or Playstations 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. Think carefully when purchasing new computer games as they also have age restrictions (like films) that determine whether or not they are suitable for children under the age of 18. www.internet-safety.yoursphere.com
- Think carefully about open forums such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat etc. These sites all have recommended age restrictions of 13+ years. Please check to see if your child has set up an account without you knowing. If they have, close down the account, or remind them of the need for safety.
- Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Primary/Tools/Parental-controls/
- We are committed to improving e-Safety not only in school but at home as well. If you would like to talk to a member of staff about any questions or concerns about internet use in school or at home, don't hesitate to get in touch.
- If you have to report any inappropriate content, contact or conduct they encounter online to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) by visiting this page and clicking our report button below.