Dear Parents and Carers,
During this challenging time, we are aware that your children might be spending more time than ever on the internet whether it is to access work, stay in touch with friends, follow the news or as way of having fun while passing the time. As a result of this, it is more important than ever that our children are sensible and safe users of the internet.
To help support you with this, we have collated a number of very useful resources for you including questions to use when starting a conversation about online safety and parent guides for commonly used websites and games. This information can be found on our school website in the online safety section under the parent tab.
Teaching children how to be safe when using the internet is a key element of our E-Safety programme. All year groups have lessons which teach them about some of the potential dangers when using the internet. They are taught key safety rules using a variety of different activities that are appropriate to their age.
Social networking sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are very popular with young people as they allow young people to be creative online and keep in touch with their friends. However, (unless the site is specifically aimed at younger children) these sites stipulate a minimum user age of 13 as they are not suitable for children below that age. There are specific leaflets about these sites on our website which you may find useful.
Remember that it is very important to chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online. If you’re 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?
Keeping the dialogue open with your children is crucial so that if they do see something upsetting online that they will be able to talk to you about it both at this age and as they get older.
If we can do anything else to help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Mrs Moore and Mr Dias
Head Teacher and Computing Subject Lead