At Katherine Semar technology is used to enhance the learning and communicating with others but it is critical that we educate our pupils about the potential risks online and how navigate the internet safely when using computers and devices such as ipads and smart phones and games consoles. Online safety is explicitly taught at Katherine Semar as part of our computing curriculum.
Our online safety policy can be found on our website here.
Every two years we invite ‘The 2 Johns’ from EST safety training to run training for our staff and workshops for children and parents. They are ex-police officers who specialise in all issues of online child sexual exploitation.
Their website, esafetytraining.org, is the best place to start your search for information around online safety. It has a fantastic parents/carers and children’s section, which is easy to navigate and signposts you to the best websites on a wide range of topics including:
- issues children may face on online
- guidance on parental controls and privacy and security settings
- safety information on apps and games (including specific games and apps)
- advice on moderating screen time
- how to report anything worrying online
- guidance on social media
- advice on making safe choices about who they talk to and what they share online
- how to talk to children about online issues such as fake news
There is a wealth of information around online safety out there, which can be difficult to navigate, so this is a great website to pinpoint the exact support you need.
You can also follow ‘the 2 Johns’ on Facebook and Twitter (@JohnsThe2), where they post updates and guidance on current online safety issues.
The Four Cs
The breadth of issues within online safety is considerable. It can be categorised into four main areas of risk (content, contact, conduct and commerce). The 4 Cs (Safer Internet Centre) is a useful starting point. Links to useful websites on specific areas of online safety can be found within the information below.
We make children aware of the impact they have through the choices they make when communicating online or offline. It is important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, what they put online.
- Keep personal information safe and do not share with people you do not know.
- Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.
- Make children aware of their ‘Digital Footprint’: once something is online, it is often difficult to change.
- We want to empower children to be responsible for their actions and ensure that they know how to report unkind behaviours.
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.
Internet filtering systems can be set up to prevent young people from accessing inappropriate content – guidance is available here for setting up parental controls with the internet providers BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media and here for a vast range of smartphones and other devices, entertainment (such as Netflix) and search engines (such as google), a wide range of internet providers, social media platforms (such as TikTok) and games consoles.
- Beware of publishing personal/confidential information about yourself or others, as this could put you at risk.
- Encourage children to question sources of information and teach them about assessing reliability.
- Use Guided Access features on iPads or other tablets.
The Internet opens up a wide variety of networks that children would otherwise not have access to.
- 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 the victim of cyberbullying, 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.
safe – not giving out any personal information;
tell – tell someone if you see something that you don’t like or upsets you; and
meet – don’t meet up with someone you have met 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 applications.
- Encourage your children 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.
- Use a family email address when filling in online forms.
This leaflet explores the online gaming environment and provides a wealth of safety advice: Online Gaming.
If you would like to report an online safety concern related to your child or any other child please don’t hesitate to contact the school office, who will pass on your concern to a member of the safeguarding team.
Parental Controls Guide
This guide (see below) helps support you with setting up parental controls on operating systems, home internet, consoles, social media, tv/streaming, mobile devices, search engines and smart devices.
Today we have sent out our monthly online safety newsletter. In this edition you will find information about the risks around watching livestreams, links to parental controls for Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch and advice on online gaming including where to find information on whether a game is age appropriate. Just a reminder that this website https://esafetytraining.org/
is a great site for signposting you to other great sites for all sorts of areas related to online safety.