The school takes its duty of care to safeguard children very seriously. The internet is an exciting and fun place for adults and children to use and explore educationally and socially. The challenge for parents, carers and teachers is to make sure our children are aware and understand how to be safe when using the internet and related technologies.
In school, we teach children the SMART rules for staying safe online. You could ask your child how they stay safe online and discuss these rules.
Please see the Herts for Learning newsletters produced for Schools, Parents and Carers
‘New technologies, including gaming, can offer our children many exciting and positive experiences. However schools are increasingly aware of the negative impact that some online gaming is having on the education, achievement, sleep and behaviour of children. To find out more about the online games your children are playing and obtain advice offered to parents/carers based on research, please do listen to the Radio Verulam’s Parent’s Show podcast ‘Computer games and your kids’
There is comprehensive information about all the online saftey issues on the websites below and once parents and carers have the background on the subject they can decide what is right for their family.
NEW- https://www.internetmatters.org/start-school-safe-online/We’ve created a range of resources to help you start the conversation and keep your child safe online this new term.
www.thinkuknow.co.uk This link has some useful information to help children to use the internet and social networking sites. (Children below the age of 13 should not be using Facebook)
www.childnet.com A non-profit making organisation working directly with children, parents and teachers to ensure that the issues of online child protection and children’s safe and positive use of the internet are addressed.
www.kidsmart.org.uk/parents Kidsmart is an award winning practical internet safety programme website for schools, young people, parents and agencies, produced by the children’s internet charity Childnet International.
www.internetsafetyzone.co.uk a government sponsored website developed to inform parents and children about how to be safe on the internet.
www.bullying.co.uk One in five young people have experienced bullying by text message or via email. This website gives advice for children and parents on bullying.
www.internetmatters.org This website contains lots of information about staying safe online, with tips about games, social networking, mobile technology and more.
www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/a-z/ The BBC Webwise is a beginner’s guide to using the internet. There is a good section on children’s online safety.
http://www.phonebrain.org.uk/under-sevens/ This website explains how playing games on phones is not always free of charge.
https://www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report/ If you have been a victim of online abuse or you’re worried about somebody else, let CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) know securely.
It has come to our attention that a number of children at Layston School are playing the online game Fortnite: Battle Royale at home. There is a concern that children playing this game are able to speak to strangers online via the voice chat feature, so we have pulled together some information, below, which I hope you find useful:
– Fortnite: Battle Royale is rated PEGI 12 by the Video Standards Council for frequent scenes of mild violence.
– As Fortnite: Battle Royale is an online multiplayer game, players may interact with a number of different players who are picked at random, through live and mostly unmonitored chat. In yesterday’s e-safety assembly, the vast majority of children that have Fortnite: Battle Royale said that they had heard bad language when playing online.
– By default, voice chat is set to public. See the link below for advice on how to change this (expand “How can I protect my information?”): https://www.esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/games-apps-and-social-networking/fortnite
– To avoid children speaking to strangers during the game, set up a Party of friends before they play. This means that they are only able to communicate with people they know, and other players’ voices will be muted.
There is also a short video on the link below which provides some information for parents:
Finally, for further information, please click on the link below to see a leaflet which was made by a group of parents at another school.
Following an esafety assembly yesterday about using YouTube at home we would like to draw your attention to the fact that YouTube has created an App available on Google Play and Apple’s App store especially for them called ‘YouTube for Kids’. Created especially by YouTube using stronger filtering algorithms to keep children safe. Remember though nothing is 100% safe so maintain an interest in what they are doing and keep having those important safety chats. All the children were reminded that if they ever see any material that makes them feel upset or uncomfortable they should tell a trusted adult immediately. The link below outlines some helpful safety advice and will be added to our website.