At Queensgate, we are committed to keeping the children in our care safe. In today’s digital world, we are aware of the fantastic opportunities that the internet can bring to education and in other areas. However, we are also extremely mindful of the potential risks that children may face when they access the internet using the technology that is at their fingertips on a day to day basis.
Children have regular online safety training in school which is delivered and reinforced during Computing lessons and whenever they are using technology. We also take part in the annual UK Safer Internet Day events, which happens on the second Tuesday in February. This is something that the children are always keen to be a part of.
We also have a group of Year 6 Online Safety Ambassadors who lead assemblies and speak to classes about how to stay online. They enjoy meeting up with Online Safety Ambassadors from other schools to share tips and ideas.
Tips, advice, guides and resources for parents to help keep your child safe online
As a parent or carer you play a key role in helping your child to stay safe online.
You don’t need to be an expert on the internet to help keep your child stay safe online. But you do need to know what your child is accessing online and how you can support your child to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively.
It is really important to chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online
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?
Online Safety, including Social Media
The risks associated with online safety are always evolving, which makes specific advice regarding certain apps a challenge.
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable and ever evolving, but can be categorised into four areas of risk:
Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate, or harmful content, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation, and extremism.
Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
Conduct: online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying, and
Commerce: - risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams.
Online safety is explicitly taught through the school’s computing and PHSE curricula. The school uses Stockport’s internet service which is filtered and we use Smoothwall Monitor in school to monitor children and adults use of the internet.
WhatsApp (contact) users need to be 16 to use WhatsApp. TikTok (content) users need to be 13 to use TikTok. Nearly all other social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, X (formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, Musical.ly and Skype. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children use age appropriate social media.
Whilst there is no age restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).
These age restrictions are in place to protect children who are not mature enough to be able to use social media tools responsibly. Parents of primary aged pupils should regularly check the online habits of their children. Source - Childnet.com ****
There is a lot of information and support available for parents/carers regarding supporting your child to stay safe online. We will add relevant links below to that we feel can provide you with useful information.
Where you become aware of your child(ren) displaying unsafe online behaviours you should contact the school's Designated Safeguarding lead (DSL), which is the Headteacher.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) work with safeguarding and child protection partners across the UK and overseas. It protects children from harm online and offline.
The Thinkuknow website has up to date for advice about staying safe when you're on a phone, tablet or computer.
To help parents have important conversations with their children at a younger age, Vodafone UK and Andersen Press have teamed up with award-winning author Jeanne Willis and illustrator Tony Ross to produce a co-branded digital edition of #Goldilocks. The book is a modern twist on the classic fairy tale and offers a fun and accessible way for parents to discuss responsible social media use with their younger children.
For many families, it can be hard to keep pace with the rapid advances in tech, devices, apps and the ways young people are using them. Digital Parenting gives parents the knowledge and tools they need to have important conversations with their children about the digital world - so families can get the most out of it and navigate it safely.
We hold regular e-safety sessions for parents in school. You would be most welcome at future events.
Our school website is monitored regularly to ensure that it is secure and public access does not compromise the safety of pupils and that the site is secure.