18th October 2020
In school we are aware that many of our older pupils are using or accessing social media and mobile communication devices. We want to help ensure our pupils are responsible digital citizens and use technology to support themselves in their learning and to develop other interests they may have such as hobbies or sports.
We also realise that it is incredibly difficult for young people to grow up in the modern world of and that supporting them with this at home can also be difficult. As part of our school computing curriculum pupils already learn about safe online behaviour in school, with this revisited annually. What we can often see in school is the gap between what our pupils know and tell us about being safe online and their actual actions online when not in school.
With the above in mind we would like to ask all of our pupils, and you their parents and carers, to be proactive in discussing their use of the internet. Even for those pupils who have no issues and limited access it would be well worth a regular check in, a look through their digital devices\social media accounts and having a discussion around responsible usage of technology. Some useful tips and questions for any discussion are:
Before looking at anything ask your child if they are happy to share their devices and usage with you? Are they un/happy with this? Why?
Review what devices they can use to access the internet (phones, tablets, games consoles, watches...)
What information have they shared on social media profiles? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat....) What security settings do they have, can they explain these?
Share and discuss chat history on Apps and Social media. Who do they talk to? What about? Do they take part in group chats?
Do they know how to report online issues? Can they take screen shots on their device? Do they know how to report things that they are not happy about?
Do they have any concerns they need to share with you or school?
Are there any positives? Has internet usage helped learning, build friendships or stay in touch with family? We don’t want to paint the internet and social media as all bad but ensure they have a balanced view that is age appropriate.
Our school website contains vast amounts of information (see below) that may be of use to parents and carers when discussing any of the above.
Mr James Clay
The School Nursing Team have suggested that we share the following information with you:
"Many of you may be aware of the risks and concerns around children playing the online game Fortnite, which has a 12 rating but is played by much younger children.
We have been made aware of an emerging trend, where people are playing strip Fortnite using webcams. The rule is that when you achieve a “kill” you have to strip off, potentially adding an additional risk from children being exposed to and/or sharing indecent images whilst playing the game.
Please follow the link to find out more about Instagram and the risks children face when using it: https://twitter.com/natonlinesafety/status/999327290361180160
As part of the #WakeUpWednesday campaign and Mental Health Awareness Week, the online safety team have created a FREE guide for schools to share with its community about ‘Screen Addiction’ – an issue which is affecting young people across the globe.
The guide informs parents about the issues associated with smartphone and screen addiction amongst children and how they can help to control the associated risks and stop their children becoming ‘Screen Zombies’.
More info at : https://twitter.com/natonlinesafety/status/996772687132446721
Many thanks for your support,
The National Online Safety Team