HOW DO WE TEACH ONLINE SAFETY?
Teaching children how to stay safe online is a key part of our approach to teaching digital literacy at St Thomas’. Online safety is taught through Computing lessons from Year 1 to Year 6. At Key Stage 1, children look at the importance of keeping personal information private online, what to do if they have a problem while using technology, and issues around cyberbullying. At Key Stage 2, children develop a deeper understanding of these issues, and also look at concepts such as our digital footprint, risks arising from downloading files, and website security.
Children use the SMART rules at school, and are expected to use these when using technology out of school, to make sure that they stay safe online. These rules should be followed when using any device that connects to the Internet, including mobile phones, tablets and games consoles.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT YOUR CHILD?
As a parent, you will know how important the Internet is to children as a place to communicate, learn and have fun. Keeping up with what children like to do online can seem a little daunting, but it is important to ensure you are able to support your children and to help them stay safe online.
Talking to your children about their online activities is the best place to start. Take an interest in what they are doing, and ask them to tell you what steps they take to stay safe, and what they would do if something online worried them. If they use social networks, help your child to adjust their privacy settings to ensure that their information is secure. Ensure they know how to block or report users where necessary on the sites they use.
Childnet produces a useful guide for parents around the types of risks facing young people online, and ideas for starting conversations with them. This can be found here.
The following websites will also support you with keeping your children safe online:
Thinkuknow is an online safety education program from CEOP, part of the National Crime Agency. The Thinkuknow resource provides support for young people from KS1-KS4, and a dedicated area for parents and carers who wish to learn more about online safety. The site also contains the ‘Report Abuse’ button, where children and adults can report contact that is inappropriate, or that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Net Aware, produced by the NSPCC, is a guide to the most popular social networks, apps and games used by children. It aims to provide parents with the information they need to understand their child’s online world and to give them confidence to have balanced and informed conversations about what they are doing online. It also provides information on age limits, and contains advice from other parents.
We offer regular awareness sessions for parents around online safety and protecting our children from online risks, so please come along when these are advertised. Please see our Esafety for parents 1718 guide. You will also find an online safety tip in every school newsletter, designed to raise awareness of current trends and issues. If you have any concerns about the online safety of your child, please do come and speak to us.