As we are all well aware, using the Internet is an important part of our children’s lives. They use it for research, communication and fun and they express high levels of confidence. However, confidence and safety do not necessarily go hand in hand. As the Internet has become more privatised and mobile, it is critical we empower our children to make sensible, safe decisions whenever and wherever they use it. It is also critical that we monitor and filter the devices the children use.
We achieve the children’s online-safety by categorising it into 4 areas of risk:-
- Being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, for example:
- Online pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
- Ignoring age ratings in games (exposure to violence associated with often racist language) and substance abuse.
- Lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia/self-harm/suicide sites.
- Hate sites.
- Content validation: How to check authenticity and accuracy of online content.
- Being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example:
- Adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
- Child-on-Child/Peer-on-Peer abuse.
- Online-bullying in all forms.
- Identity theft (including Facebook hijacking) and sharing passwords.
- Personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example:
- Privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information.
- Digital footprint and online reputation.
- Health and well-being (amount of time spent online or gaming).
- Making, sending and receiving explicit images. e.g consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography.
- Sexual Harrassment.
- Sharing other explicit images.
- Online bullying.
- Copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership – such as digital images and video, music and film).
- Being exposed to financial risks such as:
- Online gambling.
- Inappropriate advertising.
- Commercial advertising.
- Financial scams.
We have a whole school approach in which pupils, parents, governors and staff all work together. This, along with our rigorous Online-Safety Policy, parents’ meetings and staff training, ensures our pupils are fully prepared and supported to use the internet safely and responsibly.
Some recently-released resources:
Online Safety Coffee Morning March 2022
Please find all the resources we looked at in the coffee morning.
Level Up Your Lingo – What are your children saying online?
Some advice for Parents and Carers
Lego Privacy and Safe Sharing Adventure – Lego have released a new, free online safety resource for parents and their children. Called Build and Talk, it’s a question and answer story game to allow parents to talk to their child about digital safety and wellbeing.
A communication tool to help children and young people with care experience talk with their carers about their online lives.
http://www.autism.org.uk – A link to the National Autistic Society.
Help when buying your child their first mobile
EE have partnered with child experts and charities to create the PhoneSmart Licence.
What is the PhoneSmart Licence?
It’s a fun, interactive and educational course to help children and young people learn how to
stay safe and be kind online, and to encourage them to use their phones for good, not hate.
The PhoneSmart course is split into five episodes, where children and young people can follow
four engaging young characters as they get their first phones and embark on their online
adventures. Each episode covers key aspects of online behaviour, from cyberbullying to fake
news and has fun quizzes, interactive elements, and pop-up facts to help children and young
people learn vital online do’s and don’t’s.
Who is it for?
PhoneSmart has been created for children, aged 10-13, who have just received their first
It’s also a tool for parents and guardians to help gauge their child’s readiness for the
responsibilities of smartphone ownership, as well as helping to start the bigger conversations
about the risks they might face online.
How can I find out more information?
To learn more about the EE PhoneSmart licence – visit: About The PhoneSmart Licence and EE (eephonesmart.co.uk)
There is also a video about the new initiative here: EE | PhoneSmart Licence – YouTube phone
Click Here for the Google Family Link that helps to manage screen time and usage of apps.
Click Here for information about the game Among Us.
Click Here for information on Roblox.
Click Here for information about the App Gacha Life.
Click Here for TikTok Family Link Settings
Click Here for the Apple Screen Time that helps to manage screen time and usage of apps on Apple devices.
Click Here for advice on Parental Controls on Netflix.
Click Here to watch a video on Parental Controls on YouTube.
Click Here for advice from AACOSS, the Association of Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists.
Click Here for advice from the NSPCC.
Click Here for advice from Internet Matters who have recently released this excellent resource. As more children and young people spend money online within gaming and social media platforms, the money hub has been created to equip children with the skills they need to spend money online smartly and safely.
Instagram More information HERE
Limits – gives users the ability to automatically hide comments and direct message (DM) requests from other users who do not already follow or have recently followed them.
Strong Warnings – when people try to post offensive comments they are warned before doing so, followed by a ‘really strong warning’ should they continue.
Hidden Words – which allows users to filter abusive comments.
BBC Own It is a wellbeing app aimed at children aged 8-13 receiving their first smartphone. The app is part of the BBC’s commitment to supporting young people in today’s changing media environment. There is also the Own It website.
The Online Skills our Pupils Develop
In school, we refer to the Education for a Connected World Framework for age specific advice about the online knowledge and skills that our pupils should have the opportunity to develop at different stages of their lives.
Cyber Crime Resources from the Presentation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit
Here are some useful websites and the CEOPS image that you can use to report online-safety concerns to the online police.
The following PDFS are booklets written by the NSPCC:
The NSPCC’s service for children and young people, Childline, has launched the Report Remove tool with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to help young people remove nude images of themselves from the internet.
Think U Know (where you can report e-Safety concerns)