Online Safety Newsletter
Here at Wheatlands Primary, we are committed to keeping your children safe in school. On a regular basis, many of our children use the Internet as part of their learning. Therefore, we are continually reinforcing the importance of keeping safe online through our e-safety lessons and activities. We deliver these lessons appropriate to the age of the children in each year group. Displays in our ICT suite also serve as a visual reminder to stay safe while online.
The importance of online safety will once again be reinforced on the 11th February, when as a school, we will be taking part in ‘Safer Internet Day 2020’. During the day, each year group will spend some time carrying out activities dedicated to promoting safe, responsible and positive use of the digital technology that they encounter in their everyday lives. The theme for this year is ‘together for a better internet’. The aim of the day is to empower young people to take control of their digital lives. To focus is to ask young people to consider whether their peers are truly free to be themselves online. I have included a link that will take you to this year’s guidance for parents. This link will take you to lots of free resources to talk to your child about online safety and includes more detail about the content of the day, activities, conversation starters and information to help parents talk to their children about how to navigate the issue of online identity in a digital age in a safe, responsible and respectful way. https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2020/i-am-parent-or-carer
To keep our children safe, our school internet settings are very secure – we have many filters which block inappropriate material being shown and strive to keep up to date with the most recent guidance. Even though the internet is a marvellous resource, at home, sometimes children can be given unsupervised access and without the filters that we have in school, this, can potentially allow children to have access to unsuitable content - whether it be through social media, gaming sites, YouTube, etc... Whilst we tend to think of children using the internet on the computer, with technology rapidly changing, children can now access it via tablets, laptops and mobile phones. With Christmas approaching many children in our school will be hoping to receive the latest mobile phone or smart device. For some of our children and parents it will be their first experience of having access to their own device and for others it may be a chance to receive the latest upgrade. Therefore, I have added a link to a guide, outlining 12 online safety tips for children with new devices. https://2j39y52a62gm1afygb3g1xbu-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/12-Smartphone-online-safety-tips-guide.pdf
These more detailed guides in the link below provide step by step instructions to help you set up the right controls and privacy settings on many networks, gadgets, apps and sites that your children may use. Following the guidance will provide children with a safer online, and setting up these parental controls on the content your child can access will put you in control of what is seen and help protect
them to have a safer online experience. The guidance can be accessed from the drop down list and includes information on setting up parental controls on smartphones, entertainment and search engines, broadband and mobile networks, social media, gaming consoles and other devices. https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/
Finally, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope some of this information is useful and helps you to enjoy using the technological gifts you and your children, safely. Don’t forget that Christmas is also about spending time together as a family and do take the time to schedule time away from our screens. I thought this fun song from the National Online Safety team might remind you to put your phone down this Christmas! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edc08Jlm1MA&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edc08Jlm1MA