Safeguarding And Online Safety
The school has an excellent ‘Safeguarding policy’ that all employees and regular visitors to the school are shown upon entry. Safeguarding emergencies are rare, but the school’s robust systems ensure that all safeguarding matters are dealt with promptly and efficiently.
The school proactively maintains an accurate list of adults with Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), called the Single Central Record. Regular visitors to the school (including parent helpers), workmen and official visitors to the school are expected to bring in their DBS as well as a method of identification for recording before they enter the building.
Staying safe online is incorporated into our curriculum. All children in school complete a series of seven lessons in the Autumn term that focus specifically on Online safety and their role in society as ‘Digital Citizens’. The theme of online safety permeates through all of our work on the school computers. We hold annual Online Safety sessions for Parents run by Tim Fleisig our ICT technician.
Some of the issues you may be aware of surrounding Internet use for children and young adults are as follows:
- Staying safe online - content, contact & conduct
- Online bullying
- Social networking
If you require any further advice on any of these areas please contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead Danielle Sedgwick - Assistant Headteacher.
These issues are all covered in the sites recommended below and we strongly advise you to take some time to read and understand the areas. If you have any questions then you are welcome to contact school for advice. We do provide online safety training sessions for parents and feedback from past events is that attendance is very beneficial.
Our school Internet is filtered - Google web searches & YouTube both default to safe-search mode in school and children are appropriately supervised during Internet use. Children are taught how to search safely, effectively, respectfully & responsibly. This involves thinking about appropriate key words to use and only visiting recognised sites. They are taught what action to take if they do see something upsetting. At home this may be turning off the screen and telling an adult immediately. We also include age-appropriate lessons on copyright and plagiarism.
Please be aware that Google Images cannot be effectively filtered and so children may be better using alternative sites, such as http://www.photosforclass.com/
At home, children may have access to the web from many different devices, not just PC's and laptops. They often have tablets (eg iPads), mobile phones, X Boxes, iPods, Playstations, Nintendo DS, e-Readers and other wifi-enabled devices. It's important to be aware of this and the best way to ensure their safety is to ensure that your child is supervised whilst having such access. With many of these devices they are able to access inappropriate sites & games, and may also be able to communicate with strangers online. Some devices do have the ability to impose parental controls. If you at all unsure as to the suitability of various platforms, games or films, you can check them out here. This site rates them for content & gives minimum age guidance.
Many parental guides are also available on the Common Sense Media website - our own lessons on Digital Citizenship are based on these materials. The online training we use comes from Childnet and they also have lots of useful materials for parents and games for children of all ages.
Another useful source is the internetmatters website has good instructions for setting parental controls on Broadband (internet providers) and mobile phones etc. click here
Also CEOP's Thinkuknow website which has age related areas for areas for children and Parents/carers click here
Specifically for Social Media the UK Safer Internet Centre has information here
Mr Fleisig's talk for parents & carers on "Keeping Young People Safe Online" used this presentation: Click here for slides
It's important to talk openly with your children about staying safe online - just as it is about crossing the road and stranger-danger. Discuss potential issues and what to do if anything happens. We would want children to tell an adult immediately, but how you respond to this is very important. Whilst it would be tempting to ban children from using devices, it is not necessarily the right course of action as it may discourage them from telling in future. They may also start using them outside of the home where you are not aware or supervising their use. If children receive inappropriate or bullying messages then it's important to keep them as evidence.