Online Safety is an ever growing and changing area of interest and concern. The internet and related technologies, including mobile devices such as phones, gaming media, tablets, and watches, are developing rapidly and are integral to the daily lives of our students.
Many of these technologies are used to enable students to engage creatively with their learning. Socially, our students often use the internet for entertainment, interaction and communication with ‘friends’ – bringing about new risks which many adults were never faced with. It has never been more important for parents and carers to understand how their children use the internet and associated technologies, so that they can help to manage the risks that exist and reinforce the important online safety messages that we should all be promoting.
The school will raise parents’ awareness of internet safety in letters or other communications home, and Online safety will also be covered during parents’ information evenings.
You can also find out more about how children use social media, the apps they use, the risks they face, how to use privacy settings, and advice and tips about how to talk to your children, at:
Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, and to find out where to get more help and support
Commonsensemedia provide independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media for children and their parents
Government advice about protecting children from specific online harms such as child sexual abuse, sexting, and cyberbullying
Internet Matters provide age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls, and practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
How Can I Help My Child? Marie Collins Foundation – Sexual Abuse Online
Let’s Talk About It provides advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
London Grid for Learning provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online
Stopitnow resource from The Lucy Faithfull Foundation can be used by parents and carers who are concerned about someone’s behaviour, including children who may be displaying concerning sexual behaviour (not just about online)
National Crime Agency/CEOP Thinkuknow provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
Parentzone provides help for parents and carers on how to keep their children safe online
Talking to your child about online sexual harassment: A guide for parents – This is the Children’s Commissioner’s parental guide on talking to their children about online sexual
#Ask the awkward – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre guidance to parents to talk to their children about online relationships
To view further information from the Safer Internet Centre CLICK HERE
Educating students about online safety
Students will be taught about online safety as part of the curriculum in school through PSHE lessons and a variety of other opportunities.
In Key Stage 3, students will be taught to:
- Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy
- Recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns
Students in Key Stage 4 will be taught:
- To understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity
- How to report a range of concerns
By the end of secondary school, they will know:
- Their rights, responsibilities and opportunities online, including that the same expectations of behaviour apply in all contexts, including online
- About online risks, including that any material someone provides to another has the potential to be shared online and the difficulty of removing potentially compromising material placed online
- Not to provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them
- What to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online
- The impact of viewing harmful content
- That specifically sexually explicit material (e.g. pornography) presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partners
- That sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including jail
- How information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online
- How to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by those behaviours
- How people can actively communicate and recognise consent from others, including sexual consent, and how and when consent can be withdrawn (in all contexts, including online)
The safe use of social media and the internet will also be covered in other subjects where relevant, for example the Key Stage 3 Computing curriculum provides extensive coverage of online safety issues.
The school will use assemblies to raise students’ awareness of the dangers that can be encountered online and may also invite speakers to talk to students about this. Every year Safer Internet Week is celebrated in school with assemblies and SMSC form time activities.
Acceptable use of the internet in school
All students, parents, staff, volunteers and trustees are expected to sign The Acceptable Use of the School’s ICT systems and the Internet Agreement.
Student behaviour regarding online safety incidents are then followed up according to the Behaviour for Learning Policy.
Online safety is a key component of the whole school’s approach to safeguarding; and as part of this the school uses Senso filtering and monitoring software to help ensure online safety and respond to concerns.