Children at St Mary's C of E Primary School use the Internet on a regular basis as part of their learning. In school, we have regular 'online safety' activities to remind children of the importance of keeping themselves safe online. We expect all pupils to act safely and responsibly when using technology both within, and outside of, the school environment.
The 4C's of online safety:
Online-safety risks are traditionally categorised as one of the 4 Cs: Content, Contact, Conduct or Commerce. These four areas remain a helpful way to understand the risks and potential school response, whether technological or educational. They do not stand in isolation, however, and it is important to understand the interplay between all four.
Content: age-inappropriate or unreliable content can be available to children.
Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.
Contact: children can be contacted by bullies or people who groom or seek to abuse them.
It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access. If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk). If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline. Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.
Conduct: children may be at risk because of their own behaviour, for example, by sharing too much information.
Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers. Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.
Commerce: young people can be unaware of hidden costs and advertising in apps, games and websites.
Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications (Apps). Encourage your children to keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, turn off in-app purchasing on devices where possible, and use a family email address when filling in online forms.
Pupils must agree to the Acceptable Use Policy in order to use the school computer systems.
At home, sometimes children can be given unsupervised access to the Internet. This, potentially, allows them to access all kinds of society (both good and bad) and bring them virtually into their homes.
Here are some tips and useful links to help you to keep your children safe online:
A lot of our children love to play computer games. Please ensure that they are age
appropriate and if the game is played online they are being supervised by an adult.
Facebook / Bebo / Myspace
Many of these sites have a minimum age limit of 13, so our pupils should NOT be using them. They do not offer the same levels of protection as Skoodle, allowing children to communicate with anyone.
Keep your computer in a shared area
Talk to your child about what they are doing online and, if possible, set up your computer in a shared area at home so that you can all share in the wonderful sites that are available online.
Some links to more information:
• Think U Know - containing internet safety advice for those aged from 5 to 16, along with
parents and teachers, this site is produced by CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online
• Vodafone have lots of fantastic practical advice for parents. You can also read their 'Digital
Parenting' magazine. https://www.vodafone.com/content/parents.html
• Kidsmart - An award-winning internet safety programme for children. https://www.kidsmart.org.uk/
• Know IT All - lots of useful advice for keeping yourselves and your children safe on the
• Bullying UK - Information and advice about bullying for children, parents and schools.https://www.bullying.co.uk/
• Kidscape - An organisation which helps to prevent bullying and child abuse.https://www.kidscape.org.uk/
• Childline - ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK.https://www.childline.org.uk/