It has been brought to our attention that some of our children have Facebook, Instagram, and other social media profiles even though the permitted minimum age to use these sites is 13 years old, according to their terms and conditions. Orchards Junior School is committed to keeping our children safe and to promoting the safe, responsible use of the Internet. As such, we feel it is our responsibility to raise this particular issue as a concern and so we are advising you read the letter below.
We have been looking at Online-Safety as part of the school curriculum so felt that the information below may be of use to you.
In terms of Social Media and its impact on the world, we are keen to educate the children about the potential pitfalls of such things as they approach the recommended age for using these sites/apps.
As part of National Curriculum for Computing we are required to discuss with children issues regarding E-Safety and the potential benefits and dangers of using the internet safely. We felt it would be beneficial to offer you access to the following set of guidelines that could support your commitment to E-Safety in the home as well.
What can parents/carers do? Follow the Golden Rules!
Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online (personal information, photos etc) and decide rules for discussions with friends. Make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline.
Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact
Remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child. It is always advised that you should check the devices that you child has access to in order to monitor what they are doing.
Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams in applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as Mobile Phones, mobile devices and Games Consoles.
Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet and learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child
Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply.
It’s essential to be realistic – banning the internet or technology will not work in some cases and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Education around safe use is essential.
We hope that this information is useful for you and will help in the on-going transition as the children move towards their High School adventure, where the use of mobile devices is much more prevalent on a daily basis.
E Learning Leader