Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet
As we are sure you are aware, children are very computer literate. They find it very easy to use the latest technologies whether it is the latest mobile phone or the Internet. The modern communications revolution has made it easier to stay in contact with friends and family from all over the world at any time of the day or night.
We manage safe use of technologies that are used in school; all children are routinely asked to sign an acceptable use agreement for the use of the Internet in school hours as part of our whole school online safety policy.
However, children now use a huge range of devices outside school hours. Technologies include home PCs, laptop computers and hand-held computers, mobile phones and even blackberries (if not in your home, it could be at a friend’s home); all have the possibility of accessing the web from almost any part of the United Kingdom, even if the nearest plug or telephone socket is miles away.
Specific technologies that are becoming more commonly used for communication by children outside of school hours include email, instant messaging, chat rooms, mobile camera phones, websites/blogs managed by children, and social networking sites (such as Facebook or X). The majority of use of these devices is safe and has the potential to greatly enrich the lives of children. However, you need to be aware that a child’s safety may be compromised when people, nearly always strangers, of malicious intent use the Internet to make contact with a child.
It is really important to chat with your child on an ongoing basis about staying safe online.
Try these Safer Internet conversation starters to get the conversation going. A top tip is to always start on a positive note by discussing what your child enjoys doing online:
Have a conversation – UK Safer Internet Centre
To keep your child safe:
- Have the computer in an ‘open’ area
- Ensure your child is supervised while online
- Know what your child is doing online
- Use webcams carefully
- Talk to your child about the dangers of communicating with strangers online.
If your child receives unsuitable messages please contact CEOPS – Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre – by phoning 0870 000 3344 or using their on-line contact form which you can find by clicking on the link below. Please also advise the school.
Online Safety at Branfil
At Branfil Primary School the safeguarding of pupils is a very high priority. We are committed to ensuring that our pupils are safe in school and online. By giving the pupils the knowledge to safeguard themselves and their personal information we are empowering them with a vital life skill.
Our pupils are growing up in a world of ever-changing technology. While we feel that the use of technology is a largely positive aspect of modern life, we cannot ignore the risks that can be associated.
We work with staff, pupils and parents/carers to value the use of new technologies in enhancing learning, encourage the responsible use of ICT throughout the curriculum and follow agreed policies to minimise potential online-safety risks.
We have developed an age appropriate Online Safety scheme for all pupils that teaches the pupils to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviour; and identify a range of ways to report concerns or seek help about content and contact.
Our planned online safety curriculum includes units from the Evolve scheme as well as age appropriate updates from the Teaching Online Safety in School Government Guidance document.
Please see our Online Safety Subject Theme Map – Online Safety Overview
Links and references to online safety are all also covered in some PSHE and RSE lessons. Teachers refer to online safety during lessons, specifically when children are using Chromebooks or ipads. We also use opportunities to raise awareness and educate children as and when situations relating to online safety arise.
As a school we take part in the Safer Internet Day in February and are involved in the NSPCC Speak Out Stay Safe Programme. Our digital leaders deliver termly assemblies about keeping safe online and all classrooms, including the ICT suite, have a ‘what I want my teacher to know box’ so that pupils can raise any concerns they may have.
- Annual Online Safety workshops available for all parents/carers to attend
- Keeping parents/carers updated by sending current information via Schoolcomms and posting on X
- Online safety feature in our fortnightly newsletter
- Updates via our X feed: @branfil
Useful links and resources
Think you know
Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. Since 2006, it aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.
A comprehensive web resource with a wide array of tips and advice on how to navigate the online world with your child.
National Online Safety
National Online Safety’s mission is to make the internet a safer place for children. They aim to do this by equipping school staff, parents/carers and children with the knowledge they need to understand online dangers and how best to react should an incident arise. The link above provides up to date information about a wide variety of social media apps and platforms your child might be using.
The NSPCC are the first to admit that the internet is amazing. Children can play, learn, create and connect – opening up a whole world of exciting possibilities. But with the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child’s staying safe? That’s where the NSPCC come in. Whether you’re an online expert or you’re not sure where to start, their tools and advice will help you keep your child safe
Childnet International is a registered UK charity that aims to make the internet a safe place for children and young people. Packed with resources it is a great resource for parents.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) is part of the National Crime Agency and their website can be used to report if you are worried about online abuse or the way someone is communicating online.
The BBC have a website and app called Own It. The website has a lot of content for children to help them navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most.
SafeToNet is technology that educates children “in-the-moment” as they use their device. It is a safeguarding assistant that helps them become responsible and safe digital citizens. Its power lies in a smart keyboard that detects risks in real-time. It steers children away from trouble by filtering harmful outgoing messages before they can be sent and any damage can be done.
It’s never easy to know how to keep our children safe when they aren’t with us, and sometimes even when they are, if we don’t know what’s happening in their lives or on their devices! Who are they talking to, what are they doing, are they okay? Don’t despair though…scroll through this page for help or click a button to go straight to a particular topic.
A family’s guide to a smart life with tech.