We use a variety of approaches to teach pupils at Wollaston Primary how to stay safe on-line. All pupils cover e-safety as part of their core ICT lessons and in addition the PSHE curriculum also includes modules on e-safety where we address individual issues such as cyber-bullying through to discussing social networking (Facebook etc.) in our assemblies. We also run regular update briefings for parents (see below "Try and be a net-savvy parent".
Our school, like virtually all schools across Northamptonshire receives its internet connection from a reputable, education-focused service provider. Our in-school internet service is subject to complex filtering and continuous monitoring by our school technical team and our service provider to ensure it is always providing the most suitable controls on what is presented to pupils and staff when working online.
We ask all users, staff, governors, pupils and visitors to understand and apply our Acceptable Use Policy when online in school. This poloicy which is updated regularly and is avialable upon request from the school.
Parents and the Internet
The current generation of parents is the first to face the challenges of helping their children make the most of their online use while keeping them safe at the same time and we recognise it isn't always easy. So, it you are only just getting your footing in the world of the internet, don’t worry; here are a few tips which we have gathered from around the online world to help ensure that your child’s connected experience remains positive.
1. Try and be a net-savvy parent
The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet; read articles, take a class and talk to other parents. You can also attend e-safety evenings which we run at regular times each year. At these sessions, experts from the online community visit and give advice and answer questions which will help you to understand some of the risks and how to avoid being exploited when online.
To help yourself, a good place to start with some basics is the "ThinkYouKnow" and the "Caller Smart" website, where you can find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, about mobiles and new technology which your child might be using. You will find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.
2. "Chat" with your children
Develop an open dialogue so that you can talk with your children about the benefits and dangers of the internet. Cultivate an interest in what they get up to online, what their favorite web sites are, the online games that they play and talk about, and what other interests they show for which they need to use the internet. Never be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about. Talk to your children about what is happening in the news and explain the issues in terms which mean something to them.
3. Agree on a game plan
Use some of the strategies offered at "ThinkYouKnow" to formally agree on your family’s guidelines for using the Internet. Post them near the family computer as a reminder, perhaps on the fridge and in your child's bedroom so the rules are not 'lost' or deliberately hidden. Ensure that your children know never to share personal information on the internet and that they should tell you about any online activity or contact that makes them uncomfortable - even if its not happening to them.
4. Protect your computer
Take advantage of the software available to help you manage your child's computer experience. In only a few minutes, parental control software can block inappropriate websites, restrict the amount of time that your children use the internet and monitor their online chats to protect against predators. "ThinkYouKnow" can tell you more.
5. Explore the Internet as a family
With a game plan and a protected computer, you can now encourage your whole family to take advantage of all of the fantastic, fun and safe things that the internet has to offer. Take a genuine interest in what your children are doing and stay engaged with them online!