Children and young people today are using the immense power of digital media to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways never before imagined. With this power, young people have extraordinary opportunities, and yet they face many potential pitfalls. These safety and security concerns underscore the need for children and young people to learn digital literacy and citizenship skills and for schools to support their pupils to act responsibly and to use the internet in a better way.
At St Leonard's we aim to provide a broad and balanced online safety education at each key stage to ensure that our pupils can navigate the online world safely and positively.
What are the issues?
The internet – on the whole is an inspiring and positive place.
The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices.
However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge.
You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.
Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities.
Online Safety Resources For Parents
Children are gaining access to and owning their own devices from an ever younger age. Devices can be great for learning and development, however parents should be aware of the content available online and the chance of their child seeing something they shouldn’t when online.
Pre-installed parental controls are available for most devices, laptops and consoles and are part of the system when you buy them. You can often download e-safety apps and software to supplement these controls. But the most important thing is to set the controls on the device itself.
Below are some helpful guides to setting parental controls on games consoles and devices, which you can download.
Parental Control Apps
There are a number of parental control software suites and apps on the market that offer parents/carers a range of monitoring, filtering and blocking controls.
The following link (to the Comparitech website) provides a round up of the top 5 parental control apps plus step by step guidance on how to use the parental control features that are available for free on all the most popular operating systems (OS).
Visit internetmatters.org for more online safety advice
So, how can you protect your child and make them safer online?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Visit our school website and go to the Online Safety page. Updates will be included here regularly.
- Use the school website as a starting point for Internet searches by first going to the Children's page and use the search
- engines at the bottom of the page.
- Encourage your child to tell you when they see something online which upsets them.
- Make sure your child understands they should keep new online friends strictly online. If someone asks to meet them in the real world they must tell you about it. If someone they don't know asks to be their online friend they must ask you first.
- Know how to report to the CEOP Centre if you are concerned about someone’s online behaviour towards your child. Parents and children can both report at www.ceop.gov.uk or www.thinkuknow.co.uk
- Visit following websites for more information:
- Useful video resources can be found at
Get to grips with the digital world! You can access the latest issue (March 2018) by clicking on the image below.
Previous editions of 'Digital Parenting' magazine can by viewed via the following link.
This is an excellent resource to support parents of children who use technology
St Leonard's School will again be supporting Safer Internet Day by holding dedicated KS1 and KS2 assemblies followed by classroom online safety lessons and activities.
Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre and takes place in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.
The key messages for Safer Internet Day 2019 can be accessed here
A number of children in school have been talking about TikTok (formerly known as Musical.ly), another incredibly popular free social media app.
A useful fact sheet about this app can be viewed and downloaded below, while further information can be accessed via this link:
Momo Challenge Advice
You may be aware, via the news, that several police forces have issued warnings to parents about the disturbing Momo Challenge game that is targeting children and young people via the internet.
The latest information (5 March 2019) from CEOP and Parent Zone can be found here
Fortnite Battle Royale - Parent Info
Fortnite Battle Royale is the latest trending online game with 45 million users worldwide, many of whom are below the games recommended age of 12+.
It's popularity has been brought to our attention, due to issues arising in school, as a result of some of our pupils playing the game with each other online at home.
Some parents/carers may not even be aware of the game and the risks it poses for children, particularly for those under 12 years of age.
We have shared, below, a help guide from www.nationalonlinesafety.com which provides detailed information about the game and tips for parents/carers on how to keep children/young people safe online if they are playing it.
Online Safety Tips for the Festive Season
Many children and young people will be receiving technology gifts this Christmas that will allow them access to the internet.
The Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) have produced this useful guide (below) for parents and carers to help support them to have fun but still stay safe in the online world.
The Adventures of Kara, Winston and the SMART Crew
Know IT All for Primary contains a specially designed 5 part animation called The Adventures of Kara, Winston and the SMART Crew. This film covers Childnet's 5 SMART rules which have been proven to be effective in helping younger children understand the importance of keeping safe online. The cartoon will appeal to both younger children (6 and 7) as well as right up to 11 year olds.
To watch the animation click on the image below.