The internet, more than any other technology, has created vast opportunities for children and young people to learn, communicate and explore. But along with the huge benefits come new challenges and risks. Online Safety is an ever growing and changing area of both interest and concern. The internet and related technologies (including mobile devices such as phones, gaming media, tablets, watches, etc) are developing rapidly and are integral to the daily lives of our students. Many of these technologies are used to enable students to engage creatively with their learning. Socially, our students often use the internet for entertainment, interaction and communication with ‘friends’ – bringing about new risks which many adults were never faced with.
It has never been more important for parents and carers to understand how their children use the internet and associated technologies, so that they can help to manage the risks that exist and reinforce the important online safety messages that we should all be promoting.
At St Edward’s Academy, everything that we do is underpinned by our HOPE values: Humanity, Optimism, Perseverance, Excellence. Like all other aspects of school life, our e-Safety measures are informed by our HOPE values, ensuring that all members of our community can live ‘Life in all its fullness’:
Humanity – We will ensure that all children and young people have the ability to use the internet creatively, fearlessly and knowledgeably. We will fulfil our duty of care towards young people online, both in school and by offering advice and guidance for e-safety outside of school.
Optimism – We aim to be leaders of educational awareness of internet safety. We will ensure our students are tech savvy and able to protect themselves, asking and receiving appropriate help, support and advice when needed.
Perseverance – It is our mission to empower teachers, school staff, parents/carers and students themselves with the knowledge needed to keep our community safe online.
Excellence – We live by our HOPE values that run through our entire school, our staff and policy and procedure and every student experience. Our HOPE values are a set of principles that guide our behaviours and the way we interact amongst ourselves and with others – in person and online.
We use national expertise to inform our e-Safety practice. It is our aim that our students are able to navigate the internet safely and to their advantage. We achieve this through equipping school staff, parents/carers and students with the knowledge they need on matters related to young people and families in a digital world. This will enable students, parents/carers and staff to understand online dangers and the strategies to best react should an incident arise.
You can find out more about how children and young people use social media, the apps they use, the risks they face, how to use privacy settings, and advice and tips about how to talk to your children here – please click on list:
Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
- Thinkuknow – advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online
- Internet matters – support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Parent info – support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- LGfL – support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Net-aware – support for parents and carers from the NSPCC
- Childnet – offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
- Let’s Talk About It – has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
- UK Safer Internet Centre – has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services
- SafetyDetectives – Parents’ Guide for safe YouTube and Internet streaming
- www.parentzone.org.uk – helps parents and carers to develop the right skills and understanding, so that their children can discover the possibilities and opportunities available to them online.
- www.askaboutgames.com– advice to parents and carers about online gaming