Living in a rapidly developing digital world, children, young people and adults are constantly engaging in activities online. The World Wide Web provides us all with a wealth of information revolving around education, entertainment and communication. Whilst opportunities to enhance our knowledge should be embraced, it must be acknowledged that with such a breadth of opportunity comes risk and responsibility.
“Swimming pools can be dangerous places, so we teach children to swim. Crossing the road can be dangerous, so we teach children road safety skills. We do not stop young people from swimming or crossing roads! So too, we must teach them how to be safe online so they can have fun, enjoy creative aspects and benefit from the learning opportunities. We must however still be aware of danger signs so we can deal with them.”
E-Safety involves educating students, teachers and parents in staying safe when using the internet, mobile technologies and other electronic communication devices both in and out of school.
Digital media is second nature to children and young people. Their everyday lives seem to revolve around the use of computers, mobile phones, video games consoles etc. It often seems that they are the ‘experts’ compared to many adults! However, they do not have the life experience of adults and as such need support and guidance.
In school we educate students about safe working practices and highlight the possible dangers that they could face online. Filters are in place on our school systems which take all reasonable precautions in providing a good degree of safety from such dangers. However, owing to the pace at which technologies evolve and the nature of linked content as well as the wide spread use of mobile technologies by students it is not always possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will not appear on a school computer or mobile device. In the case of any such reported incident we would always act swiftly to resolve issues.
What happens beyond the school gates is harder for us to monitor and protect students from. As parents and carers we would hope that you apply similar measures keep children and young people safe online. Filters on your home computers and monitoring your daughters use of computers and mobile devices is the first step in being E-safe.
More help and guidance in keeping children and young people safe online can be found using the following links:
http://ceop.police.uk/ - CEOP - the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Useful resources if you have younger children too
Top Tips for Pupils
Safe surfing at home and at school:
1. You have the right to feel safe all the time, including when using ICT or your mobile phone.
2. If anything makes you feel scared or uncomfortable online tell a responsible adult straight away. Don't be afraid you will get into trouble.
3. If you get a nasty message or get sent anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, do not reply. Show it to a responsible adult.
4. Only email people you know, or those whom a responsible adult has approved.
5. Messages you send should be respectful.
6. Talk to a responsible adult before joining chat-rooms or networking sites.
7. Keep your personal details private when using ICT or a mobile phone. Your name, family information, journey to school, your pets and hobbies are all examples of personal details.
8. Don't show anyone photographs of yourself, friends or family without checking first with a responsible adult.
9. Never agree to meet an online friend in real life without checking with a responsible adult.
Responsible adults include your teachers, parents and the carers with whom you live. If you have any worries about using ICT safely at home or in school, please speak to them.
If you have any concerns regarding e-safety, please contact us on the following email.