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Online Safety

The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly our children’s. Children are spending increasingly more and more time on digital devices. For parents and carers, this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of, in particular the need to ensure your child’s safe and responsible use of technology. To support parents and carers we have included lots of helpful information around online safety below.  This is broken up into: 

 

Part 1: Online Safety Top Tips 

Part 2: Remote Learning

Part 3: Social Media

Part 4: Gaming

Part 5: Parental Controls 

                           Part 1: Online Safety Top Tips

At Meadlands Primary School, we strongly encourage sensible use of digital and online technologies. To educate our children, the first half-term of the year focusses on Online Safety, more information on the curriculum coverage can be found on our Computing page . To support your child in being safe online, follow these Online Safety Top Tips: 

 

1. Keep the computer in a family area and not in a child's bedroom.

2. Use 'child lock', or filter setting on your Web browser to help prevent unsuitable site access by your child (for more information please see Part 5: Parental Controls).

3. Regularly supervise the sites that your child is visiting.

4. Encourage your child to use their 'Favourites' lists to access the sites that you have approved to prevent accidental entry to accidental sites. 

5. Discourage your child from using social Networking sites to keep them safe from cyber bullying.

6. Teach your child to switch off or close the laptop lid, then fetch and tell you if they have seen something unsuitable appears on the screen. This is what we do in school.

7. Agree with older children what sites they are allowed to access.

8. Keep all personal details private and be aware of stranger danger.

9. Above all, encourage your child to talk to you about the web sites and electronic devices that they are using at school and home. 

Music Streaming:  Popular music streaming apps and sites include Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and Deezer. Music streaming allows children to listen to songs from around the world in a much easier and cheaper way. This enables them to showcase their talent which would have been very hard to do many years back.

In this guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as explicit content, adult-themed podcasts and chatting to strangers.

Video Streaming:  Video streaming is a seamless way of watching or listening to all sorts of content such as TV shows, films, sports highlights and music, over an internet connection in ‘real time’.  It allows you to either stream ‘on-demand’ or live. YouTube was one of the first video streaming services to go mainstream, but today many of the world’s most popular websites are streaming platforms, including Netflix, Spotify, and BBC iPlayer.

 

In this guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as online scams, online addiction and inappropriate content.

Youtube: YouTube is an online platform – owned by Google – where anyone can upload & watch video content.  As a parent, it’s important you understand exactly what content your children might be seeing.

 

In this guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content and privacy.

Part 2: Remote Learning

The National Online Safety Agency have created a guide to support parents and carers with the home learning.

In this guide you will find tips on a number of potential issues such as creating a safe learning environment, adhering to school policies and making sure appropriate systems and communication channels are in place so that children get the most our of their remote learning experience. 

Part 3: Social Media

What makes social media actually ‘social’ are the connections users make with other users on the platforms. Every social networking site handles these connections differently, calling them ‘connections’, ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, amongst others. Having friends and followers is how we find out what other people say and do. Your friends and followers are much more likely to see your online content than those outside of your network, which is why it’s important to be mindful of who you connect with and what you share. 

Friends and Followers on Social Media: In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as online bullying, catfishing and access to private information.

Facebook:  Facebook is an online social media platform where users can add photos and videos, update their status, interact with others and catch up with the latest news. Despite requiring users to be over 13, there are no age verification measures and children can easily create an account. It’s therefore important that parents familiarise themselves with the main features of the platform to ensure their young ones remain safe if and when they use it by reading the guide below.

Whatsapp: In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as bullying, connecting with strangers and scam

 

Tik Tok: TikTok is a video-sharing social media app and is not being suitable for children under the age of 13. It lets users create, share, and view user created videos. Users can record and upload bite-sized looping videos of themselves  lip-syncing and dancing to popular music or soundbites, often for comedic effect, which can then be further enhanced with filters, emojis and stickers.  TikTok has been designed with the young user in mind and has a very addictive appeal. At the beginning of 2019 it skyrocketed in popularity to become the iOS store’s most downloaded app with over 33 million downloads. Estimates suggest that it now has anything between 500 million and over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. We are aware that some of our children have a Tik Tok account. If your child does we highly recommend reading the below guide. 

Part 4: Gaming

Fortnite: Fortnite is an online multi-player “battle royale” game and has since become the biggest game in the world.  Due to its frequent scenes of mild violence, Fortnite has been listed as not suitable for persons under 12 years of age. However, we are increasingly aware that a number of our children spend huge amounts of time engaging in this game

 

In this guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as gaming addiction, gaming with strangers and overspending

Minecraft:  Minecraft is still as popular today as it was when it was first released. The highly addictive block building game has developed a huge following and is appropriate for primary school children to play. Minecraft is relatively safe generally speaking, however, as per any game, it pays for parents to be mindful about the main features that children may encounter.  

 

The guide below is to help parents and carers understand exactly what Minecraft is all about. 

Roblox:  Roblox is a multi-player online gaming platform which allows children to play and create a variety of games in a 3D world. It has been listed as not being suitable for children under the age of 13, however, we are aware that a  number of our children engage in this gaming platform.

 

In the guide below, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as personal information, cyberbullying and overspending.

Part 5: Parental Controls

Parental controls help parents or carers to block or filter upsetting or inappropriate content, and control purchases within apps. Parents  or carers can install parental control software on their child's and family's phones or tablets, games consoles, laptops and home internet.

 

Parental controls can help you to:

  • plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
  • create content filters to block apps that may have inappropriate content
  • manage the content different family members can see.
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