At Petteril Bank Community School, the safeguarding of pupils is a very high priority. We are committed to ensuring our pupils are safe in school and online.
By giving the pupils the knowledge to safeguard themselves and their personal information we are empowering them with a vital life skill.
What is Online Safety?
Online Safety is the safe use of information systems and electronic communications, including the internet, mobile phones and games consoles. It is important that children and young people understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- Online safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- Online safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- Online safety is less about restrictions and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- Online safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviour both in and out of school.
Online safety forms part of our curriculum and pupils are regularly reminded of how to stay safe online. Each classroom and teaching space displays a poster about staying safe online.
If you have any concerns, please speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Mrs S Robson or another member of the school's safeguarding team.
Using the Internet safely at home
Whilst many Internet Service Providers offer filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable texts, images and movies. Parents/guardians are advised to set the security levels within Internet Browsers with this in mind.
Locating the device to access the Internet in a family area will enable you to supervise children as they use the Internet. However, don't deny your child the opportunity to learn from the wide variety of materials and games available on the Internet. Instead, set some simple rules for keeping them safe and make sure they understand the importance of these rules.
Simple, suggested rules for keeping your child safe
- ask your permission before they use the internet
- only use websites you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine
- only email people they know (perhaps an address book would be useful)
- ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don't know
- do not use Interent chat rooms
- do not use their real name when using games on the Internet (perhaps encourage them to create a suitable nick name)
- never give out a home address or perosnal contact details
- never tell someone where they go to school
- never send an image of themselves, their home or school
- never arrange to meet someone they have 'met' on the Internet
- only use a webcam with people they know
- ask them to tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with
Using these rules
Go through the rules with your child and ensure they understand what you suggest. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Please reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access from them.
The documents below provide further information about Internet use.
Internet Safety Guidance
Cyber-bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and hcat rooms such as Facebook, XBox Live, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and other chat rooms can be great fun and a positive experience but they can be used as platforms to upset and bully individuals.
Tips and advice
- If you post abuse about anyone else online or if you send threats, you can be traced by the police without any difficulty. Every time you visit a website or make a posting, your internet service provider, Sky, BT or Virgin, has an electronic note of your activity. Even if you create an anonymous email address like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, you can still be traced.
- Keep safe by usibng unusual passwords. Use a combination of letters, lowercase, uppercase, symbols and numbers. Don't use any part of your name or email address and don't use your birth date either because that's easy for people who know you to guess. Don't let anyone see you signing in and if they do, change the password as soon as you can.
- If you are using a public computer such as one in a library, computer shop, or even a shared family computer, be sure to sign out of any web service you are using before leaving the computer so that you can protect your privacy.
- Being bullied online can affect someone enormously. Being bullied can impact on a person's self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Try to consider the impact your words may have and think twice before posting.
- Think twice before you post anything online because once it's out there you can't take it back.
The documents below provide further information on cyber-bullying.
The more you know about the kind of social networking sites your children belong to and what information they like to hsare, the more liekly you'll be able to keep them safe:
- The age limit to join most social networking sites is 13.
- The most popular social networks include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat; sites aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters, also have a social networking element.
- Many sites include an instant message function that allows private conversations between site members.
- You can create 'privacy settings' on most social networking sites, so only close friends can search for your children, tag them in a photograph or share what they post.
- Most social networking sites have an app, which means your children will have access to the social network from their (or your) smartphone or tablet.
- Facebook, for example, has setting that allows your children to approve or dismiss tags that people add to their posts.
- Information shared between friends can be easily copied and may spread widely.
- It isn't easy to take back information once it's online, and it can be impossible to recover after someone has shared it.
- Not everyone your child meets online will be who they say they are.
- Chat rooms and forums are one of the places that online groomers visit to connect with children; they can also be places where people use a lot of sexual language and engage in online flirting.
The documents below provide further information on social media.