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Keeping our children safe

Online Safety

Gaming

During the current Lockdown where we are actively encouraging our children to go online to access school work it can become increasingly difficult to set boundaries for them when they play online games.  At school we talk about SMART with the children but getting them to apply this advice at home can sometimes be hard.  There are many resources to support parents to manage their child's access to games but less for the children themselves - most guides are aimed at children older than 11.

The  BBC have produced a series of informative guides covering many aspects of online gaming which can be accessed by clicking here

 

internetmatters.org is a really useful website that covers a lot of online safety issues and also has a good section about online gaming - the video below is one of the resources filmed by a parent who became concerned about her daughters online gaming behaviours.

  

  • Talk – be open and honest about their online gaming and make sure they are aware of the risks involved.
  • Teach them about the dangers of revealing private information like email addresses, home address or financial details.
  • Explain that not everyone online has honourable intentions and people do lie, so they need to be cautious.
  • Report – Much like with other bullying, teach them to not respond to bullies online but to report it straight away.
  • Educate yourself on how to report bullies through online gaming so that you can then teach the children.
  • For parents, monitor the amount of time they spend online and give them a set limit.
  • Always check certificates – it’s 18 for a reason! Are you confident that you know what content is in a particular game? If you aren’t sure whether you would want your children to play it, research the game first yourself to find out what is involved before making a decision. Never give your child access to your payment details.

 Playing online games doesn’t need to be scary when you are aware of what you can do. As with anything, there will always be risks but if you teach children to be safe online the risks can be minimised.    

Further useful resources

Are you aware? Does your child have access to these sites?

 

Net Aware is a parents guide to the social media that our kids use.

This article (click here) makes for an interesting and thought provoking read for parents.

In 2016, the BBC broadcast a docudrama about the murder of 14-year old Breck Bednar after he was groomed online. The programme ‘Murder Games’ saw Breck's family and friends recount how Breck was manipulated and isolated. 

As a school we do discuss grooming as part of our online safety work.  For older pupils (11+) there is a no-nonsense guide and activities available online through the Think U Know Thinkuknow website also has articles for teenagers about online grooming and gaming, which can be used to encourage young people to think about who they are really talking to online. They highlight the warning signs and provide realistic tips for safe chat as well as where to get help if things go wrong.

It is very important to have regular, open discussions with your children about what they are doing online, how to recognise risks and what to do if they are worried. It is particularly important to remind children how to report concerns and also to encourage parents and carers to seek support if they are concerned that their child might be being groomed.

You can contact the local police, children's social care department - 01629 533190 or report directly to CEOPIf a child is at immediate risk the police should be contacted via 999. Concerns can also be discussed with someone directly via the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Childnet, UK Safer Internet Centre, Internet Matters and the NSPCC also have excellent advice and resource to use with pupils and also to share with parents/carers.

Another website that is a really useful source of information about how to keep our children safe online can be found at........... 

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  Our Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.

 Be smart on the internet  

Make sure your understand the importance of staying safe online

S   Safe - Keep safe be being careful not to give out personal information - such as your full name, email address, phone number, home address, photos or school name - to people you are chatting with online

M   Meeting - Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents' or carers' permission and even then only when they can be present

A   Accepting- Accepting emails, IM messages or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don't know or trust can lead to problems - they may contain viruses or nasty messages!

R   Reliable - Information you find on the internet may not be true, or someone online may be lying about who they are.

T   Tell - Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online. You can report online abuse to the police at www.thinkuknow.co.uk

We talk to all our children about keeping themselves safe whenever they are online, it is really important that they receive the same messages at home.  If you are a little unsure as to the messsages you might share with your child please have a look at the links below.

1. e-safety tips for parents of primary aged children - please click here and further advice is available here

2. Test your internet safety knowledge here 

3 .Think u know

4. Think u know cyber cafe - click here

It is important that every child in our school has a good level of awareness of being safe online. Please help us to share this message. Thank you.

 

The NSPCC has launched its

Share Aware- Help your child stay safe on social networks campaign

Parents’ concerns about social networking sites that are popular with children are revealed today, as the NSPCC launches its Share Aware campaign to get families talking about socialising safely online.  

 Keeping children safe online is the biggest child protection challenge of this generation. Parents have a vital role to play but social networking sites should also be responding to concerns about children’s safety and privacy. The NSPCC is working with internet companies and the Government to make the internet a safer place for children.

The NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign is aimed at parents of Junior and Secondary age children and features two animations to be shown on prime time TV and digital spaces.  Please visit this link to see more information http://www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware