Online Safety information
At Thomson House the safeguarding of children is a very high priority. We are committed to ensuring our pupils are safe in school and online.
By giving the children 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 internet, mobile phones and game consoles. It is important that children understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
Online safety forms part of our curriculum and children are regularly reminded of how to stay safe online, especially in computing and PSHE lessons.
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 material 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 Internet 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 personal 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 away from them.
The more you know about the kind of social networking sites your children belong to and what information they like to share, the more likely 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 a 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
Other Useful Links:
- Know It All Free online safety resources for teachers and parents
- Think U Know Guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people.
- CEOP News and Articles about online safety
If you have any concerns please speak to your child’s class teachers or a member of the safeguarding team.