At St James CE Primary School, we believe that educating children about being safe online is crucial part of growing up in the 21st Century. Our Computing curriculum has online safety embedded throughout, focusing on identifying some of the risks of using the internet and how it keeps you safe. It also forms part of our PSHE education and is regularly discussed in class and in assemblies.
Be Safe Online at Home
There are many ways you can help with being safe online at home. With all types of devices in the home now being internet connected, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and your family from potential issues online.
Home Broadband, Public Wifi and Mobile Phones
All of Britain’s major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Phone Operators now provide filtering systems that you can manage. This allows you to block any potentially harmful content from entering your home or mobile device.
A lot of the UK’s public wi-fi services now use the “Friendly wifi” branding to signify those connections that have filtered services to protect children.
For more information please visit the following site
Video Games and Apps
Video Games are rated by PEGI, the Pan European Gaming Information Group. These are legally binding ratings in the EU. It is illegal for a store to knowingly sell an underage child a video game.
Games consoles and mobile devices that can play games all have parental control systems that can limit who your child can talk to online, what games and movies they can watch based on rating, as well as systems to limit the number of hours in a day, week or month the consoles are played for. Some even have hour limitations, so they can’t play between certain hours of the day.
It can also be hard to decide whether a new app or game is appropriate for your child. It is worth remembering that to protect vulnerable children, most social networking sites have a minimum age policy of 13. We would also encourage parents to ‘friend’ their children and add themselves to group chats so they can monitor activity.
These websites are useful tools in deciding which games and apps to allow on your child’s device. They give age ratings, descriptions of their features and include ratings on different aspects of safety and suitability.
www.net-aware.org.uk (also available as a smartphone app)
familygamerTV (YouTube channel)
This site also gives information on how to limit or block in-app purchases on different devices:
Children are being given access to mobile devices at a younger and younger age, and many parents don’t know how to put controls on their tablets and laptops to protect their children from age inappropriate materials.
These controls won’t stop all internet content, just content available from app stores such as the Apple App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store so need to be used in tandem with other tools such as internet filtering provided by your ISP.
Throughout the year, we run parent workshops to provide parents with up to date information on how to keep their chidlren safe online at home.
If you were not able to make our parent workshop in February 2020 on online safety, you can see the presentation by clicking here.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an online safety workshop was delivered virtually in partnership with Sandwell Council in November 2020. To access the slides, click here.