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Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Per ardua ad astra

Applications will be accepted in person between the hours of 10.00-12.00 and 13.00-14.00. We currently have a class teacher vacancy for September 2018
Welcome to
Holy Family Catholic Primary School
Per ardua ad astra

On-line Safety

Safeguarding Children

 

As parents – or relatives, teachers and other adults responsible to children’s safety – we want our children and those we look after to be healthy and happy … and to develop well both physically and mentally. Above all, it’s also instinctive that we want kids to be safe.

Children learn through exploration and natural curiosity, and it is part of our job as parents and carers to encourage that. However, as our children grow up, develop and discover new experiences, we have to take more and different steps to ensure their safety.

 

Until their understanding and instincts catch up with their curiosity, our children need to be protected from everyday dangers – whether crossing the road, in and around the home, trying new foods or talking to new people they meet. And sooner or later … going online.

 

Depending on the age that your children are now, they may not have yet discovered computers, smartphones or tablets, unless it’s just pressing the buttons! Alternatively, they may already be used to using certain trusted websites and apps or – if they’re older – using social networking sites.

By the time they are older still, they will probably already be ‘online veterans’ who know their way around the internet, apps, games, downloading and social networking with ease. Chances are, they know more about these things than you do. But they almost certainly don’t have the life-experience and wisdom to handle all of the situations they encounter.

Which is why we need a measured approach to keeping our children safe when they’re online.

 

So what’s changed?

Until relatively recently, most homes had a family computer, on which parents could safely introduce their children to the internet, keep an eye on what they were doing and introduce a degree of monitoring and control using parental software. When children started to get their own computers for doing their homework and playing games, it became more difficult to work with them to ensure they were visiting appropriate websites and not talking to strangers online in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Now, of course, in the age of smartphones and tablets – effectively mini-computers that can be used anywhere – most parents find it a real challenge to not only educate their children in doing the right thing, but monitor and control their online behaviour.

 

The risks

None of us – of whatever age – is immune from encountering problems online, as a look through this website or the daily news will tell you. Our children are certainly at a vulnerable stage in their lives … naturally more trusting than adults and hopefully having been less exposed to the darker side of the internet. They are also not as well equipped to deal with such issues – or their consequences. Some of these potential issues are as follows:

Inappropriate contact: from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them. Inappropriate conduct: because of their own and others’ online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public, for example on social networking sites. Unfortunately, children can also become cyberbullies, especially when encouraged by others. Inappropriate content: being able to access or being sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material, either through choice or in error. Commercialism: being the targets of aggressive advertising and marketing messages.   Gaining access to your personal information stored on your computer, mobile device or games console, and passing it on to others … or using your financial details such as payment card information. Enabling viruses and spyware by careless or misinformed use of their or your computer, smartphone, tablet or games console.

 

Advice

Everyone needs help sometimes … and that’s especially true of parents trying to stay switched-on to their children’s online safety.

Please check here https://www.getsafeonline.org/safeguarding-children/ for some expert, up-to-the-minute advice.

 

Advice if your child is under 5 years old

  • Start setting some boundaries; even at this early age … it’s never too early to do things like setting limits for the amount of time they can spend on the computer.
  • Make sure devices like your mobile, tablet or laptop are out of reach. Set up passwords/PINs and make sure you keep these details to yourself.
  • On computers and any other devices your child has access to, set the parental controls to the appropriate age, and enabling access to only appropriate content.
  • Buy or download parental control software, switch it on and keep it updated. There are many versions on the market, which work in different ways and available at a range of prices, starting at free.
  • The big four Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give their customers free parental controls which can be activated at any time. Check them out and take advantage of them.
  • Buy or download only apps, games, online TV and films which have age ratings, which you should check before allowing your child to play with or watch them.
  • Share your technology rules with grandparents, babysitters and your child’s friends’ parents so that they know what to do when looking after your child.
  • When using public WiFi – for example in cafés or hotels – remember that it might not include parental controls. Innocently letting your child play with your mobile or tablet while you’re enjoying a latte may result in them accessing inappropriate content or revealing personal information.
  • If you have a family computer or tablet, set the homepage to an appropriate website such as Cbeebies

 

If your child is aged 6 to 9 years old

  • On computers and any other devices your child has access to, set the parental controls to the appropriate age, and enabling access to only appropriate content.
  • Buy or download parental control software, switch it on and keep it updated. There are many versions on the market, which work in different ways and available at a range of prices, starting at free.
  • The big four Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give their customers free parental controls which can be activated at any time. Check them out and take advantage of them.
  • Agree a list of websites your child is allowed to visit and the kind of personal information they shouldn’t reveal about themselves online, such as the name of their school or their home address.
  • Set time limits for activities such as using the internet and games consoles.
  • Make sure your child is accessing only age-appropriate content by checking out the age ratings on games, online TV, films and apps.
  • Discuss with your older children what they should or shouldn’t be showing their younger siblings on the internet, mobile devices, games consoles and other devices.
  • Discuss with other parents subjects such as what age to buy children devices that connect to the internet.
  • Don’t be pressured by your child into letting them use certain technologies or view certain online content, if you don’t think they are old enough or mature enough… no matter how much they pester you or what their friends’ parents allow.

 

For more information and advice, and to report concerns directly to The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency, and is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP is here to help young people (up to age 18) who have been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online or in the real world.

 

The Internet Watch Foundation is the UK internet Hotline for anyone to report their inadvertent exposure to online child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world, non-photographic child sexual abuse images and criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK. For more information or to report a website visit https://www.iwf.org.uk

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