Thank you to those parents who attended last week’s E-Safety Meeting for parents, led by Education Consultant for ICT, Computing & E-Safety Gwenllian South. The meeting followed e-safety sessions with the Year 5/6 children where they tested out a specially created social networking site for children and their use of it was monitored.
During the afternoon sessions with Year 5/6 Miss South was, overall, impressed with the children’s e-safety knowledge noting several positives, but also highlighting a few issues which we will follow up with the children in subsequent e-safety lessons. It was a really valuable experience because as much as we repeat and reinforce e-safety messages in class they are sometimes seen as quite abstract concepts by the children. Watching them interact on a set-up social network and then being able to feedback to them on it has already caused a few children to think again about their online behaviour.
At the meeting with parents we discussed, amongst other things, the shifting nature of e-safety teaching from trying to shield children from everything towards equipping them with the tools to be able to make informed decisions about their online behaviour when they inevitably start using computers, tablets, smart phones, gaming consoles etc. to interact socially with others.
A key message to the children is trying to show them the equivalence of offline and online behaviour:
- If a child was walking home and a stranger asked to see the photos on their mobile phone they would know to shout and run straight to a trusted adult. They know that other schools would be contacted, media outlets informed and that their town would go into lockdown. They have been told of the dangers and know what to do and because it feels real they are alert to the dangers and will most likely act upon it.
- If a child was walking home from school and took a photo too many of them would happily share it on Instagram (or similar) with the world, perhaps publicly or even with strangers who they have accepted ‘friends requests’ from. The children don’t think anything of it, don’t tell anyone, and no action is taken by anybody. They have been told of the dangers and know what to do but because it feels virtual they are not alert to the dangers and most often do not act upon it.
We are working hard to make sure the children understand that strangers are a potential source of danger both in the ‘real’ world AND offline.
This video, produced by CEOPS (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) and aimed at 8-10 year olds, was used during the meeting and has been seen by our Year 5/6 children during e-safety lessons:
Below are a series of links to online resources you may find useful as parents and below that a copy of the slides shown by Miss South during the parents meeting. We will try and organise another E-Safety Meeting next academic year but in the meantime if you have any questions relating to e-safety please do not hesitate to ask.