Within Computing lessons we regularly cover e-safety topics and our e-safety mascot, Tabecat, is prominent around school as a constant reminder to the children to think about how they use the internet. At school it is relatively easy to be e-safe – although no system is ever 100% secure we have strict filtering systems in place and all internet use is monitored. We have a clear e-safety policy and myself and Mrs Hood both have CEOP accreditation for e-safety. Out of school however things are a little different. Few mobile devices have the high quality filtering systems we enjoy at school, and often pupils are left alone to use phones, tablets etc. Even if they are closely monitored the barrage of social media and messaging apps, and the desire of IT companies to get us to share ALL our personal information with them, means young people are faced with potentially very dangerous situations at ever-younger ages.
As adults it is easy enough to make mistakes online and for children, who are desperate to keep up with their friends at the cutting edge of digital trends, it is even easier still.
Many children also have real difficulty understanding that online strangers can pose just as much a threat to them as ‘real life’ ones – there are a number of pupils with many online ‘friends’ who have access to their private photos and information via social networks despite having no idea who they are!
With all this in mind we are planning to hold a number of e-safety meetings for parents during November and beyond.
On Monday 28th November we will be hosting two 90-minute e-safety sessions for parents in conjunction with the NSPCC. The materials have been produced in conjunction with O2 and are specifically for parents of primary aged children. These sessions will be straight after school and in the evening so as many people as possible can attend, with details to follow after half term. Furthermore, we are working out the logistics of a half-termly E-Safety Drop-In session where I will be available to discuss any concerns parents have about specific apps or devices, and to give advice on settings, resources etc. Again, more details will follow after half term.
In the meantime I recommend downloading the posters below and perhaps sticking them on the fridge at home – they are the pieces of advice that we repeatedly point to during lessons and summarise the main e-safety issues.
Head of Computing & Computing Teacher