|Safe and effective use of computers|
The Spinney school policies and curriculum fully support your children in being safe and effective users of the world wide web. We also support parents by providing information on how best to educate your children at home to ensure they are getting the best out of the internet while keeping themselves safe.
Every November we hold a Positive Friendship week where we think about how to communicate appropriately and safely online, and the children review the school's Computing Acceptable Use rules. Every February we mark Safer Internet Day by discussing safe internet usage with children and parents.
Please refer to the Links panel on the right hand side of this page for further information on this.
The Department for Education released a document at the end of 2014 offering advice to parents and carers on cyberbullying. This can be accessed here. Further advice from the DfE can be found on their website.
Golden rules for keeping children safe include:
- Always keep the family computer in a public place such as a communal room where you can easily see the screen
- Set up filter systems on your computer that block unsuitable material
- Invest in good antivirus/spyware/pop-up blocking software if your computer does not have it already
- Stay involved and engaged with your children's online behaviours. Talk to your children about what they are doing on the internet and get them to show you what games or chat rooms they use
- Ensure that you have read the terms and conditions for responsible use of the particular sites and that you adhere to the minimum age restrictions for all children (not just your own) who may gain access to it. This is particularly important with media such as social networking sites, computer games, YouTube, iPlayer, music videos and DVDs because of the associated risks
- Help children to realise that things written on the social networking sites are published and can be seen by other users, and that therefore any posts must be polite and fair, and not lead to another person feeling demeaned, harassed or bullied
- Reinforce the smart rules at home (available on the Know it all website). The most important being:
safe - not giving out any personal information;
tell - tell someone if you see something that you don't like or upsets you; and
meet - don't meet up with someone you have met online
- Show children how to use the internet and help them not to be afraid of it as it is a wonderful resource
Internet safety advice is directly applicable to the gaming environment. It is essential that children are aware of the potential issues and are given the skills and knowledge to help manage and reduce these risks, with the help of those around them. This leaflet explores the online gaming environment and provides a wealth of safety advice: Online Gaming.
Computer and video games have a Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating printed on the front of the case. Parents should familiarise themselves with these and follow the age-related guidance. For example, even if younger children are just watching an older family member playing a game with a 12, 16 or 18 rating, they still are being exposed to unsuitable material. You can find out more about PEGI ratings here.
The following links provide further information about best practice at home that will support what your child is learning at school. We recommend that Spinney parents familiarise themselves with the content.
Childnet's mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a safe place for children. They work directly with children and young people from the ages of 3 to 18 on a weekly basis, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals, finding out about their real experiences online, and the positive things they are doing as well as sharing safety advice.
Many of the websites below are part of the Childnet International network.
Know it all for Parents. KnowITall is a set of award-winning resources developed by children's internet charity Childnet International to help educate young people, parents and teachers about safe and positive use of the internet.
The ThinkUKnow website belongs to CEOP - the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre - and offers latest information and advice to parents and teachers about new technologies and how to help and protect children interacting with them.
Insafe is a European network of Awareness Centres promoting safe, responsible use of the Internet and mobile devices to young people. There are sections for children, parents and teachers with information and advice on all aspects of online activity.
Kidsmart is a practical internet safety programme website for schools, young people, parents and agencies, produced by the children's internet charity Childnet International. Its resources include lesson plans, leaflets, posters, activity days and interactive games.
The county ICT Service also has information on the safe use of computers, with resources for both adults and school children. Click here for more information.