The internet is now an integral part of children’s lives - with all the potential that the online world and new technology offers, young people now have access to huge and exciting opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore and be creative. It has changed the way that they communicate and we need to ensure that this communication is appropriate and does not cause harm or upset to our pupils.
Here at St Mary’s we are doing all that we can to educate and protect our pupils in their use of ICT and the internet. Our online safety awareness programme is delivered through PSHE and ICT lessons, through regular assemblies and through special events delivered by online safety experts. We consider online safety to be a whole school responsibility and so all staff are encouraged to explore safety issues; teachers specifically with their own classes and in lessons where relevant.
Within school, filtered internet usage is monitored, as is pupils’ use of computers and through this, any concerns will be raised with teachers and parents.
Obviously we can only provide these safeguards within school and it is equally important that pupils are encouraged to use the internet safely and responsibly outside school. We are very grateful for parental support in these issues and we strongly encourage parents to monitor children’s internet activity at home, in order to ensure that all activity is appropriate. We provide as much support to parents as we can - this includes regular e-Safety updates and parental information sessions (most recent session was held in Spring 2016). We are always willing to discuss individual concerns on this issue with parents.
Please see the links below to a variety of websites that you may find useful in supporting your child’s safer internet use:
If you are worried about something you have seen online or if you are affected by an e-Safety issue, then please talk to a member of staff at school or an adult you can trust.
If you see something online that you feel needs to be reported, tell an adult and ask them to report it to the necessary authorities.
We expect you to be responsible and respectful in your use of the internet.
Childnet have produced a short blog which is designed to help anyone worried about a friend who has posted worrying comments online.
The link is here http://www.childnet.com/blog/looking-out-for-friends-online
Here’s what to do to help a friend in need:
- Trust your instincts. If you see someone posting messages, photos, videos or links that suggest the person is not doing so well, you should reach out, talk to them as they may need some help. As a friend you know them best.
- Look for warning signs. While it can be hard, particularly online, to tell how someone is feeling, if they indicate that they may be at risk, you should always take this seriously. The guide from Facebook and Samaritans provides a list of things to watch out for.
- Offer support. Don’t be afraid to give your friend a call, pay a visit, or send them a message to let them know you are concerned. Offer to help connect them with any extra support needed.
- Tell someone. If you think a friend is feeling suicidal or might need help, please contact Samaritans, who are available round the clock, every single day of the year. You can reach Samaritans on 08457 90 90 9008457 90 90 90
The link to the guide produced by the Samaritans is here: