Online Safety During School Closure

Online Safety During School Closure March 2020
As you are well aware, Etwall Primary School is closed to the majority of pupils in response to the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We are aware that this is likely to mean that many children are spending an increased amount of time online at the moment.  Online safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Etwall Primary School and as such we would like to share some helpful advice to help you consider how you can keep your family safer online at home.
 
Online Safety Advice
Discuss and agree as a family how the internet will be used in your house at a level that is appropriate to your children’s ability and age.
 
Discuss with your children what they think is and isn’t acceptable to do online.
 
Decide on what information should be kept private online, such as contact information, photos in school uniform, and agree rules for making and meeting online friends.
 
Set clear boundaries relating to use of webcams, video chat, live streaming and live voice on different devices; even when children are talking to people they already know, they can still experience risks.
 
Explore how to create strong passwords and discuss how to keep passwords safe, for example not sharing them with their friends or using the same password for several accounts.
 
Consider your own use of the internet and lead by example. Think about how much time you spend online and consider the information you are sharing on your social networks about your children and who can see it.
 
Share quality time together. Consider nominating ‘tech-free’ areas or times, such as your child’s bedroom or dinner time, where you can give each other undivided attention and share offline experiences, like reading a book together.
 
Parental Controls
Make the most of the parental controls on your children’s internet enabled devices and games consoles to help restrict access to inappropriate content. They can also help you manage how much time your child spends online. - Do your research and select the tools which are most suitable to you, your child and the technology in your home. Find more information on parental controls at:
Games, Apps and Websites
Read any parental guidance and safety recommendations for games, apps or websites before allowing your child to use them. - The following guides provide balanced information to help you make informed decisions:
Talking to your Child
Maintain an open mind and positive attitude when talking with your child about the internet. Take an active interest in your child’s online activities and engage in their online world with them. - Ask your child which games, apps, websites or tools they like to use and why; playing together with your child can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online. - Ask your child if they know where to go for help; do they know where to find safety advice or information about privacy settings and know how to report or block users on their games and websites.
 
Make sure your child knows that they should come to you, or another trusted adult, for help if something happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
 
Talk to your child about being kind online and encourage them not to retaliate or reply to cyberbullying and to keep any evidence; you may need to show your child how to take screenshots on their device.
 
Have a look at the following links for useful tips on talking to children about online safety in an age appropriate way:
If You Are Worried
Be alert to any changes in behaviour, language and attitude in your child that may indicate that something is upsetting them online, for example, if your child starts to withdraw from family and friends or becomes secretive about their online behaviour.
 
If your child discloses an online issue or concern to you, ensure you listen to them.
 
Avoid being angry or blaming them; reassure them that they have done the right thing by telling you.
 
Take their concerns seriously; even if you feel they are overreacting or their worries are unfounded, it is important not to dismiss their feelings as this can prevent them from coming to you for help again in the future.
 
Support your child to report and block people online who may have tried to contact them or have sent them nasty or inappropriate messages or content.
 
Help your child to report to the site or service where the concern happened. Depending on the issue, you can report specific concerns online at:
Further Information