Using the Internet Safely
George Mitchell School ensures that pupils know (through lessons and assemblies) what they need to do in order to stay safe when they are using computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices. This is called online safety. The information below has been designed to help parents and carers support our work and ensure that all young people in our care use technology responsibly and stay safe when they are online.
Most people would agree that the internet is a wonderful thing. There are a huge amount of things we can use it for: we can use it to help our learning, finding out information about where we want to travel, we can find cooking recipes, play games and we can talk to our friends in another country using video chat. There are however risks and we need to understand them
Resources for Young People
Advice can be found for different age groups on the ThinkUKnow website. We look at some of these resources in school to ensure that all our young people are aware of the main dangers and how to report them.For reception and Years 1, 2, 3 you can view this story about friendship.
Resources for Parents
Advice for parents and carers on online bullying from the DfE.
ThinkUknow has good advice for parents on a wide range of topics.
Childnet International is a non-profit organisation working with other organisations around the world to ensure the internet is a safe place for children. The website contains lots of information and resources for parents/carers, teachers and children.
Our Advice About Online Safety
- Young people can be worried about how their parents may react to their activity online. This can stop young people from speaking out when something serious is happening to them online. Young people need to be aware it is never too late to tell somebody if something goes wrong. Make sure they know who they could tell.
- Talk to your Internet Service Provider and Mobile Phone provider about what options there are to filter your internet traffic for inappropriate content.
- Talk to your child about what they look at online and the games that they play. This will help them to understand your expectations and discuss any problems they might be having.
- For young children, it is advisable that parents should have access to all their child’s online accounts and control the passwords. This includes email, social networks, games and phones etc. With older children, this approach is unlikely to work and may encourage your child to keep secret profiles to maintain their privacy.
- It is best of children not to talk to anyone online that they do not personally know offline. This is often difficult as modern games are often multiplayer or offer online communities as part of the game. Therefore we encourage children not to move people across platforms (i.e. from games to Facebook or from Facebook to Skype) unless they are known to them in real life.
- Make sure that children are not pretending to be older than they are online. This can expose them to age-inappropriate contact from someone who genuinely believes they are talking to an adult.
- Spam (messages advertising products, some of which are unsuitable for children) and Phishing (messages trying to get you to log into a fake site so your details can be stolen) are both very common. These messages can come from friends if their account has been broken into. Any message regarding resetting your password or back details is highly suspicious. Most messaging systems have a means of blocking senders and reporting problem messages.
Guidance on Social Networks
Below you can find specific guidance on a renage of social networks:
- YouTube Parents’ Guide
- Snapchat Parents’ guide
- Instagram Parents’ Guide
- Whatsapp Parents’ Guide
- Kik Messenger Parents’ Guide
- Omegle Parents’ Guide
- ooVoo Parents’ Guide
Online bullying, like any other type of bullying, is not tolerated at George Mitchell School. This applies in all cases including if the bullying has taken place outside of school hours. If you feel that your child has been a victim of online bullying, please contact their Learning Leader. Please do collect any evidence that you may have of the incident.
Bedtime and safety advice
In order to learn effectively, young people need a good night’s sleep. We advise that as the parent/carer you make sure that your child/children are not using electronic devices (e.g. computer games, games consoles and mobile phones) when they should be sleeping.