E-Safety Talk for Parents
We hosted a very useful E-Safety workshop last evening in the Chapter House.
The event was hosted by Steven Shepherd, an online safety consultant from the South West Grid for Learning Group. The aim of the event was to provide you with a greater understanding of online safety and support the work we already do in School to promote digital wellbeing. It was very pleasing to hear from Steven that our work in PSHE and Digital Wellbeing was outstanding and many of his suggestions and resources we were already using.
I thought it would be useful for those of you who could not attend to summarise some key points.
- One of the key messages was the importance of talking to children about staying safe online. He spoke of our need to understand the situations they encounter and to be able to offer advice on how to deal with them.
He suggested spending time with children while they use the internet on their devices. Having a device ban during family times and limiting time spent on the internet.
- We learnt about the different situations children may encounter while online. Gaming was mentioned as a potential risk area. Steven advised us to consider activating safety setting on consoles, agreeing with children to limit the time they spend playing online, paying attention to PEGI (age) ratings and being aware that some games have inbuilt chat functions.
Below are some useful websites to learn about gaming safely online:
- Apps were also discussed. Steven spoke about the huge variety of apps online and the dangers of sharing personal data. Many apps allow socialisation with peers through instant messaging, social networking and image sharing. Some allow wider interactions with people online who are strangers. These apps have numerous risks associated with them.
It was advised to consider privacy setting and age relevance for apps, talking to children about the apps they use and the content they share and discussing the consequences of sharing messages and images. Content restrictions settings can be applied to devices to help monitor app usage.
Below are some useful websites in relation to apps:
Overall, Steven’s message was that the internet is a fantastic resource for our children if used safely and in a positive way. It offers platforms to connect with others and learn. It is a huge part of life for young people growing up today and we all have a duty and responsibility to teach and support online safety for children. We have ordered some copies of Digital Parenting to support you at home. Please feel free to pick up a copy from Reception in Hall House and the Chantry when convenient.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s use of online content. We will be running an online safety workshop for Year 8 after their Common Entrance Exams and another parent session next year.
The School has ordered copies of Digital Parenting. Parents will be informed when these have arrived. Meanwhile, parents are very to come to the Chantry front hall where they may pick up information leaflets about E Safety: ‘Online Safety Guidance for Parents’ and checklists for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
We have had some great feedback from parents already from last night:
‘It was a fantastic, informative evening. I have learned a lot, and would recommend it to all parents’ Jo, Year 4 parent
“I was a little sceptical going in, expecting to hear some obvious platitudes, and heard nothing but evidence based and practical insights. If there is any chance of him coming in again, I think other parents would benefit from hearing the talk’. Emma, Year 3&6 parent