At Hanwell Fields Community School we use technology and the Internet extensively across all areas of the curriculum. Online safety, sometimes also known as e-safety is an area that is constantly evolving and as such we hope that this page provides useful information for parents and carers.
For Up to Date E-Safety News please click here
We think that the best resources for students, parents, carers, staff and anyone else who wants to know more about e-safety are provided by Thinkuknow.
If you would like to make use of their resources, please click here.
CEOP stands for Child Exploitation and Online Protection. This is a national agency who work hard to protect children and young people from the dangers posed by online activity.
If you have a concern that someone has done something online that has made you or a child or young person you know, feel worried or unsafe you can make a report to CEOP via the icon at the bottom of our webpage.
Further information about CEOP and access to their resources can be obtained by clicking here.
Vodafone Digital Parenting
We distribute copies of Vodafone's Digital Parenting magazine to parents of all Year 5, 6 and 7 parents.
Should you wish to visit the Digital Parenting website, you can do so by clicking here.
Advice and Guidance for Parents and Carers
The following advice and guidance is provided in association with Childnet.
The internet – always changing
Keeping up to date with children’s use of technology is challenging for many adults. It can be hard to supervise what young people are viewing and creating online, who they are chatting to and texting, and what they are downloading.
Many children may have better technical skills than you; however they still need advice and protection when using internet and mobile technologies.
This page is designed to help you to understand online safety issues and give you practical advice as you talk to your children so they can get the most out of the internet and use it positively and safely.
So what are the risks?
The risks for children when using the internet and mobile phones include inappropriate:
CONTACT: Potential contact from someone online who may wish to bully or abuse them.
It is important for children to remember that online friends may not be who they say they are, no matter how long they have been talking to them or how friendly they seem. Children must keep personal details private and agree not to meet unsupervised with anyone they have only contacted via the internet. It’s also important that you discuss with your child who they can report inappropriate conversations to and how.
CONTENT: Inappropriate material is available to children online.
Consider using filtering software and agree ground rules about what services you are happy for your children to use. Give them strategies for dealing with any content they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the computer screen. There can also be legal consequences of copying copyrighted content. Young people need to be aware that plagiarising content and downloading copyrighted material without the author’s permission is illegal.
COMMERCIALISM: Young people’s privacy can be invaded by aggressive advertising and marketing schemes.
Encourage your children to keep their personal information private, learn how to delete pop-ups and block spam emails, and use a family email address when filling in online forms.
Can’t I just use a filter?
Filtering and monitoring software can help to block a lot of inappropriate material but they are not 100% effective and are no substitute for adult involvement and supervision.
For more advice see:
Social networking and blogging
Social networking sites or blogs are places online where young people can create personalised web-pages in order to express themselves and share ideas and opinions with others. The sites enable them to meet and socialise online by linking to other sites and therefore create an environment for the whole of their social network to easily exchange information and chat.
What are the risks?
Personal information and contact details can be contained in a profile or could be disclosed during online conversations. Such information can lead to children and their social network receiving unwanted contact from inappropriate people. Children can also post comments or images of themselves or others online, which may compromise their or their friends’ safety or be used as a means to bully others.
What can you do?
Learn from and teach children how to use these applications responsibly. Check the privacy preferences available and insist children make their blogs accessible only to people known offline. Encourage young people to keep their personal information to a minimum and think very carefully before including a personal photograph of themselves or their friends in their profile. Photos online can easily be copied, changed and used elsewhere, and can potentially stay online forever.
For further information visit: www.childnet-int.org/blogsafety
Online gaming is a fun and exciting way to relax so it is no surprise that over half of 8-15 year olds are playing. The variety means that there is something for everyone to enjoy but there can also be risks. Luckily there are things you can do to help keep children safe and make gaming fun.
Understanding The Risks
Not everyone that children play with in games will be nice. Some users are verbally abusive towards others or will try to steal and destroy the player’s virtual possessions. Not all players are children either and some adults will use games to try and groom young people. There are things you can do to help protect children.
Finding Age Appropriate Games
Age ratings are an essential tool to help assess whether a game is suitable for children. It’s important to remember though that age ratings are based on the content of the game and not whether you can access the internet and talk to other people. Children can talk to others through the game itself, console networks such as Xbox Live, external chat sites such as Skype, or gaming forums. It is a good idea to check out the game first before letting younger children play. The Video Standards Council Rating Board is the national regulator for video games providing PEGI ratings and ACI (Additional Consumer Information) for each game. Use the ‘search’ facility on the VSC website to find the ACI for a game or rated app. If you want to hear what parents' think of a game, take a look at askaboutgames.com for reviews. You can also find parents' and children’s opinions on some of the most popular gaming apps on the NSPCC and O2’s Net Aware.
Before starting a game it is a good idea to check out what technology is available to keep children safe. Gaming consoles have parental controls which can stop your child from downloading games that they are too young for. Privacy settings are available on most games so that you can control who can view information about you. You can also often block or report players who are behaving inappropriately. If you are unsure how to do this, give the O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline a call on 0808 800 5002 and they can talk you through the process. Calls are free and anyone is able to use the service.
It is important to have regular conversations with children about staying safe online, and gaming is no different. Let children know to tell a trusted adult if they see or hear anything in games that they find upsetting. Help them to understand that the people they meet in games may not be who they claim to be and explain why they should not give out personal information or photos. If they choose to play games with people that they don’t know, remind them not to take the conversation off the game, such as onto a social network or into a private chat.
If you would like more information about keeping children safe online, take a look at the NSPCC’s online safety advice at https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/online-games-helping-children-play-safe/
The internet on mobile phones
The issues about being safe online apply equally to mobile phones, especially as most phones now have internet access. Whilst there are opportunities in terms of communication, interaction and entertainment in young people having mobile phones, children can be at risk of accessing and distributing inappropriate content and images and talking to strangers away from your supervision.
Children can receive abusive text messages, be vulnerable to commercial mobile phone pressures and run up large phone bills. It is very important to encourage your children not to give out their mobile numbers to strangers either online or in real life and help them to use their mobile safely and responsibly.
Top Tips For Internet Searches
The internet is the biggest library in the world. You can find almost anything you want to, from TV shows to sports results and homework help online. Carry on reading to get some top tips on how to search online and get SMART results.
- Be clear in your online searches try to use more than one word to describe what you are searching for. For example, if you are searching for information on the planet Mercury, entering ‘planet mercury’ into the search box will better results than just entering ‘Mercury’.)
- Take care to spell correctly when typing in a search. Even a small typing error can bring up unwanted results.
- Remember that not all the information in websites returned in searches is reliable. Look in books, ask people who might know, and look up at least three other websites to check your info.
- Make sure you filter your searches online – especially if you are doing an image search.
- Bookmark your favourite websites or check your history to make sure you are revisiting the same websites.
- If you see something that upsets you, make sure you turn off the screen or make the window smaller on a laptop and tell an adult as soon as possible.
Filtering of the Internet at HFCS
Filtering isn’t there to stop your fun; what it can do is make sure that things you don’t want to see are stopped before they reach your screen.
Sometimes websites contain pictures or information that are not suitable for children. Make sensible decisions about what you search for online.
Making the right choices when you’re online...
Tell someone if you see something that worries you. There’s a lot of information online and not all of it is for children and young people. You might be surprised to hear that some things online are illegal!
If you ever come across something you think you shouldn’t have seen make sure you tell someone about it.
Resources for Primary Students
Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1
Hector’s World which is part of the Thinkuknow website, created by CEOP. Hector’s world is very child friendly and plays short cartoons showing children how to be safe on the internet. There are also games to play.
Key Stage 2
Visit the CBBC ‘Stay Safe’ site. Test your internet safety knowledge with Hacker, listen to some Stay Safe songs with Helen Skelton, News Kids On the Block and Bobby Lockwood and get some tips from the Horrible Histories gang.
Another good resource to use is from KnowITALL by Child net International. The Smart Crew go on a series of adventures and learn all about internet safety. The cartoon clips are quite short and get the message accross really well. There are also some great FREE leaflets and DVD's on this website for parents about social networking sites and how to keep their children safe whilst online at home.
Resources for Secondary Students
Digizen - The Digizen website provides information for teachers, parents, carers, and young people. It is used to strengthen their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become responsible DIGItal citiZENS. It shares specific advice and resources on issues such as social networking and cyberbullying and how these relate to and affect their own and other people's online experiences and behaviours.
Know IT All - a selection of our Know IT All resources provided by Childnet International suitable for parents, teachers and students alike.
Get in Touch
Hanwell Fields Community School
Banbury Oxon OX16 1ER