At Sandringham, we take the safety of our students in the physical and online worlds very seriously. The internet is an integral part of children’s lives. It opens up many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to a world of information and experiences.
As you would protect your child in the physical world, you will want to make sure that they are safe when in a virtual space too. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might try to exploit them.
How does the school educate students about online safety?
The school has developed an online safety curriculum which students from Year 7 through to Year 13 study. The content of delivered has been carefully planned and mapped to the UKCIS framework ‘Educating for a Connected World’. Our taught curriculum covers issues such as online safety, trustworthiness of websites, online threats such as malware, computing legislation and people’s rights, cyberbullying, sexting, digital footprint and building a positive digital reputation.
This is delivered via:
- The Personal Development curriculum throughout all years
- Computer Science curriculum throughout all years
- UK Safer Internet Day assemblies and theme week in February of each year
- Support via Form Tutors and Performance Directors
- All students sign an Acceptable Use Agreement for IT services at school, and school networks and Wifi are filtered and monitored.
How can you protect your child online?
Simply put, if you understand the internet and understand what the risks are, there are a number of things you can do that will make your child safer online. Below you will find a list of some websites you can visit to find out more.
The school hosts an annual Online Safety information evening for parents and carers which is led by an industry expert. We strongly encourage parents and carers to attend this insightful event.
We encourage parents to maintain active discussions with their children around eSafety, put filtering in place at home and to impose sensible time limits on the use of devices at home. Parents may be interested in the OurPact app that can help to easily manage this. Any homework that may require Internet access will be published within Google Guardian Summaries with guidance on the time that the task should take to complete.
In school, we have a very clear internet safety policy and each year all students are educated how to stay safe online. The school also makes use of filtering and monitoring systems to ensure students are safe whilst using the internet and other online tools.
For those parents who are concerned about their children’s safety or the internet, the following sites provide useful advice:
- www.thinkuknow.co.uk – a site run by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre) with up to date information for children of different ages and parents.
- http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-to-technology – A guide to answer questions and introduce some of the most popular communication devices, highlighting the safety tools available and empowering parents with the knowledge they need to support their children to use these technologies safely and responsibly.
- https://swgfl.org.uk/online-safety/10-online-safety-tips/ – provides online safety advice for parents, children and schools.
There are also a number of useful materials attached below that will give further guidance.
Reporting To School
Almost all cyberbullying incidents take place outside of school hours. We explain to students that their online conduct outside hours still needs to meet the high standards of behaviour we would expect in school and all reports of cyberbullying will be investigated and taken seriously.
If you need to report an incident, please contact your son/daughter’s form tutor in the first instance. We are here to support you and we will do whatever we can to help and keep students safe. If the incident occurs outside of our jurisdiction, it may be necessary for us to advise you to call the police non-emergency number (101).
The following documents relating to online safety may be useful for parents and carers. Many of these publications are available in other languages. Please contact the school if you would like a copy sent to you in different language and we will try to assist.
Online Safety Event
Each year we hold an online safety event for parents/carers. The ‘Supporting your child online’ workshop explores the risks that young people face online such as communication with strangers, sharing personal information and photos, and exposure to inappropriate adult content. Gareth Cort, an online safety specialist, provides information to help you understand these issues, and practical advice to help you protect your child and support them to enjoy positive online experiences. Advice about parental controls and settings is also provided, alongside the importance of having regular discussions with your child about how to stay safe online. Information on where to get help and support is provided.
Our last information evening took place on Wednesday 8th February. A link containing a copy of the presentation delivered at this event can be found below :
Further useful information can be found in the parents/carers guide which is attached below.