We are committed to ensuring that students are safe when using the internet at School. Nonetheless, much of a child’s internet usage occurs outside of school, and we ask parents/carers to be interested, supportive and vigilant to their children’s usage. This page has been designed to give you information that will support you in this role.
What is my child doing online through social networking?
Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:
Search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing
Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube and Whatsapp
Use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
Chat with other people through online games, BBM (Blackberry Messenger), game consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp.
When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family.There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.
A more detailed guide to the social networks your child uses can be found on the Net Aware website: www.net-aware.org.uk
What are the risks that my child could face?
Understanding the potential risks and encouraging safe and responsible use of the internet are crucial steps towards ensuring the safety of your child. Depending on the role that your child takes, whether the recipient, participant or actor, there are a number of potential risks.
Keeping your child safe online
The internet is used every day in almost every home, we all know how useful it can be for research, gaming, keeping in touch with friends and even homework. But, as a parent, do you know what your child is researching, who they are playing games with and who their 'online friends are:
A few tips to help keep them safe are:
- Ensure you know who they are speaking to.
- Do they know all their friends 'online' or are they "friends of friends"?
- Do they have internet access all night in their bedrooms - do they need it?
- Emphasise the danger of meeting someone they have only spoken to 'online'.
- Cyber-bullying is increasing - it is easier to type/text nasty things than say them face-to face.
- Know how to report incidents and block unwanted contacts.
These dangers are, unfortunately, all too common. At Chiswick School we take the safety of all our students very seriously and plan to actively raise awareness throughout school. "Safer Internet Day" this year is on Tuesday 5th February. Staff and students will watch films about online dangers and how to report issues.
You can also watch these films if you use these external YouTube links, from the official CEOP YouTube page.
What can I do to support my child?
Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.
- Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
- Carry out spot checks on the devices that your children use, looking at images, videos, and social media
- Use safety tools on social networks and other online services, e.g. Facebook privacy settings
- Decide if you want to use parental controls on your home internet
- Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer. A useful guide can be found on the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website.
How can I report safety concerns?
If you are concerned that your child is in immediate danger, call 999. If it is a less immediate concern, you should contact your local police station.
If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should also report your concerns to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP). You can report your concern through their website: www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre
If you are concerned that your child is being bullied at school, you should contact the Learning Coordinator, Assistant Headteacher - Behaviour or Assistant Headteacher - Designated Safeguard Lead. There are also a range of useful websites listed below:
The main areas of risk for our school community can be summarised as follows:
- exposure to inappropriate content, including online pornography, ignoring age ratings in games (exposure to violence associated with often racist language), substance abuse
- lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia/self-harm/suicide sites
- hate sites
- content validation: how to check authenticity and accuracy of online content
- cyber-bullying in all forms
- identity theft (including ‘frape’ (hacking Facebook profiles)) and sharing passwords
- privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information digital footprint and online reputation
- health and well-being (amount of time spent online (internet or gaming)) sexting (sending and receiving of personally intimate images) also referred to as SGII (self generated indecent images) copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership – such as music and film