At Mortimer Primary School our pupil’s safety is paramount. We want to educate, protect and prevent children from any harms or risks that could be out in the ‘real world’. As part of our computing syllabus and PHSE work all children are educated on how to use electronic devices and the internet safely and with respect. We have designated members of staff who are CEOP trained and Kid Safe Tutors. This page has useful advice for parents and carers on how to help keep your family safe.
What is e-safety?
E-Safety encompasses not only Internet technologies but also electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology. It highlights the need to educate children and young people about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- E-Safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- E-Safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- E-Safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- E-Safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours, both in and out of school.
E-safety is constantly evolving. All teaching and non-teaching staff should be aware and able to recognise e-safety issues. Our E-safety Support will save you time with many ready-to-use resources that help you deliver excellent practice in teaching online and Internet safety.
Social Media and Networking
Many social media sites have age restrictions, these age restrictions are in place to protect children. We educate children on what is social media and the safe use of the internet and these sites.
“A useful way for us all to think about this is to look at how we protect children in places of benefit and risk in the real (offline) world: public swimming pools. Here there are safety signs and information; shallow as well as deep ends; swimming aids and lifeguards; doors, locks and alarms. However children will sometimes take risks and jump into waters too deep for them or want to climb walls and get through locked doors – therefore we also teach them how to swim. We must adopt the same combination of approaches in order to enable our children and young people to navigate these exciting digital waters while supporting and empowering them to do so safely.”
Dr Tanya Byron, The Byron Review
Understanding what children do online and the risks they face will help you keep your child safe.
The latest craze social media sites are constantly changing and it is hard to stay up to date with the latest ‘fad’. Here is a link to the NSPCC website, they regularly update their parent section to help parents and carers protect their children. Click here.
Games are heading online now more than ever. Everything from Tetris to football games can be played online and against other human opponents rather than computer controlled opponents. Players can usually communicate with one another; perhaps using onscreen messaging which is typed during the game play or some games allow voice communication so that players can swap their thoughts freely via a headset whilst competing just like having a telephone conversation.
Today’s games consoles can be a great way to bring the family together. Whether it’s bowling on the Nintendo Wii or Fifa on the XBox 360, families can be involved in activity to develop communication and relationships.The very best gaming is safe gaming – which means games should be played responsibly.
The ideal way to ensure that your children and teenagers are playing the right games, and playing sensibly, is to take an active interest in what they are playing, whether your children play on games a PC, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation.
- Keep a clean machine: Before your children start playing online games, make sure that your computer has an activated security suite: a firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software.
- Check the game rating: Checking for a game’s age rating on game packages, online or in some mobile app storefronts – is a great place to start in terms of gauging its age-appropriateness. Many games also have descriptions that detail exactly what type of content a parent would want to know about, along with specific examples.
- Make passwords long and strong: Ensure your children have strong passwords for their gaming accounts. Passwords should be at least eight characters long and a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers and symbols.
- Remain positively engaged: Let your children know they can come to you if they feel uncomfortable when playing a game. Participate in the game with your children.
Age ratings are systems used to ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer games, are clearly labelled for the age group for which they are most suitable. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers (particularly parents) to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is a European video game content rating system established to help European consumers make informed decisions on buying computer games with logos on games’ boxes.
Many children may try to say that the numbers on the side of games are a level indicator, however these are age indicators and they allow you to know the contents in the game and its suitability for your child, much the same as DVD age ratings.