North Lakes School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to raise this particular issue as a growing concern, due to the increase in inappropriate use of, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, OoVoo and other texting sites.
Many of the issues that have been brought to our attention recently have involved the use of:
We understand that it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the ways that our children are using new and ever changing technologies. Children are immersed in a society that has become dependent on powerful computers, including smart phones, iPads, interactive online games and virtual communities.
Websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Whats App, Viber and OoVoo, to name but a few, offer fantastic opportunities for communication and social connections, however they are created with their audience in mind especially sites such as Facebook and Instagram which are specifically for those over 13 years old. When monitoring your child’s internet use, please remind yourself of the concerns of social media:
Primarily, these occurrences and reported incidents of misuse of social media sites happen at home, after school hours when children have access to web sites that are blocked in school. With this in mind, and in response to concerned parents who have asked for advice regarding internet safety, we feel it important to point out to parents the risks of unregulated use of such sites, so you can make informed decisions as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not and when and how to monitor their use, particularly at night time. We strongly advise a device free bedroom policy after bedtime to allow for uninterrupted sleep and rest.
Although we cannot govern matters occurring out of school hours which is parental responsibility, we will take action (such as reporting under age profiles) if a problem comes to our attention that involves the safety or wellbeing of any of our pupils, including reporting the use of inappropriate images of young people to the police, as this is a legal matter. This also refers to inappropriate text messages and online posts.
Should you decide to allow your child to have an online profile we strongly advise you:
We recommend that all parents visit our school website ‘Keeping Safe’ section where there are help sheets about social media. The CEOP Think U Know website for more information on keeping your child safe online www.thinkuknow.co.uk www.net-aware.org.uk and www.getsafeonline.org
Through ongoing Online Safety lessons provided at school, assemblies and visiting speakers, we do our best to provide our children with the awareness and knowledge they need in order to recognise and avoid dangerous, destructive, or unlawful behaviour and to respond appropriately. However, it is only through a collaborative effort between parents and teachers that we will succeed in creating responsible and safe digital citizens.
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact school. Children and parents are encouraged to report any Online Safety concerns via our Online Safety reporting site ‘Whisper’.