Online Safety Newsletters and Information for Parents and Carers
Safer Internet Day 2023
This special day will take place on the 7th of February 2023, with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’. Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees thousands of organisations get involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. In the UK, we are celebrating by putting children and young people’s voices at the heart of the day and encouraging them to shape the online safety support that they receive. That is why we are asking parents, carers, teachers, government, policymakers, and the wider online safety industry to take time to listen to children and young people and make positive change together. This year we are hoping to answer the following questions:
With your help, Safer Internet Day 2023 can be a springboard for conversations that shape how we talk about and respond to online issues, not just for one day, but throughout the whole year. For more resources to support you and your child at home please click here
At Wymondley we marked this day with a special assembly for the lower half of the school and one for the upper half of the school giving all of the children the chance to ask questions and discuss challenges that they have faced online. As usual with these type of assemblies, the extended time was not long enough to tackle all of the questions from our older children in KS2 and further sessions will be taking place in the classrooms. Please make time to talk to your child at home, on a regular basis, about any concerns that they have and to answer any questions that they have about their experiences online. As children spend more and more of their time online, accessing the online world through a growing number of devices, there has never been a more important time to have these discussions together.
For some great tips on how you can stay safe online and protect yourself and your family, please click here.
Safer Internet Day 2022
To mark this special day in the calendar, Puffins and Toucans enjoyed a virtual assembly which you can view by clicking here and this was followed by a conversation around the importance of not guessing passwords or inputting passwords into devices that they aren't supposed to know. We also discussed how important it was that when they came up against anything while online that they didn't know or weren't sure about that they ask an adult in the house instead of trying to solve the problem by themselves. Peacocks and Eagles enjoyed a virtual assembly that you can access by clicking here and this featured lots of conversations all about being safe online, but mainly revolved around being respectful to your friends while online, both through games and communication apps. We discussed how typed messages and emojis can often be misunderstood and can lead to friendship breakdowns and that being respectful while online was every bit as important as being respectful in real life.
Considering the sheer amount of time that so many children have spent online over the last year and how much time they continue to spend on it each and every day, Safer Internet Day has never been more important. The day itself is celebrated globally and aims to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. We hope that the information below will help you to have conversations with your child about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. The video accessible by clicking here is a good place to start.
Have a look at the tips and links below with some suggestions on how to get you started and help you to stay safe and positive online. You and your family can #PlayYourPart in creating a better internet by…
Whether by playing games, watching videos, or doing things your child enjoys, spending time together online is a great way to start conversations about the online world and how they’re finding being a part of it.
It is important to ask questions and take an interest in what your child enjoys online.
An essential part of having this open dialogue is to not judge, even if their behaviour or life online isn’t what you wanted or expected. This ensures that your child feels they can come to you if ever they make a mistake or experience a problem online.
Websites like Common Sense Media or The Family Gaming Database can be invaluable sources of information. When your child starts talking about a new game or app, why not do some research into the reporting and blocking options available? Then you can help your child if they come to you with an issue.
There are lots of organisations who are there to support you and your family if something has gone wrong. The Report Harmful Content website can help you with issues such as cyberbullying, impersonation and threats. You can report worrying behaviour towards children to CEOP. Find out more on Childnet’s Get Help page.
Let your child know that the best way to address any problem they have online, is to tell a trusted adult immediately. For example, this might include someone sending them a friend request; an online message; telling them to visit a specific website, or app; or asking them for their personal information. Reassure them that if anything happens online that they are unsure about, or makes them feel worried or upset, they can come to you for help.
UK Safer Internet Centre Website
What other ways can you ensure that your child is as safe as they can be online?
Have you set parental controls on all of the devices in your house that can access the internet? If not then click here to find out how you can - they even offer a specific guide for how to set parental settings on a wide variety of specific devices.
Sometimes it seems as though the digital world is so large and vast that navigating everything that needs to be done is a daunting task and if this is the case then maybe a personalised family plan, bespoke to your unique household might be the best place to start. If this is the case for you, then try clicking here to get your personalised toolkit
There are also a number of specific topics below regarding online safety that you can learn more about by clicking on them...
Get practical tips to help your child develop the skills they need to spot fake news, make informed choices about what they should share online and form a balanced view of issues they are passionate about
Safer Internet Day 2021
Safer Internet Day this year looks a little different with the school currently being closed to the majority of children and most accessing learning remotely. Although with most children now learning and spending a large proportion of their day online, being safe while using the internet is more important now than ever.
Today the UK Safer Internet Centre has published a report into how young people respond to misleading content and how false information makes them feel. The following is an extract from the press release around exactly this... 'Separating fact from fiction: Half of young people encounter misleading content online on a daily basis - Research reveals the new challenges young people face in identifying misleading content, at a time when being online is more important than ever
77% of young people say being online is a more important part of their life than ever before, with 65% enjoying online lessons during lockdown amidst school closures
48% of young people are seeing misleading content every day, with more than one in 10 seeing it more than six times a day - often leaving them feeling annoyed, upset, sad, angry, attacked or scared
43% of young people have noticed their friends and peers sharing misleading content (such as fake news) online
62% of young people have had friend requests from people they don’t know
59% of young people are aware they have a responsibility to report potentially damaging, harmful or misleading content online, but overall are more likely to block misleading content (21%) than report it (16%)
To mark this year’s Safer Internet Day, new research released today (9th February) by the official coordinators the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), shows young people’s experience of misleading content online as well as the strategies they are using to manage this. The research comes as over 1,000 supporters in the UK, including Government ministers, Premier League football clubs, industry bodies, celebrities, charities, schools and police services join together with young people, to inspire and ignite conversations and host events that help to promote safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.'
You can read the full report by clicking here and the full press release is attached below.
Below are a range of resources for you to use at home, some of which will already have been used by your child's class teacher through Google Classroom, but will still be beneficial to use or watch again as a family.
There are a range of Safer Internet Day videos available to view as well which have content appropriate for different year groups, so please make sure that you select the video that has appropriate content for your child. You can view these by clicking here. There are also a range of Safer Internet Day learning materials which you can access and use by clicking here.
If you are trying to access these materials from a chromebook then...
Safer Internet Day 2019 & 2020
With so many of our children now living in an increasingly online world, we took advantage of the occasion to educate the children further on the many positives and the dangers that exist. Following a whole school assembly, each class carried out a Safer Internet Day activity which gave the children a chance to ask any questions they had regarding their own online activity. As in previous years, there were a lot of questions and I would strongly suggest that you find the time to discuss your child’s online activity with them.
Useful Web Sites for Parents
In school the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning provides for a safe and secure online environment. Many parents and carers do seek advice on how they can help their children to 'Stay Safe' online outside of school. These websites provide comprehensive information about online safety and once parents and carers have a wider knowledge and understanding of the issues they can decide what is right for their family.
Childnet International has been working with BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin Media to produce a new resource for parents and carers and those working with them: Video guides for the free ISP parental controls. The videos are available on the Safer Internet Centre website and the films can be embedded or downloaded.