On-line Safety   

NB: Key changes to On-line Safety advice will be signposted with notices on the home page

Online Gaming Advice for Parents - please click for a link to a helpful leaflet

 

Safer Surfers

On-line Safety, the new term used by the government for e-safety, is an integral part of the school curriculum in all schools.   From Reception to Year 6, this is vital to help children enjoy the wonderful opportunities that our increasingly technological world can offer. Through our curriculum and other aspects of school life, we encourage children to celebrate what technology can offer us in a safe and responsible manner. In addition to the curriculum (lessons), we take the opportunity to raise awareness of On-line Safety through assemblies and it is high profile during National awareness events such as Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day.  We also intervene swiftly if we are made aware of any On-line Safety issues within our school community.

 

However, this is not a task we can manage single handedly! Our curriculum lessons are planned with the support of the Local Authority Advisors  and incorporate resources from a range of key providers, including CEOP.  We also work closely with the local police support team who share any local issues across schools and provide advice in classes and assemblies. We aim to work in partnership with parents to provide a support network for children as they explore, communicate, play and learn on-line.   We endeavour to provide as much information as possible for parents, through newsletters and our school website. We recently held a parent information session, delivered by a member of staff from the Local Authority support team. She raised awareness of the risks that children currently face and gave some fantastic advice on ways in which parents can help, including parental settings and where to seek help.

It is important to keep reviewing our practice, as a school, as a family and as a pupil – in response to the way technology changes – almost daily. We regularly seek advice from the Local Authority support team and use some key websites to keep us updated. We also listen carefully to what the children have to say. We are currently appointing an On-line Safety Council to lead the way forward.  They will visit classes to talk to children, giving regular reminders and about basic on-line safety and of course listen to any concerns the children may have.  The On-line Safety team will then meet with Mrs Bartle monthly, to discuss any new concerns and practical ways in which we can help. 

We have copies of a range of useful leaflets and magazines available in school - these were provided at the parent information session for Key Stage 2 in November and will again be on offer at the parent information session for Key Stage 1 in January. If you would like copies of any of the available magazines/leaflets, please ask at Reception. 

If you have any worries or concerns then please contact Jayne Bartle, Deputy Head Teacher.

 

Music.ly  - advice from Local Authority On-line Safety experts - read more...

We have received the following information from our Local Authority IT & on-line Safety Advisory Service. Please read the information below, including the full details using the link below. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can seek further advise on your behalf.  We will ask them to include this in their Parent workshop booked in March.

 

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We have become aware of a significant number of issues with children sharing content using the app musical.ly.  Schools may wish to make parents aware of the risks of the app which has a minimum age of 13.  Our advice to parents is to carefully manage their child’s use of social media.

Full Details are here https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/musical-ly-app-parents-need-know/

A summary of the risks posed is shown below:

 

Dangers for kids:

 

  • 18+ content in the songs lyrics. Swearing and adult concepts in the provided music.
  • Explicit and adult content/issues.
  • Musical.ly users can search for other users to view or follow near their own location/city.
  • User generated videos can be viewed and shared onto other social media and messaging apps increasing exposure.
  • Bullying in comments.
  • Users can publicise their messenger usernames or social media profiles on their Musical.ly profile.
  • Live.ly live streaming is not private even if you have the privacy settings set up.
  • Using live streaming Musical.ly app Live.ly may mean larger exposure with mean comments, interacting in real time with viewers.
  • Many fake user accounts, used to hijack views or set up to bully.
  • Hacking of accounts by promotional accounts (Free Musical.ly Crowns) within the apps.
  • Not easy to report accounts for being fakes or underage inside the app.
  • Many underage accounts with large amounts of followers.
  • Easy for users to create multiple accounts and hide them from their parents. 
  • Fake Musical.ly apps on the app store that charge for download or offer followers.

A new concern received from a parent - read more...

The app Roblox has very quickly become very popular with children in our school. A parent has alerted us to some potential risks to this site. Please be aware of an open chat room facility in the games.   This is a site recommended for ages 8-18 although is also available to adults.  There have been some reviews by parents published on Common Sense Media that have highlighted additional concerns. We have not yet had any other issues reported to school. Use of this game and specifically the chat rooms/friend requests should be monitored closely by parents.

 

Again, we recommend that registration for any app or game is completed with a parent so that they are able to ensure information in completed accurately and security settings are appropriate.   The date of birth/ age can determine the access a user has to different facilities/games within a site.

 

Many thanks for your support

Mrs Bartle

New Danger identified by Durham Police

You Now

YouNow is a fairly new app that allows users over the age of 13 to stream live video and receive comments from viewers. Broadcasters (the children using the app) are encouraged to become popular and to create content that will attract more viewers.  There is also a system for buying a currency to virtually tip broadcasters.  Videos created could be copied and stored.  Durham Police have been made aware as a result of an ongoing case that paedophiles may be encouraging children to expose themselves, and are then involved in swopping images generated.

Further advice is available at http://parentinfo.org/article/a-parents-guide-to-younow .  Parents of primary aged children will want to ensure that their children do not have access to this app and that older children are aware of the possible dangers.

Youtube Risks – Uploading Video

Many children spend a lot of time watching vloggers (Video Log) such as Zoella. (Zoella can have over 3 million hits on her uploads!)

Some children chose to emulate these Vloggers, and in doing so without careful thought can leave themselves open to bullying or online grooming by revealing personal details and making videos and comments available to anyone.

This is not illegal but the minimum age to create a Youtube account is 13. Having an account for a younger child breaks the terms and conditions of the site. It is not possible to upload videos without creating an account.

The following links provide additional information for parents and teachers :-

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802272?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=2803240 and

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safety-tools/youtube

 

Social Networking advice for Parents