The use of ICT pervades most aspects of modern lives, in particular through Social Networking. At West Hill School we actively encourage pupils to make use of ICT in their learning and it provides a great resource to help students progress in their learning.
The safety of pupils in school is paramount and we employ firewalls, security filters and email filters to help us achieve this.
Young people need education about the benefits and drawbacks of using ICT in its many forms to help them to become responsible users. In school, all pupils sign the Acceptable Use Policy which is in their planner. A copy is provided here.
Beyond school and at home, you may be unsure about how best to support your child with their own use of ICT. We are providing the information below to try and support you with this.
Just like you set limits with sanctions and consequences for behaviour, the same applies to children when they are online. The limits on how you should speak politely to people directly do apply when online. Copying someone else’s poor behaviour is never an excuse!
Ask your child about things they have seen online and what their reaction is to it. This is a better starting point than trying to write a list of don’ts.
Judging how much time young people should spend online is difficult, especially when it is hard to work out when they are using it for work and study or playing games and socialising. Try to keep your focus on making sure that any work that needs to be done is completed first. Discuss what needs to be produced and whether you can help them with it. When work is complete, you can then agree an amount of ‘free’ time afterwards. There should, of course, be time spent away from computers and phones too! It’s always a good idea for phones, tablets and laptops to not be left in bedrooms overnight.
When things go wrong
Children can be exposed to inappropriate images, material and contact through the Internet. It is important that children always feel they can speak to their parent/carer without retribution if they feel they have already been coerced into exchanging images or details that they now regret. You might occasionally raise the issue by asking what they would do in a certain situation which provides you the opportunity to say how you would react.
Be aware that the majority of social media sites have terms and conditions for over 13s only. This means that they will limit their response in cases reported where an account is discovered to be held by someone under 13. Of course, more serious incidents will be dealt with and may be passed on to the police.
Make sure that you and your child are aware of where to report issues if the need arises:
CEOP Command (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) http://ceop.police.uk/
A national website for the UK for reporting any issues for when young people are online.
‘Get Safe Online’ provides information and advice on using the Internet safely at home.
‘BBC Online Safety’ helps you and your child use the Internet in a safe way.
‘Childnet Hub for young people aged 11-18’ is appropriate for 11 to 18 year olds and covers how to be safe when using interactive services online.
'National Online Safety' provides expert advice on the latest platforms and online risks that parents and carers need to know about via useful short guides #WakeUpWednesday