The school take E-Safety very seriously and work hard to ensure that students are given all the information they need to stay safe in a technology rich world. There are a number of resources below to help keep you safe online.
Growing up online
As your child grows and becomes more independent, it is only natural that they take this independence online. In our teenage years we explore, try new things and sometimes push boundaries and take risks, this is an essential part of growing up. With all of the potential that the online world and new technology offers, young people now have access to huge opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore, and be creative; it has changed the way they communicate. The internet has changed all of our lives, and your child has grown up during this change. Many of the things that confuse, baffle or even scare us, are part of the everyday for them. For many of us, this can all be a bit too much. Whether you’re a technophobe or a technophile, it’s still likely that you’ll be playing catch-up with the way your child is using the internet.
General Advice for Parents
Put things into a real life context. For example, would you let your children be in a crowd of unknown adults who may be swearing, using sexual innuendos or other things inappropriate for children to see and hear?
Consider the online games they are playing and what age the other players may be.
- Do you know the age-rating of those games? Are your children playing 18-rated games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty?
- To find out what a game is like before you buy it for your child, go onto YouTube and do a search. It is likely there will be videos of people playing the game.
- What social networking apps are they using? What are they sharing and who with?
- Would you be happy with all of this in the real world?
Children need to know they can come to you if something is wrong or if something upsets them. Reinforce this message; let them know you are there for them. Even if you don’t know what to do yourself you will know somebody who can help or there are plenty of resources online that can help you.
Kids will be kids; risk-taking is a part of growing up. Again, think about the real world: as a parent you will have that instinct if something is wrong online, exactly as you would in the real world. For example, a change of behaviour or attitude can be a sign that something is not right. When we notice a change in our children we talk to them to try and get to the bottom of things.