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Stocks GreenPrimary School

E Safety

Dear Parents/Carers,

I wanted to share some information with you to help continue to keep our children safe. We have been made aware of a dangerous and scary social media phenomenon called the “Momo Challenge.” Please use this as an opportunity to remind your children not to accept any invitation to play internet games from an unknown number and not to click on unidentified links. We will be talking to the children again about internet safety at school – but will not directly draw their attention to Momo by name.

The Momo Challenge can be found on WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites. This is just one example of dangerous “games” on social media. This “challenge” involves a frightening avatar making contact with a child from an unknown number or name. The child is asked to perform various actions and tasks, and provide photos as proof. Some tasks have even led to suicide.

One of the first clues for parents to be concerned with is the image of a Japanese statue of a woman with bulging eyes and scary features. Children are given the series of tasks to finally meet the “Momo.”

I also encourage you to remind your children to change email and social media passwords frequently and block unknown numbers inviting them to play immediately. While these digital venues are blocked on school devices, individuals may still be able to access such sites through their personal devices and accounts at home.

I feel it is important to share information to help build awareness and keep our children safe. Please see the attached PDF for further information.

Yours sincerely

 

Pauline Crowhurst

Headteacher

Stocks Green Primary School recognises and values the potential of the internet and electronic technology to enhance learning and we acknowledge that this is a part of every child’s life today. This can be exciting, engaging and can significantly improve children’s knowledge and understanding of many aspects both within school and at home. We aim to teach all pupils to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

The Internet is forever changing and trying to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can sometimes be a challenge. Because of this, the children need to have guidance on how to use the Internet safely and positively.

Talking to your children …

It is important to have open conversations with your children about the Internet and their use of personal devices, also discussing how to deal with issues if they arise. Some children feel that if they tell a parent when something happens online, they will have their devices taken away. This then leads to the children not sharing issues with their parents. Here are some conversation starters you could have with your children:

• Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.

• Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?

• Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.

• Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.

• Think about how you use the Internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the Internet together and further enjoy your lives online?

 

Social media…

Pupils on school premises are strictly not allowed to use social media on their phones, ipads or computers.

We are aware that some children in the school have access to family social media accounts and can access these on your home technology. These sites have an age restriction above primary school age. If you have given your permission for your child to see these sites, then you need to ensure they are safe.

· Have you set the correct privacy settings?

· Do they know not to send private messages without your permission?

· Do they know they must not upload images of someone else without their permission?

 

When to stop !

Whilst there are distinct benefits in using technology for learning, research shows that using phones/ipads and computers before bedtime affects children’s sleep patterns significantly. Being tired impacts their learning and concentration in school. Having a ‘Digital Sunset’ – a set time after which technology is not used every day is a good idea.

All children are familiar with our e-safety rules at school. They should also be using these at home to ensure they are safe.

 

Would you expect your child to know how to cross the road safely without having been taught? .... of course not !

So,

· Does your child use the Internet?

· Do you know who your child is talking to whilst online?

· Are you aware that the photos your child may be sharing online could be online forever?

· Do you know how to beat cyberbullying?

· Do you know the power of this button?

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You might be struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online, you might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?

If you feel that you are not as aware of Internet Safety (or E-safety) issues as you would like to be, we urge you to visit this superb website that has been designed to support and empower you:

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

And if you are worried about anything, please do not hesitate to contact us at the school.

REMEMBER - The benefits of the Internet far outweigh the negatives, and it is not the technology that is a problem, it is the behaviour of some of the users.

Keeping your child safe online - A checklist for parents and carers

As a parent you’ll probably know how important the internet is to children and young people. They use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves in all types of creative ways. This may be through sharing photos and videos, blogging, gaming, or even developing their own apps. It is a place of amazing opportunities.

The technology children use in their daily lives can seem daunting. You might worry about the risks they can face online, such as bullying, contact from strangers, as well as the possibility of access to inappropriate or illegal content. To help them stay safe, it’s important that you understand how your child uses the internet.

By following this simple checklist, you can start to protect them and decrease the risks they face:

· I have asked my child to show me sites they use – By doing so, your child is including you in their online life and social activity. Show an interest and take note of the names of their favourite sites. You can then re-visit these when you are alone. Take your time and explore the space, find out how to set the safety features and learn how to report any issues directly to the site.

· I have asked my child to set their profile settings to private – Social networking sites, such as Facebook, are used by children to share information, photos and just about everything they do! Encourage your child to set their privacy settings to private. They need to think about the information they post online as it could be copied and pasted anywhere, without their permission. If it got into the wrong hands, somebody may wish to use it against them or worst of all try to locate them in the real world.

· I have asked my child about their online friends – We know that people lie online about who they are and may create fake identities. It is very important children understand this. Whether they are visiting a social network or a gaming site, the safety messages are the same. Children and young people must never give out personal information, and only be “friends” with people they know and trust in the real world.

· I have set appropriate parental controls on my child’s computer, mobile and games console – Filters on computers and mobiles can prevent your child from viewing inappropriate and possibly illegal content. You can activate and change levels depending on your child’s age and abilities. You can also set me restrictions for using the internet or games. They can be free and easy to install. Call your service provider who will be happy to assist or visit CEOP’s parents' site for further information. Explain to your child why you are setting parental controls when you talk to them about their internet use.

· My child has agreed to tell me if they are worried about something online – Sometimes children get into situations online where they don’t feel comfortable or see something they don’t want to see. By opening up the communication channels and talking to your child about the internet, their favourite sites and the risks they may encounter, they are more likely to turn to you if they are concerned about something.

· I know where to get help if I’m concerned about my child – The CEOP Safety Centre provides access to a range of services. If you are concerned that an adult has made inappropriate contact with your child you can report this directly to CEOP. You can also find help if you think your child is being bullied, or if you’ve come across something on the internet which you think may be illegal.
Visit the Safety Centre at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ or by clicking on this button:

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For further help and guidance on all the information mentioned please visit:

www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents

 

 

 

 

Useful weblinks for further guidance and support:

Internet Matters – Designed for parents - https://www.internetmatters.org

Safer internet centre parents guide – https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers

O2 and NSPCC – http://www.o2.co.uk/help/nspcc

Helpline for parents, for technical queries - 0808 800 5002 http://www.o2.co.uk/help/nspcc/helpline

Share aware for children and adults - https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/share-aware

Net Aware for parents – a guide to apps their children may be using. https://www.net-aware.org.uk

Think u know for parents - https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents

 

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