At Verulam, we take the safety of our students in the physical and online worlds very seriously. The internet is an integral part of children’s lives. It opens up many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to a world of information and experiences.
As you would protect your child in the physical world, you will want to make sure that they are safe when in a virtual space too. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might try to exploit them.
How does the school educate students about online safety?
We cover issues such as online safety, trustworthiness of websites, online threats such as malware, computing legislation and people’s rights, cyberbullying, sexting, digital footprint and building a positive digital reputation.
This is delivered via:
- The Personal Development curriculum throughout all years
- Computer Science curriculum throughout all years
- UK Safer Internet Day assemblies and theme week in February of each year
- Support via Form Tutors
- All students sign an Acceptable Use Agreement for IT services at school, and school networks and Wifi are filtered and monitored.
How can you protect your child online?
Simply put, if you understand the internet and understand what the risks are, there are a number of things you can do that will make your child safer online. Below you will find a list of some websites you can visit to find out more.
We encourage parents to maintain active discussions with their children around eSafety, put filtering in place at home and to impose sensible time limits on the use of devices at home. Any homework that may require Internet access will be published on Google Guardian Summaries with guidance on the time that the task should take to complete.
In school, we have a very clear internet safety policy and each year all students are educated how to stay safe online.
For those parents who are concerned about their children’s safety or the internet, the following sites provide useful advice:
- thinkuknow.co.uk– a site run by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre) with up to date information for children of different ages and parents.
- http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-to-technology– A guide to answer questions and introduce some of the most popular communication devices, highlighting the safety tools available and empowering parents with the knowledge they need to support their children to use these technologies safely and responsibly.
- http://www.swgfl.org.uk/safe– provides online safety advice for parents, children and schools.
- http://www.chatdanger.com– offers information related to potential danger using chat related services both on computers and mobile phones.
There are also a number of useful materials attached below that will give further guidance.
Reporting To School
Almost all cyberbullying incidents take place outside of school hours. We explain to students that their online conduct outside hours still needs to meet the high standards of behaviour we would expect in school and all reports of cyberbullying will be investigated and taken seriously.
If you need to report an incident, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance. We are here to support you and we will do whatever we can to help and keep students safe. If the incident occurs outside of our jurisdiction, it may be necessary for us to advise you to call the police non-emergency number (101).
The following documents relating to online safety may be useful for parents and carers. Many of these publications are available in other languages. Please contact the school if you would like a copy sent to you in different language and we will try to assist.