Supporting Your Child’s Safety Online
As part of our mandatory RHE (Relationship, Health Education) at Dashwood Banbury Academy, we teach our pupils about online safety in an age-appropriate way. This includes being taught:
- what positive, healthy and respectful online relationships look like
- the effects of their online actions on others
- how to recognise and display respectful behaviour online
- how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely
- where to go for help and support when they have concerns
We also help pupils to recognise:
- that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not
- that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others
- the rules and principles for keeping safe online: how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them
- how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information
- how information and data is shared and used online
To further help support pupils and their parents/carers, we will regularly update this page with useful guides on how to support children to stay safe when online. These guides can be incredibly useful as they often feature information about new apps, games and websites that would be really useful for adult caregivers to know about.
The NSPCC website is a wonderful source of information. The NSPCC identify six key risks:
– oversharing personal or sensitive information in order to build rapport or cement trust;
– sharing locations;
– talking to people they don’t know or whose identify is fraudulent;
– sending or receiving inappropriate content;
– becoming habituated to unrealistic expectations around body image, wealth and ‘success’;
– an obsessive focus on one’s likes and comments – as a means to calculate one’s approval in the world.
What we do at Dashwood to support pupils’ understanding of social media:
- Deliver age-appropriate lessons to educate pupils about social media – its positive and negative consequences and what is deemed as acceptable and unacceptable use or conduct.
- Deliver assemblies and have articles in our pupil-led Dashwood newspaper DBA News to support pupils’ understanding of online safety and wellbeing. This has more effect on some than others but does at least mean no child acts in ignorance of the law (children are criminally responsible from 10 years of age), or is unaware of what is kind and acceptable.
- Share information and advice with parents/carers about keeping their child safe online and when using apps
- We issue appropriate consequences if behaviour outside school has an impact on pupils in school including making parents/carers aware.
- When a child misuses social media, we engage the parents or carers to ensure they also take positive steps to help protect their own child (and others’ children) from further misuse of technology and apps. This may take the form of better or more assertive monitoring of their social media activity (see advice below), or simply to collect their phone and other devices at an agreed time each day. Many parents and carers are unaware that an Xbox or PlayStation, for instance, provides very easy access to social media apps as well.
- We will try to gently challenge parents and carers. Not just the parents or carers of the child who has caused harm, but also, in some cases, the parents and carers of the victim. Too often we see a pattern of premature access to social media apps and an abundance of late-night / unsupervised activity. Whilst no victim can be blamed, there are some important questions to be asked about how and when all children are accessing social media and the extent to which we are, as parents and carers, wilfully unaware of the risks to our children’s wellbeing and safety.
- Through the Zones of Regulation and our restorative practise, we prioritise ‘repair and rebuild’ conversations on those occasions when the upset has taken place between friends to restore friendships and encourage pupils to see the impact of their actions.
Primary online safety resources
The Independent – Parental Smart Phone Controls – How to set up parental controls on your child’s mobile.
Young Minds – Advice on how to speak to your child about online safety and setting fair boundaries
BBC Own IT – Understanding app ratings and restrictions
Full List of Online Safety Resources