Ensuring children and young people are safe in the digital world as well as the physical world is a priority for all.
We are committed to ensuring that students are safe when using the internet at CP Riverside School. However, much of a child’s internet usage occurs outside of school, and we ask parents/carers to be interested, supportive and vigilant to their child’s usage.
We have designed this page to give you as much information as possible to make informed decisions about your child’s internet usage at home or in the community.
Why do young people use the internet?
Young people often use the internet to connect with friends and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:
- Search for information or content on search engines such as Google
- Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp
- Use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
- Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
- Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
- Chat with other people through online games, game consoles, webcams, social networks and platforms such as Whatsapp.
When online, children and young people can learn new things, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family. There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.
Click here to read a more detailed guide to the social networks your child can use.
What are the risks of using the internet?
The Internet offers many positive educational and social benefits to young people, but unfortunately there are risks, too. As in any other area of life, children and young people are vulnerable and may expose themselves to danger, knowingly or unknowingly, when using the internet and other digital technologies. Indeed, some young people may find themselves involved in activities which are inappropriate or possibly illegal.
Risks associated with using the internet and digital technologies are often categorised as resulting from content, contact, commerce or culture.
- Exposure to age inappropriate material
- Exposure to inaccurate or misleading information
- Exposure to socially unacceptable material that might incite violence hate or intolerance
- Exposure to illegal material
- Exposure of minors to inappropriate commercial advertising
- Online gambling
- Commercial and financial scams
- Divulging personal information
- Grooming using communication technologies leading to assault of a sexual or other nature
- Bullying via websites, mobile phones etc
- Downloading of copyrighted material for example music and films
Understanding the potential risks and encouraging safe and responsible use of the internet are crucial steps towards ensuring the safety of your child.
What can I do to support my child?
Parents and carers play a significant role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.
- Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
- Carry out spot checks on the devices that your children use, looking at images, videos, and social media
- Use safety tools on social networks and other online services, e.g. Facebook privacy settings
- Decide if you want to use parental controls on your home internet
- Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer; Click here to view a useful guide. We would also like to direct you to the Internet Matters Online Tips for Parents here.
How can I report e-safety concerns?
If you are concerned that your child is in immediate danger, call 999. If it is a less immediate concern, you should contact your local police station.
If you are worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should also report your concerns to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Click here to report your concern.
If you are concerned that your child is being bullied at school you should contact CP Riverside School to discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Stef Smith.
Further support on internet safety is available to parents/carers. We recommend you take time to familiarise yourself with the following websites.