We consider the safety of the children of paramount importance. In a modern world, this includes ensuring they are safe on the internet and with the technology they use. The internet is a wonderful resource that we all make use of, however it can be a dangerous place to be. In school we educate the children, throughout their time here, about what those dangers are and how they can protect themselves from them. They develop the skills and knowledge that they need to have positive and safe experiences when using technology.
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but they can be categorised into four areas of risk:
Filtering and Monitoring Systems
We use 'smoothwall' which filters what the children are able to see and do whilst using the internet in school, ensuring appropriate restrictions are in place.
We use a software system called SENSO to monitor children and staff's activity on the ipads, laptops and desktops in school. This is monitored by Mrs Frost (Headteacher and DSL) and Mrs Phillips (Deputy Head and DDSL) Any alerts to inappropriate activity are followed up on immediately.
The children know what systems are in place to keep them safe, however also understand that sometimes there may still be content, contact or conduct that makes them feel uncomfortable. We regularly reinforce the importance of reporting to a responsible adult in these circumstances.
We have established Digital Leaders at Comberton Primary School, consisting of pupils and staff. We have representatives from each Phase 2 class, whose job it is to keep the rest of the school informed and up to date when it comes to Online Safety. They are spokespeople for the pupils in their classes and share ideas and concerns in regular meetings. Digital Leaders can also offer technical support and help in computing lessons.
Safer Internet Day 2023
Each year, we celebrate Safer Internet Day to develop our Digital Literacy. This year, the theme was: Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online. It was all about empowering children and young people's voices, encouraging them to help and shape the future of online safety support.
We will continue our discussions about how to seek support if there is something that the children feel upset or worried about online. We will be helping children to develop the skills that they need to have conversations about their use of technology. Whether this be sharing what they enjoy and use online, any concerns that they have or discussing their vision for the future online.
All children, from Reception to Year 6 have thought about how they can play their part in building a better internet.
For more information and support on how to stay safe, take a look at the website below, which provides advice for parents and carers. http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/
You can support us and your child by watching the Parent video below about having conversations surrounding use of technology:
Helping at Home
Online Resilience tool - The Online Resilience Tool provides a practical way to assess young people’s online behaviour and help them make decisions about whether that behaviour represents risk of harm.
We strongly recommend that you consider how safe the internet environment is for your children at home. Take a look at the ThinkUKnow website by using the link below. They have some fabulous games, videos and information about staying safe online that may help you protect your children and be aware of the risks.
If you see something or become aware of an online danger, you can report it to CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) who will investigate the concern.
Another useful site is PACE which helps parents across the UK understand what is happening to their child and how parents are the prime agents in helping their child exit exploitative relationships.: https://paceuk.info/for-parents/
We are also aware that many children of primary school age have access to mobile internet technology such as smart phones and tablets, which they can use to access social networking sites such as Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. The minimum age to have an account on these sites is 13. If you would like any more information on this, we have included parents' guides below to these sites.
We have also included links to a number of mobile operator's sites that have sections of their website dedicated to online safety.