Online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety and cyber safety. It encompasses all technological devices which have access to the internet from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets. Being safe online means individuals are protecting themselves and others from online harms and risks which may jeopardise their personal information, lead to unsafe communications or even effect their mental health and wellbeing.
Children today are firmly part of the digital age and as such, they often use a wide range of devices, both inside and outside, of school. When used correctly, technology can be a fantastic learning and social tool, but children need to have a clear understanding of the e-safety rules and expectations. This will help them to stay safe online and not fall foul of the myriad of risks and threats which can occur to the unsuspecting individual. As a school, it is our duty of care alongside that of staff/parents/carers and other members of the community to protect our children and young people from these dangers and this can be achieved by many different mechanisms working together. The purpose of e-safety is to outline what measures we take to ensure that pupils can work in an e-safe environment and that any e-safety issue is detected and dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.
Bullying occurred long before the introduction of social media, but the very nature of cyber bullying means that taunts cannot be left behind in the playground. Hurtful messages can be received at any time of day via social media, meaning online bullying can potentially have a more serious effect on children’s mental health. It is therefore vital that who can act as mentors to younger pupils to be able to educate children about e-safety both in the classroom and at home, know how to deal with cyber bullying and can spot the signs of online predators.
Children will need to understand that not everything they see online is ‘true, valid or acceptable’ and that sometimes people are not who they say they are or are not sharing real information. Some key questions to ask are:
Internet safety or “e safety” is a fundamental topic and an important part of keeping children safe at BIPS. We have extensive security measures in place around the school, which are monitored both internally and externally to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material. All online incidents are recorded and managed appropriately. Online Safety and Digital Citizenship are taught to all pupils, explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online. We work with parents to ensure the E-Safety and Digital Citizenship message is consistent. It is important that parents speak to their children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately.