Online Safety

At Byron we aim to educate our children so that they can use information technology safely, both in school and in the wider world. We have a rigorous online safety policy which highlights the three main risks posed by inappropriate use of technology:

 

Content - Are the things you are doing appropriate?

Conduct - Are you behaving in the right way online?

Contact - Do you know who you are talking to?

 

We promote the safe use of information technology to the whole school community in a variety of ways including: discrete teaching of online safety, cross-curricular teaching of online safety, online safety assemblies, involvement in national events such as Safer Internet Week and Cyber Anti-Bullying Week, parent online safety training sessions and regular staff training. 

 

All pupils sign up to our information technology pupil user agreement and we urge our pupils to keep to the following rules when using social networking sites outside of school to keep themselves safe: 

  • Always keep your profile private
  • Never accept friends you don’t know in real life
  • Never post anything which could reveal your identity
  • Never post anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see
  • Never agree to meet somebody you only know online without telling a trusted adult
  • Always tell someone if you feel threatened or someone upsets you

 

Mr Presneill is the school Online Safety co-ordinator. Please make an appointment to speak to her if you have any concerns regarding your child and e-safety.

 

For more information about how to be safe online please visit CEOP's www.thinkuknow.co.uk

 

Visit CEOP to report inappropriate online behaviour https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

 

Online Gaming Advice for Parents and Carers

Online games can be a great way for children and young people to keep busy and stay in touch with friends and family, but it’s important that they play safely.

The information below has been written for parents and carers by the NSPCC.

 

What are online games?

Games can be generally split into different types:

  • simple, short games like Candy Crush or Angry Birds;
  • creative games, solving puzzles or building worlds such as Minecraft;
  • games that need strategy and skill to play, like chess;
  • adventure games that explore different worlds and conflicts such as Fortnite or Call of Duty.

Many games can be a combination of types as well as having other features, like the ability to interact and communicate with others. As well as interacting, players can share content, purchase in-game items, create their own games within the game and so much more.

 

How are online games played?

Children can play games on consoles, apps or websites, mobiles, tablets, PCs, or through smart speakers and virtual reality headsets. They can also chat to other players using messaging platforms for gamers, or watch livestreams of well-known gamers.

 

Why do young people play online games?

  • Gaming can be social, when children play together on the same team, or play against each other. There are also location-based games which encourage players to go outside and explore, such as Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite.
  • Using social media apps like Discord to connect with others within public and private servers (chat rooms).
  • A sense of achievement for competition and advancement, and sharing achievements within the game and social media.
  • Role playing, exploration or escapism
  • Watching videos on YouTube for tips and tricks, developing their own gaming skills or even creating their own gaming videos.
  • Entertainment - games are designed to be entertaining and can be fun and engaging for young people.

 

What are the risks of online gaming?

 

Being Bullied - Children can be bullied for not playing a specific game, or have FOMO. They may be deliberately excluded from a game by their friends, or criticised for how they play. Other players may swear or use abusive language over voice chat, and this can be upsetting for your child.

 

If your child is experiencing bullying in online games, tell them they can talk to you or contact Childline and show them the blocking and reporting functions in a game, so they can prevent bullies from contacting them.

 

Trolling, Griefing and Scams - Griefers are gamers who deliberately try to ruin the game for other players. This can also be called trolling. Players may also try to trick or scam young people into giving up 'skins' or other in-game items by offering them money or by hacking their account. Skins are a cosmetic feature that let players personalise their character and in-game items, they can be extremely rare and valuable so losing them can be upsetting for a child.

 

In-Game Purchases - Some games cost money to download, or players need to buy credits or items so they can keep playing. Many free games are designed to make the player want to continue but need payments to make this possible, which can be very frustrating. We suggest not storing payment card details on devices or in apps, to prevent charges building up.

 

Talking to people they don’t know - Some games are designed to be played in teams or against other people, and sometimes players can be based in different locations. Young people can easily play with people they don’t know and haven’t met, communicating using voice, video or text chat.

 

Young people can also use other platforms, like Discord and Reddit, to learn tips about the games they play and speak to other players with similar interests. Many popular games have official channels with thousands of members. This puts young people at risk of grooming or online forms of abuse, along with the risk of moving the conversation to other platforms or meeting up offline.  You should be aware of this across all online activity.

 

If you’re not a gamer, all the devices, the features, the interconnectivity with other games and apps can quickly become overwhelming so here are some helpful tips to help keep children safe while gaming online.

 

Check the game’s content - Most games have an age rating based on their themes those with violent and sexual content will have a higher rating. The age rating system is provided by PEGI and gives an overview of individual games which can help you to decide if it's appropriate. These ratings don't include communication features, so a game with a low age rating may let children speak to people they don't know.

 

Change settings - Some games let players turn off communications features, mute voice chat and report other players who behave inappropriately.  Look at the settings available to see what’s best for your child.

 

All major games consoles have settings that prevent children from finding inappropriate games. You can set limits on how long a young person can play and prevent them from speaking to unknown players. It's a good idea to explore these settings before your child plays the game.

 

Talk to your child regularly - Talk to your child about staying safe online, take an interest in the games they're playing and see if you can play them together and agree which ones are appropriate.

 

If you're going to set limits on the amount of time a child can spend playing games, make sure these are clear and that you agree them together. You could try agreeing the number of rounds your child plays instead of a length of time.

 

Take time to play games with your children so that you can understand the features. You can find out if there is anything concerning you need to be aware of, or safety features or parental controls which should be enabled.

 

  • Ask why they like playing the game?
  • Discuss who they’re playing with. Do they know everyone on their contact or friends list? Explain that conversations should only be about the game, and if someone starts asking them other questions or suggests they speak using another app they should tell you or an adult they trust.
  • Talk to them about what they’re sharing. Use examples that are easy for them to understand, such as “You shouldn’t give your number or any other personal information to somebody you don’t know on the street. Is somebody online you don’t know any different?”
  • Discuss in-game purchases with your child. These can be really enticing, it’s important to discuss that small amounts of money can add up very quickly. If you do allow your child to purchase items within the game discuss limits or set up their device so that purchases are turned off.

 

Make a Family Agreement - Consider creating a Family Agreement to establish some rules, which would include screen time or game-playing time. Remember that many games take a very long time to play and not all have regular ‘save points’. This can be very frustrating for a child who has spent a long time trying to get to a new level only to be called down for dinner. Give them fair warning, e.g. 20 minutes then 10 minutes.

 

More information can be found on the website below:

 

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

 

Online Safety

To children, online friends are real friends. Online life is real life. There's no distinction. Parents and families understand the dangers children face in everyday life, from being careful when crossing the road to not talking to strangers. But keeping children safe online can sometimes seem much harder. This needs to change.

 

That's why the NSPCC has joined forces with O2 Together. They want to get every family in the UK to talk about and understand their child's online world, just as they would their day at school. They want to bring parents and children together, to explore, create and play in the online world.

 

Their nationwide programme of workshops will give parents and families the skills and knowledge to understand the internet as children do. To create real change, bringing online safety programmes into schools and workplaces.

 

Expert advice will be available through the NSPCC website, a new online safety helpline for parents and from trained staff in O2 stores. They will also be putting on huge events for parents and kids all over the UK. And if you’re ever worried about something, you can always call the online safety helpline on 0808 8005002. Sometimes it’s easier to talk things through.

 

The following website link is very helpful:   http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

 

National Online Safety Resource

The online world is posing an ever-increasing risk to children and it is important that schools, parents and carers work together to take an active role in teaching children about online dangers and how to act safely when using the internet.

 

We are therefore delighted to announce that Byron Primary School have shown our commitment to protecting our pupils online and have worked with National Online Safety to deliver an interactive online workshop for all our parents & carers.

 

The course can be taken at your own convenience and covers:

  • Information about online dangers and the newest platforms
  • What online risks to look out for and how to protect your child

 

Please find below the URL you need to visit to register your account You will need to complete your details and select “I am a: Parent/Carer” from the dropdown:

http://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/byron-primary-school

 

Once you have registered, you will be able to access the “Online Safety for Parents and Carers’ course and National Online Safety’s Resources (which includes 50+ online platform guides on the latest social media channels and games). This aims to help empower parents with the knowledge to protect their children from the dangers of the internet.

 

If you have any questions, or trouble accessing the course please contact support@nationalonlinesafety.com