E-safety Advice for Parents
Cyber bullying is the name given to bullying that uses technology. This might be through any form of technology, texts, websites, social media or email to name a few. Cyber bullying can be combined with physical bullying in some incidences.
This form of bullying is often anonymous and can over time develop into a large group of children bullying one child as more and more children are co-opted to take part once or twice by a smaller core group.
It can lead to the victim becoming increasingly paranoid as they do not know who is bullying them and who of their friends to trust. Many children are afraid to tell their parents or a trusted adult as they are worried that their own technology privileges will be removed.
Advice to Parents
The most important thing to ensure is that your child informs you quickly if he or she is being cyber bullied. Swift action to investigate this early on is always preferable to discovering something months later when the likelihood of a wider group of bullies joining in is more probable.
It is advisable to discuss the possibility of cyber bullying with your child and reassure them that you will work through this together without removing technology privileges.
Ringwood Junior School take all forms of bullying extremely seriously and welcome communication to expose and stop this form of bullying.
Most social networks have a 13+ age limit and wherever possible the school would encourage you to enforce these with your children. On occasion children have been bribed to silence by unscrupulous adults threatening to have their social network account shut down.
If you do decide to allow your child to use a social network below the age limit we would encourage you to police their use carefully and to follow the following rules.
Locked Down Profile
Unscrupulous adults and thieves can both gain a lot of information about your child and your home from an open profile and unsecured account. If a child is unable to carry this out fully they are not responsible enough to use a social network yet.
All pictures shared on a social network quickly leave the child/family control. Although the child may have a locked down account it only needs one of their friends to share a picture indiscriminately for the picture to leave the original intended circle. It is important that children realise this and never share partially clothed photos, however innocent. Pictures can also give a wealth of other undesired information away such as what valuables are in the home and what other family members look like. If a child is unable to follow your family picture posting rules fully it is probable that they are not responsible enough to use a social network yet.
Social networks work by connecting with friends and relatives in an online form. It is also possible to connect with people that you do not know and have never met. Whilst many of these may be who they purport to be some are unscrupulous adults seeking to harm children. Many adults are taken in by fake personalities and personas online, children have even less ability to judge the fake from the real. A simple rule is for children not to 'friend' anyone that they don’t know or have not met in person. If your child is unable to follow this simple safety rule then they are not responsible enough to use a social network yet.
Parents need to be aware that many online gaming systems also have aspects of social networking built into the system. All the advice pertaining to social networking also applies to these systems.
Help and Advice
If you have specific concerns about your child and any aspect mentioned above please make an appointment with your child's teacher or a member of the school leadership team.
Mr Bagge would also be happy to advise on any non-urgent e-safety concerns on Tuesdays.
E-safety in the Curriculum
E-safety and responsible digital citizenship is taught in all year groups through circle times, assemblies and Computing and where technology is used across the curriculum.
Teachers use a range of topics from the websites below and discuss issues from here.