Our children are growing up in a world of ever-changing technology. While we feel that the use of technology is a largely positive aspect of modern life, we cannot ignore the risks that can be associated. At HGJS we explore online safety and digital wellbeing through the scheme
'Be Internet Legends'. This scheme has been designed by educators and industry professionals at Google, Parent Zone and Internet Matters. The scheme is designed to empower children to make smart and safe choices while they are online. It also explores how we can make healthy choices linked to our screen time.
Using a range of stories and tasks, the children explore the ideas of being internet sharp, secure, alert, kind and brave.
At HGJS we aim to teach children:
- Be Sharp - to think carefully about our digital footprint and how what we share online can impact our online reputation. We should carefully consider the information we share and who we share it with.
- Be Secure - how to protect ourselves online, from passwords to the online platforms we use for games and videos.
- Be Alert - to identify different types of online scams and how they can protect themselves and others.
- Be Kind - to spread positivity online and use the skills learnt to identify cyberbullying and how to report it.
- Be Brave - to use their voice and seek out help from a trusted adult if they notice behaviour or content online that makes them feel sad, scared or unsafe.
To support online safety at home, the Be Internet Legends Parent Page offers quick, 10 minute activities linked to each of the 5 areas.
There is also a 3 part animated series, following the Legends family as they journey to Interland.
Online at home
We understand that much of our pupil's use of the internet will occur at home, away from the school filters. With so many apps and platforms, it can be hard to know how to keep our children safe while they explore the online world. We encourage all of our parents to follow this link to our Important online safety page. Here you will find advice about screen time, social media and how to change parental settings across a variety of devices.
Online Safety Tips from InternetMatters.Org
Before they've even learnt to read, most can navigate through devices to play games and watch cartoons. By the time they reach the age of 8 over nearly two in five children own their own smartphone and 44% have their own Tablet.*
YouTube is an increasingly popular destination and an alternative to TV as 64% of 5-7 year olds and 74% of 8-11 year olds are using this platform* to watch cartoons, funny videos or their favourite TV show.
*Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2019
Our children's common online activities include:
•Watch videos on YouTube
• Play a range of online games from Roblox and Fortnite to Toca Boca mobile games
• Older children use apps such as tiktok to post videos online and live-stream
• Some may also be using platforms like Snapchat and Instagram although the minimum age is 13
• Use educational apps to supplement learning
The internet can expose children to things that they may not be ready for such as violent content, extreme ideas and adult content either by accident or through an intentional search.
As they start to communicate with others through gaming or social networks there’s the temptation to overshare information that could lead to incidences of
cyberbullying or put them at risk of being approached by those that may wish them harm.
Some of the risks associated with time online are shared below - click on the images to see how parents can help at home,
Children remain curious creatures looking to push boundaries and be in the know about things they may have heard about on the school playground.
When children take part in the following activities online, the possibility and probability that they will see content that is not inappropriate increases:
• Joining social networks, messaging apps and services before reaching the minimum age
• Playing games and using apps which are not age appropriate
• Watching live streams which may show inappropriate content
With the growth of Vloggers and YouTubers, young children are also starting to aspire to be more like those they see online, sharing their world with the wider world to get likes, views and comments.
According to the latest Ofcom report almost a quarter of 8 – 11-year-olds have a social media profile although the minimum age for most social platforms is 13.
Although children do learn how to share safely online, there is a clear difference between what they learn and how they apply this rule in real life.
The average time spent on mobiles by 7-16 year olds is 3h 20m per day according to Childwise.
Although most parents and children believe that they have a good balance of time on and offline, research from UKSIC found that there was a clear link between the amount of time children spend online and their exposure to upset, risk and issues related to well-being.
Although the amount of time that children are spending on a screen matters - it is perhaps more important to think about what they are actually doing when they are online. Assessing children's online activities to minimise risks and maximise the opportunities they bring is key at this stage.
As with friendships in real life, the internet can become a place where children play out disagreements or express issues they have with each other without a full grasp of the potential consequences of what they say.
Research shows that it’s normally towards the end of primary school that issues of cyberbullying occur as children start using more messaging apps to talk to friends outside of school.
Although it may not affect younger children as much as those in secondary school, teaching them about netiquette and how to be kind online early on can give them a good foundation to build on when they start to interact with others online. Setting a good example in our own online interactions is important too.