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St Mary's Primary School Banbridge

E-Safety Awareness

13th Feb 2020

The Internet can be wonderful for kids- it is a fascinating and effective tool for both teaching and learning, at home and within school. Children can use the Internet to research, communicate, create and play but online access also comes with risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online predators. Therefore it is paramount that children are educated on how to use the Internet safely.

Last week, as part of our ongoing, proactive approach to Internet Safety, Marie Claire Friar and our Digital Leaders organised Assemblies for each Phase in the school. We would like to give a big thank you to Marie Claire Friar for preparing the presentations with our Digital Leaders. Our e-safety mascot Ping is displayed around the school and reminds us to be ‘SMART’ online.

Following on from the Assembly and in response to a number of questions asked of Marie Claire we would like to draw your attention to the following; an increasing number of pupils are indicating that they regularly use social media platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram and/or Facebook to communicate with friends. Our presentation made it very clear that these platforms are age restricted and it is the opinion of the school that no primary school child should have access to these platforms.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to be fully aware of their child’s online activity. The school will NOT become involved in situations where pupils behave inappropriately on a social media platform outside of school. We would recommend to parents who are concerned about instances of online bullying or abuse that they report it to the appropriate authorities. All social media platforms have a contact procedure for such instances.

If you allow access to social media platforms the following measures may help you monitor your child’s online activity:

  1. Agree that you can have access to their phone whenever you want. Check the phone regularly.
  2. Ensure you know what apps they are using and that they are age appropriate- know their passwords.
  3. Monitor the history of their calls, messages, contacts, pictures and websites.
  4. Talk to your child regarding the dangers of social media- children talk to strangers every day through social media.
  5. No child needs a phone/iPad in their bedroom at night.

Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear on the Internet, who they speak to and what they share about themselves. Talk with your kids, use tools to protect them, and keep an eye on their activities.