The Internet and related technologies, including mobile phones, blogs, podcasting and social networks, are becoming increasingly important in the daily lives of young people and have many positive benefits. They can be used both educationally and socially and are becoming part of a child’s identity. Socially, our children often use the Internet for entertainment, interaction, and communication with friends.
Internet access is available anywhere and at anytime, so we need to make sure our children are able to use the Internet safely. Many children are unaware of the risks, for example by having many online friends (who could be strangers), uploading inappropriate images, viewing unsuitable content or even becoming addicted to the Internet.
Please see this useful guide about the elevated risks of online and social media platforms.
Internet Safety at St Joseph's
St Joseph’s Catholic School provides a safe and secure online environment for children. Many parents and carers seek advice on how they can provide a similar environment for their children when accessing the Internet from home, and how to help their children develop safe habits when learning and playing online.
Please see the Resources section below for comprehensive information about online safety issues. Once parents and carers have background information on the subject of Internet safety, they can decide what is right for their family.
Online Child Sexual Exploitation
This year’s Safer Internet Day (more on this below) looks at ‘Getting Connected’. Nationally, schools—and St Josephs is no exception—have seen a rise in the number of incidents involving young people and their risky and/or unsafe behaviours online – for example, exchanging pictures on devices and smartphones or via a webcam. Whilst talking online with known and trusted friends and family can be fun, children can be at risk of bullying and abuse, and can often be vulnerable to exploitation.
This has happened to young people and is being reported within our school community, Wiltshire and beyond. This is abuse and could be Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Child Criminal Exploitation, Online Grooming, Peer-on-Peer Abuse, Catfishing, and more.
For more information about this and tips to make sure your children are safe online, please see the poster to the right, or click on the button below to read a full letter from our headteacher and the pastoral team.
ThinkUKnow is the website for the National Crime Agency's CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Education team. It aims to protect children and young people from online sexual abuse with training, resources and information for everyone, age 4+.
Understanding online safety is tricky for all ages, but the NSPCC can help you learn about staying safe online. They're here to support parents with online safety advice, as well as for children and young people to protect them and help them recover from abuse.
UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL, with one mission – to make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people.
Childnet’s mission is to work in partnership with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. They work directly with children and young people from the ages of 3-18, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals.
Vodafone want everyone to get the most out of tech and enjoy happy and safe digital lives. With regularly updated articles and expert advice, your Digital Parenting site has plenty of resources and support, helping you make the right digital choices for your family.
SAFER INTERNET DAY
What is Safer Internet Day?
Coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and inspire a national conversation.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over 100 countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.
It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Get involved to play your part!
The Theme for 2023
Safer Internet Day 2023 will be celebrated on 7th February with the theme: Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online.
Thus year, the UK is celebrating by putting children and young people’s voices at the heart of the day and encouraging them to shape the online safety support that they receive.
That is why parents, carers, teachers, government, policymakers, and the wider online safety industry are being asked to take time to listen to children and young people and make positive change together.
This year, the goal is to answer the following questions:
- What issues really matter to children and young people?
- What changes do they want to see?
- How can we all work together to advocate for them moving forward?
With your help, Safer Internet Day 2023 can be a springboard for conversations that shape how we talk about and respond to online issues, not just for one day, but throughout the whole year.
Tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep your child safe online
As a parent or carer, you play a key role in helping your child to stay safe online. You don’t need to be an expert yourself! The UK Safer Internet Centre are here to show you how to support your child to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively.
It's really important to chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online. Not sure where to begin? This page also has some easy conversation starters to help you out.
Key social media platforms and apps
Make sure you know which apps your children are using, the age requirements to join them, and the safety tools and advice for each platform.
App reviews for parents
This website provides in-depth app reviews to break down the good, the bad, and the potentially dangerous about kids' favourite platforms, from social media and games to lifestyle and education apps.
Games, quizzes, films and advice to help you get the most out of the internet while staying safe online
The internet is a brilliant place to connect with others, to be creative and to discover new things. On this website, you'll find films, games, quizzes and advice to help you to use the internet safely, responsibly and positively.
There are also top tips to help you protect your online reputation, know where to find help, learn about cyberbullying, consent, and more.