The Perse School

Prep pupils learn about staying safe online

20 Mar 2015

This week, Prep parents and pupils enjoyed talks from the ICT Service on the very important topic of staying safe online.

Craig Thompson from the ICT Service spoke to Prep school parents earlier this week about promoting the effective use of ICT in schools and the importance of e-safety. He explained that opportunities and risks go hand in hand and used the analogy of learning to swim: avoiding the digital pool will only get you so far. He quoted Dr Tanya Brown, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and author of  ‘Safer Children in a digital world’, who claimed “children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe.”

He advised parents to be proactive in their children’s use of ICT by discussing what they are doing, encouraging children to show them when things go wrong and agreeing rules about giving out personal information online. He explained that children often find it difficult to differentiate between the real and digital world and that parents should encourage children to behave with similar caution online as they would in the real world. He recommended using child friendly search engines; disabling or covering webcams to avoid accidental sharing of images; linking children’s email addresses to those of their parents; setting up family email addresses for registering with websites; enabling any parental settings on devices / the internet as it comes into the house and becoming more familiar with your child’s online world from as early an age as possible.

Craig followed up his talk to parents with some workshops with Years 3 and 5 about the importance of e-safety. Year 5 watched one of the CEOP videos followed by a discussion and activity on issues including risks and benefits of social networking, keeping personal information private and reporting concerns about conduct and contact. Year 3 looked at, and discussed, the SMART rules; they then did a follow on activity where they thought about how to solve different scenarios using the SMART rules. Years 4 and 6 will be having additional lessons on e-safety next half term.

These were really informative and useful sessions for parents and pupils alike.

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