The internet provides a fantastic resource and communication tool for adults and children alike. It’s our responsibility as teachers and parents to help them learn to use the internet in a safe way.
PUPIL GUIDELINES FOR SAFE INTERNET /EMAIL USE
- I will only use the Internet when there is a teacher present.
- I will always ask for permission before accessing the Internet/Email.
- I will only use my own usernames and passwords to log on to the system/ email and keep them secret.
- I will not access other people’s files.
- I will only email people I know, or my teacher has approved; and ensure that the messages that I send will be polite and responsible.
- I understand that the use of strong language, swearing or aggressive behaviour is not allowed when using the Email etc.
I will not give personal details (like my home address, telephone or mobile number), or the personal details of any other person to anyone, or arrange to meet someone unless my parent/carer or teacher has given me permission.
- I will only view, download, store or upload material that is suitable and age appropriate for other users. If I am not sure about this, or come across any potentially offensive materials, I will use the ‘Hector Protector’ button and inform my class teacher straight away.
- I will avoid any acts of vandalism. This includes, but is not limited to, uploading or creating computer viruses and mischievously deleting or altering data from its place of storage.
- Always quote the source of any information gained from the Internet i.e. the web address, in the documents you produce.
- Use the Internet for research and school purposes only.
- I will not bring in memory sticks or CD Roms from home to use in school unless I have been given permission by my class teacher.
- I understand that the school may check my computer files/Emails and may monitor the Internet sites that I visit.
- I understand that if I don’t follow these rules, my access to the school computer system/Internet /Email may be suspended, and my parents/carers will be informed
In school we use a great website called Hector’s World to support safer internet usage. This is a picture of Hector the Protector – your children will be very used to seeing him.
Hector’s World is a unique cybersafety initiative for teachers and parents to help young people learn about safe online practices and digital citizenship. The core content of Hectors World is the 7 animated episodes featuring Hector the dolphin, and his friends. Each episode has support material for teachers and parents.
Hector’s World is suitable for children at school, home, in early childhood settings, or community groups that support young children.
Further guidance on e-safety is given below.
At this age, most children need help using the computer. Helen Penn, Head of Education at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, says ‘Our experience is that under-5s aren’t using interactive sites.
‘They tend to be playing around on cartoon sites like CBeebies and can’t generally do that without the assistance of their parents, although that may change.’
Software and websites designed for this age group is usually called ‘lapware’. When toddlers are old enough to click around a website by themselves, it’s best to only give them access to certain safe sites or tools such as Glubble.
Children will begin to be taught about internet safety as soon as they start school. The fun Hector’s World cartoon series may have already been shown at your child’s school.
‘Kids are quite excited by the characters and can relate to the decisions they are making,’ Penn says.
Parents can also download the Hector’s World Safety Button (for Windows), which children can click if they ever drift off to a site that’s inappropriate, and start panicking.
‘The idea is they’ll click on Hector the dolphin, and an underwater scene appears that blocks off the content and encourages the child to get their parent,’ Penn explains. ‘The content is kept underneath so the parent can see what it does.’
At this age, children may start using social networking sites such as Bebo, MySpace or Facebook, despite the fact that these sites are designed for ages 13 and older.
‘We know [younger children] are using these sites, so not mentioning them would be wrong of us. They know they’re for over-13s, but it’s very difficult to verify their ages. Therefore we have to make sure they are educated about how to use them properly,’ says Penn.
Thinking about who you are talking to and the information you reveal about yourself are two of the key messages about how children can stay in control when they’re online. Their online use will grow at this stage, and there will be greater exploration of the web.