We aim to provide our pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep themselves safe online within the school and beyond, now and in the future.
The school recognises that online activity brings with it potential risks including accessing inappropriate content, predation and grooming, bullying and threats, identity theft, financial harm and corruption or misuse of data. Our primary aim with regard to online safety is to give our pupils the ability to stay safe online – both inside the school and beyond. We aim to do this through education, embedding online safety in every aspect of the curriculum and working with parents/carers, siblings and others to promote safe use of technology.
The Principal is responsible for ensuring the safety (including online safety) of members of the school community. Day to day responsibility for online safety is delegated to the Online Safety Coordinator, who is a named member of staff with responsibility for online safety. This role is combined with the Child Protection Officer role. This is primarily a safeguarding role, not a technical role, although the coordinator has a good understanding of technical issues.
Information Regarding Popular Social Networking Sites And Games That Your Child Maybe Using
Click on the image or text for more information. The information for each app is from the NSPCC Net Aware website.
WhatsApp Minimum age 13
SnapChat Minimum age 13
Roblox Minimum age 8 and over.
Pokemon Go Minimum 3 plus.
Minecraft Minimum age 7 plus
Facebook Minimum age 13.
The information regarding apps will be updated regularly.
Parents and carers can decide to use extra filtering software so support your family at home, here are some of the solutions recommended by Digital Parenting.
There has been some concern raised about a game called ROBLOX. This game is aimed at 8 -12 year olds and some children who have used the chat facility have had issues around contact from strangers. Here is a guide for parents to help young people stay safe while using this game.
Roblox - a guide for parents
Some top tips for parents to help young people stay safe on Roblox.
1. Communication: how Roblox can be used to communicate with other users
2. Content: what content is available on Roblox that might not be suitable for children
3. Costs: what ways children might accidentally run up costs while using Roblox
Plus we will share our top tips for staying engaged with your children’s use of Roblox and making the most of the safety features available on the service.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a gaming platform where multiple players interact and play together online. The site has a collection of games aimed at 8-18 year olds, however players of all ages can use the site. Roblox is currently available on PC, phone, tablet and Xbox One.
Every game on Roblox is created by users, and there are a wide variety to choose from. These can vary from delivering pizzas, to roaming a kingdom as a medieval knight, to even starring in a fashion show. This variety is one of the reasons that Roblox is so popular with young people.
Key things for parents to be aware of
1. Communication: how users can communicate with others
Whilst the games are aimed at 8-18 year olds, there are no age restrictions. This means both adults and young people can play and communicate with each other on the platform.
All games are multiplayer and include a written chat feature, which is visible to players within each individual game. Users can also make and receive friend requests during gameplay and this means that they can chat to each other outside of the game.
You can read more about the Roblox chat features and the way that these are moderated on the Roblox community guidelines and within their safety features.
2. Content: what content is available that might not be suitable for children
The Roblox Studio is a section where players use their imagination and skills to create their own games and share these with others. The ability to create and play games can be very appealing to young people who like to create the content they see online.
However, because content is user-generated it can mean that some games might not be appropriate for young children. For example, whilst the graphics are not very life like, some of the games feature weapons and blood.
3. Costs: How children might accidentally run up costs
By creating games, users can earn Robux, the in-game currency. You can also buy Robux in the game. Players can spend money on items, such as membership to the Builders Club. .
If game creators attract players and in-game adverts, they can earn a lot of Robux, which they can convert into real money. To do this, players must be over the age of 13, have paid for Roblox’s premium subscription, and have access to a Paypal account. This means that younger players would need to talk to an adult to be able to exchange their Robux for real money.
Top tips for parents
Whatever gaming sites your children use, our advice remains the same. It is important to have a conversation with your child about the sites they use and carry on having open discussions. This will encourage them to come to you with any concerns they may have.
Involve your child in discussions and decisions about online safety and their internet usage. This will help them understand the importance of staying safe whilst having a great time online. It will also help to educate them about how they can keep themselves safe online and know what to do if something goes wrong.
1. Stay engaged and have regular conversations
• Show an interest in the games your children are playing. This could be through having a conversation about what they like to play or could be through watching them play the game. You could even have a go at playing the games yourself! If children know you have an interest in the game, they may feel more comfortable talking to you about it or coming to you for help if they need it.
2. Help them understand the importance of personal information
• Check that your child understands:
- the importance of keeping their personal information safe
- that they should speak to an adult straight away if the chat goes from being about the game to meeting up offline, personal information or sending images.
3. Set rules around spending money in games
Have a conversation with your child to make sure they realise that is possible to spend real money on the game. Make promises that work for your family; perhaps your child will have to ask you for permission before they make an in-game purchase.
4. Make use of the safety features available
• Block and report:
Make sure your child knows how to find and use the report and block functions. Use the Roblox how to make a report page to learn how to do this.
• Safety settings:
Set up the parental controls that are right for your family. You can also disable chat, set up the Parent PIN and use the Account Restrictions within Roblox.
• Settings for under 13s:
There are additional safety features for under-13s, so it’s worth checking your child’s account is registered with the correct age. Players under the age of 13 have a <13 symbol next to their username on the game at all times, however this is not displayed to other players.
5. Encourage them to tell you about concerns
• Remind your child that they should come to you if they ever see something inappropriate, mean comments or if anything worries them within the game. If you know how to report this type of content within Roblox, you will be in the best position to help them if they need it.