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Henry Maynard Primary School and Nursery

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Governors' Blog

March 2018: Online Safety

At Henry Maynard, we take the safeguarding of children very seriously. The use of technology is a significant component of many safeguarding issues and the school has a distinct online safety policy here. This empowers us to protect and educate the whole school community in the use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any incident where appropriate.

As technology now reaches every aspect of our lives, we as Governors want to support parents to help keep your children safe online. We hope this post provides some useful guidance on online safety for parents.

What are the risks online?

There are three areas of risk, known as the 3 C’s:

  1. Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material (views or receives). This includes hate content, lifestyle websites that promote harmful behaviours and ‘fake news’.
  2. Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users (participates). This includes cyber bullying, grooming (sexual exploitation, radicalisation etc.) and identity theft, including passwords.
  3. Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm (acts or behaves). This includes aggressive behaviours (bullying), sexting, privacy issues (e.g. disclosing personal information), digital footprint, online reputation, and health and well-being (time spent online, gambling, body image).

What can parents do?

Your children’s interactions online can feel like a sensitive topic. However, technology plays a huge role in every aspect of their lives, so don’t be afraid to take the same active interest as you do with their offline activities. Talk to them about their digital life and agree ground rules that balance the need to keep them safe and the benefits that technology offers. Use tools available to you and know where to go for more help if you need it.

 

Here are five actions to consider:

Open and honest dialogue. Connect with your child by talking regularly about how they use technology.

· Find out what their digital life is like – What do they do online? How does being online makes them feel? Ask them to share with you their favourite things to do online.

· Show an interest in who their friends are online and ask how they decide who to be friends with. Children don’t think of people they have met online through social networking and gaming as strangers – they are just online friends. Point out that it’s a lot easier for people to lie online than it is in real life.

· Discuss the risks (the 3 C’s). Talk to them about what to do if they see worrying or upsetting content or if someone contacts them and makes them feel anxious. Encourage your child to tell you if anything makes them uncomfortable or upset.

· Talk about the importance of not giving anyone any personal information, such as their phone number, school or address, or meeting up with anyone they don’t know in real life.

· Encourage them to think critically of online content and discuss how to check its authenticity and accuracy.

 

Family agreement. The online world is an increasingly large part of modern family life, so it makes sense to approach it as a family. Make a pledge together on how as a family you’re going to use the internet safely and positively.

· Consider the amount of time they can spend online and times for switching off (e.g. nighttime and mealtimes). Remember that to model good behaviour, the same rules also need to apply to you!

· Consider the websites they visit and the activities they take part in – what is acceptable and not acceptable?

· The minimum age for using most social media accounts is 13 years old (Whatsapp is 16 years old) so pupils at Henry Maynard shouldn’t be using them. Twitter is the only one that doesn’t ask your age when you sign up. For older siblings, try to be ‘friends’ with your child on social media. If they resist, ask a friend or family member you both trust to try.

 

Tools available. There are lots of tools to help you manage access to online content and devices used by your family. Ensure that your child knows how to make use of safety tools such as blocking and privacy settings on any communication channels they use.

· Install parental controls to filter or restrict what your child can see online.

o All mobile network providers provide parental controls (some will have these on as default, but others you will need to request to be turned on).

o Internet service providers (ISPs), such as Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky or BT, also provide parental controls devices that connect to the internet.

o Some devices also have options to switch off the internet browser.

· Keep devices secure by setting a password or PIN to protect personal information such as photos, videos and email and social media logins.

· Consider turning off location services.

· Keep personal information private by checking the privacy settings on your child’s social media accounts

o Twitter: You can ‘protect your tweets’ so the account is private. Your child will get a notification when someone requests to follow them, and they can accept or decline.

o Instagram: You can choose to only share with people approved to follow – select ‘Private Account’ in the options. Even with a public account, photos or videos can be shared with only a select group of people by tapping ‘Direct’ and selecting up to 15 people to send to.

o Facebook: NB Check the privacy settings to control who can see content and how your child connects with other people. Consider only letting ‘Friends’ see everything, ensure your child approves being tagged in posts (‘Privacy’ – ‘See More Settings – ‘Timeline and Tagging’ – turn on ‘Review posts friends tag you in’) and don’t allow them to appear in internet searches (‘Settings’ – ‘Privacy Settings’ - ‘Who can look me up?’ – remove tick so other search engines can’t link to the timeline).

· Ensure only minimal information is shared on social media accounts e.g. it is not recommended to share their mobile phone number on their Facebook profile even if their profile is private/set to ‘friends’ only.

 

Know how to report abuse.

· Try not to overreact if your child tells you about something they have seen. It’s great they have turned to you as a trusted adult. You might feel shocked and angry, but by dealing with it calmly your child will know they can turn to you again.

· Ask your mobile operator how you can report and block unwanted or abusive calls or messages.

· Make sure older children know how to report unwelcome contact. Many websites have tools to report abuse, as do social media:

o Twitter: To report a Tweet, go to the offending tweet, click on the ‘…’ and select ‘Report’. To report a Twitter user, go to their profile, click on the gear symbol and click report. You can also ‘block a user’ so they can’t follow or message you – click the gear symbol on their page and select ‘block’.

o Instagram: To report comments, tap Comment and swipe left (iOS) or tap on the comment (Android), and select ‘Delete and Report Abuse’. To block someone, go to their profile, tap the arrow (iOS) or vertical 3 dots (Android), and tap ‘Block User’.

o Facebook: To report posts, click on the drop-down in the corner of the post. To block a user, click on the cog icon on the front of their timeline. Children can get help from a parent, teacher or trusted friend by using the Social Reporting tool (helpful if the photo doesn’t break Facebook’s rules). It’s worth taking evidence using screenprints and then tracking progress of reports using the Support Dashboard.

 

If you come across illegal content, such as images of child abuse, you can report this to the Internet Watch Foundation at www.iwf.org.uk in the UK, and find details of other national hotlines at www.inhope.org.

If you suspect that your child is or has been the subject of an inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person you should report this to Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre at www.ceop.police.uk in the UK, or internationally at www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com.

 

Get further help and advice. You are always there to help your child but make sure you know how to get support too. The school is here to help you, and here are some useful sources of further information:

· https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers

· http://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers

· https://www.internetmatters.org

· https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk

· https://www.disrespectnobody.co.uk

 

Advice for devices:

· Smart phones: http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/beingsmart/

· Game consoles: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-technology/gaming-devices

· Tablets: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-technology/tablets

· Smart TVs: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-technology/smart-tvs

 

It’s natural to feel worried about the risks, but the online world is exciting and fun for young people, and it brings many opportunities. Like everything in life, it’s important to take a balanced approach. Enjoy using technology whilst staying safe online.

 

Post by Louisa Ziane, Parent Governor

February 2018: Happiness and safety

One of the Governing Body’s statutory (legal) responsibilities is safeguarding in the school. That means making sure that the school promotes the welfare of children and protects them from harm. To make sure that we are thinking about safeguarding from all angles, the safeguarding leads from the Governing Body met with the Henry Maynard School Council to talk about happiness and safety at school.

It was brilliant to hear that overall the pupils do feel happy and safe in school and in particular that they value the teachers and other staff and feel comfortable talking to them if they have any problems.

The members of the school council were articulate and engaging and the whole discussion was complementary and positive about all of the different measures that the school has put in place for supporting them.

One aspect of school that the council were particularly complementary about was the availability of the learning mentors and the Place2Be support network. Place2Be is the UK’s leading mental health charity who provide in-school support and expert training to help to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and staff.

The pupils said that Place2Be is good because:

“you can let everything out and talk” and;

“if you don’t want to talk you can draw a picture and sometimes they know what you’re feeling from that”.

As Governors we are hugely encouraged that students are so positive about how their wellbeing is supported at school and, as always, very impressed with the dedication of the school’s safeguarding leads.

January 2018: "Hello" from the Governing Body

Hi from the Governors at Henry Maynard. You may have noticed that we now have a Governors’ blog area on the website and I wanted to take a little time to explain the kinds of blog posts that you will be seeing from us. But first, it might be helpful to understand a little more about what the role of the Governing Body is. The role of the governing body is to set the strategic direction, vision and ethos of the school and to support the Mrs Adair as the Headteacher of Henry Maynard.

 

One of the things that parents said in the survey was that we as Governors are quite remote from parents and so we are launching the Governors’ blogs to help parents understand how we work with the school and also to show you some of the fantastic things that teachers at Henry Maynard are doing with the lessons and education that you may not be aware of.

 

There will mostly be two different kinds of blogs that we write as governors:

  1. Blogs based on Link Visit reports. Each of the Governors has a responsibility for different parts of the curriculum e.g. Science, Early Years, Pupil Premium. In order to understand how these parts of the school work we do a termly visit to see that part of the curriculum in action. For a full list of which governor is responsible for which subject, please have a look at the Governors page on the Henry Maynard website. The next link blog will be after a discussion with the school council about feeling healthy, happy and safe at school.
  2. Blogs about interesting resources that we may have found or topics that have been brought to our attention – keep an eye out for a blog on e-safety and making sure your kids are using technology and the internet properly. We may also use the blog to tell you about changes to government policy that could affect the school if there are big changes.

 

We look forward to you reading more about what we do as Governors and if you have any questions about the blogs or our work or any suggestions for information that you think governors should be writing about please drop us an email at school@henrymaynard.waltham.sch.uk.

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