Keeping Our Children Safe Online
In September we issued all parents with our school guide to the internet. We asked all parents and children to sign to say that would follow our safe internet use policy and use the internet safely and in a responsible way. We issued all parents with a copy of our E-Safety guidelines. The main points of this are listed below:
The school's internet access is obtained through BT Business. Our filtering and security is managed by our onsite firewall device (Smoothwall) and is reviewed regularly by our IT Support team.
- Our filtering system blocks newsrooms, chatrooms, social networking sites etc. It is checked regularly. A copy of the latest certificate is available at the bottom of this page.
- The filtering system blocks inappropriate words and has a rating system for websites.
- The system has a record of banned sites and monitors the use of the internet by staff and children.
- The uploading of software that has not been purchased by the school is not allowed.
- The free use of search engines is only allowed when a member of staff is present.
Information for parents about the Momo APP
What it is?
Coined the “suicide challenge”, Momo is a new viral game that encourages players to perform a series of
challenges in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’ - a disfigured character (inspired by Japanese art) with bulging eyes and untidy black hair on a chicken-like body.
Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky challenges.Originating in Mexico, it is easily accessed through social media shares (predominantly Facebook and YouTube) and is rapidly spreading across the world.
Why it's on our radar?
The challenges issued in this game present a serious risk to the safety, welfare and
wellbeing of children and young people in our schools here in the UK, as does the distressing content when a player refuses to carry on. With worrying similarities to the ‘Blue Whale challenge’, it has also been linked to at least five cases of childhood suicide.
How does it work?
• Players are encouraged to contact Momo and provide their mobile number.
• They will then receive instructions to perform a series of challenges, via SMS or Whatsapp.
• Player refusal can trigger severely abusive messaging and their mobile device being hacked.
• The final challenge is to commit suicide in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’.
Why children like it?
Sharing and commentary on Social Media platforms has created a level of intrigue and curiosity about this game, which is initially light hearted and fun.
Fundamentally, however, this is a game that targets vulnerable children and young people online, as those with mental health issues are more likely to be drawn to the psychological nature of the challenges.
What to do?
A person doesn’t have to be searching for Momo themselves to be exposed to it and, unlike other games that children enjoy, there is no positive side to this.
Teachers and parents need to educate/reinforce online safety, and in this way encourage children and young people to make the right choice and avoid this game:
• The importance of confidently saying “no” to invitations to play games from strangers
• Knowing why they should not click on unidentified links.
• Knowing how to ‘block’ unknown numbers and friend requests.
Setting up X Box Family Membership
This service will help you to keep your child safer on line. It will help you to restrict their content and to set up systems to prevent children purchasing material online. Please click on the link below to find out how to set the system up.
"Live Streaming" Information for Parents and Carers
Live streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time to the viewer. It is often simply referred to as streaming.
Live stream services encompass a wide variety of topics, from social media to video games. Apps such as Facebook Live, Periscope, and 17 include the streaming of scheduled promotions and celebrity events as well as streaming between users. Sites such as Twitch.tv have become popular for watching people play video games, such as in eSports.
User interaction via chat rooms forms a major component of live streaming. Facebook Live and Periscope also include the ability to talk to the broadcaster or participate in conversations in chat.
There are risks associated with allowing children unsupervised access to live streaming, and we have provided a CEOP and Think U Know slide show below which provides guidance to parents and carers for the topic.
Pupils may only use their approved e-mail accounts on the school network via the school GSuite for Education account. Access is forbidden to external web based personal e-mail accounts for security reasons. Pupils are advised that they should not distribute chain mails or forward a message without the permission of the sender.
Pupils may not reveal their own or others personal details including passwords and telephone numbers or arrange to meet someone outside school via the school network.
Pupils are given regular information on E-safety during PHSE and ICT lessons
Keeping Our School Community Safe
With the Internet now playing a part in everyday life, it is very important that we educate children, staff, parents and carers "How to Stay Safe Online."
Find below some useful links to keep you and your family safe on the Internet.
Parental Controls give you some control over the content that can be viewed on devices connected to your home network. These include PCs, Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets.
If you are worried about what your child may be accessing on your home network, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to arrange to have these restrictions enabled on your account or see the below guides from a few different providers.