As part of your child’s curriculum and development of ICT skills, we provide supervised access to the Internet. We believe that the use of the World Wide Web and e-mail is a worthwhile and essential skill for children as they grow up in the modern world.
Naturally, there are concerns about pupils having access to inappropriate materials – but we have taken positive steps to deal with this risk in school. All staff have undertaken e-Safety training and our Internet Service Provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials. This may not be the case at home, and so these pages of our school website are intended to provide you with information and links which we hope you will find useful.
Internet Safety Awareness CEOP Internet Safety CEOP
NSPCC Net Aware Parents review kids’ social network, apps and games
Know IT All Know IT All is a set of award-winning resources developed by Internet charity Childnet International to help educate both young people and adults about safe and positive use of the Internet.
Bullying UK Advice for children, parents and schools.
Pocket Parent Essential parenting help, advice and information, from babies to teens – all in one place!
Kid SMART An Internet safety site from Childnet, with low-cost leaflets for parents
Think U Know Site for pupils explaining Internet dangers and how to stay in control.
Parent Info Expert information to help children and young people stay safe online.
Following recent enquiries from schools and settings regarding safety concerns about the ‘Pokémon Go’ app, the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer have collated a list of useful links for schools and settings to share with parents/carers. These links explore the Pokémon Go app in more depth and provide practical advice for parents/carers on how to keep children safe when playing.
Pokémon Go is a game where users can collect and trade creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters). It uses ‘augmented reality’ (AR) to make it look like Pokémon have appeared in real life places by using the GPS and cameras on phones/devices. In the game players can collect Pokémon by walking around their local community to capture them as they appear. They can also visit ‘PokeStops’ to collect new items and visit ‘gyms’ to train their Pokémon and compete. PokeStops and Gyms are located in public places.
There are a range of risks for Pokémon Go players which have been featured in the global media which includes physical safety concerns (people walking into secluded, dangerous or busy areas), stranger danger (users may feel encouraged to speak to and meet strangers when collecting Pokémon), in-app purchasing (using real money to buy virtual goods), privacy risks (access to personal data), age restrictions (users under 13 require parental consent), data use implications (the game uses mobile data to access maps) and the impact on battery life (the game can quickly drain battery which could mean users are unable to use their device).
It is however important to be aware that the potential risks identified are not new risks to children (or indeed adults who may play the game) either online or in the “real” world so in most cases the response will be to ensure that players understand how to keep safe and for parents/carers to ensure that appropriate support and supervision is in place for children when using the app.
If parents/carers are engaged with their children’s internet use then the potential risks can be minimised and managed appropriately through regular discussions and appropriate supervision. Pokémon Go can provide a useful way for parents (and indeed schools) to explore important on and offline safety messages and reinforce safe behaviours. Some schools have reported using Pokémon Go as a great way to explore on and offline safety by discussing risks highlighted in the media and working with children to produce posters, leaflets and videos to help others keep safe.
As long as appropriate safety steps are taken, Pokémon Go could be viewed as an opportunity to engage in a fun family activity which encourages children and parents to go out together and be active and explore their communities in new and engaging ways.
The following links may be helpful for schools and settings to share with their parents to help families ensure that Pokémon Go is kept fun and safe.
If schools/settings are concerned about PokeStops and/or gyms located in unsafe places then they can be reported here