By Ana Simmons, Head of Lower School and Acting Designated Safeguarding Lead
Over the last few years the UK’s internet use has surged as coronavirus saw a change in the way in which we all communicated; nationally Snapchat, Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube became key in how many people kept in touch and remained informed.
Using the internet safely and positively is a key message that we promote and actively work with the students on across all three schools at Bedales. This week many schools and youth organisations across the UK celebrated Safer Internet Day and for us the day gave us a chance to reflect upon how we emphasise the online safety messages and education we deliver throughout the year.
We all play a crucial role in empowering and supporting young people to use digital technologies responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. At school, we have released a newly issued Digital Safety Policy, now viewable on the Parent Portal, which captures how we ensure that all pupils are educated about and protected from potential harm online.
As ever, creating an open dialogue with students on how we use the internet is vital in supporting their online lives. Some resources which you may find helpful as parents in having these discussions with your child about their online usage are:
- Advice for parents and carers from Childnet
- Tips, advice and guides for parents and carers from the UK Safer Internet Centre
- Guides on popular apps and games from NetAware
- Reviews and information about games, apps, TV shows and websites from Common Sense Media
- Help on using parental controls and privacy settings from Internet Matters
- Information and reporting of online grooming or abuse from CEOP
And as ever, please do get in touch with Houseparents or myself, as the Designated Safeguarding Lead whilst Jen is on maternity leave, should you have any concerns or questions over how the internet is being used within the Bedales community.