e-Safety


At St Peter’s Catholic School we are fully aware of the risks associated with the use of the internet and electronic devices. Our aim is to ensure that all pupils are aware of the various steps they can take in keeping themselves safe online. Our school is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet and have completed the 360 degree award winning self review tool to ensure the whole of our community including staff, students and parents are kept up to speed with technological changes and their associated issues.

We have a dedicated e-safety committee who has attained qualifications in e-safety including the Ofsted recommended Epict certificate, CEOP’s ThinkUKnow Trainer Status and the NSPCC’s ‘Keeping Kids Safe Online’ accreditation. Together we work hard in ensuring our whole community is educated on e-safety and are confident that they know who to speak to should an issue arise. All staff at St Peters School have regular and up to date e-safety training and are fully aware of the importance of this aspect of safeguarding our students. Training is provided on all aspects of e-safety including gaming, social media and mobile phones. Staff members have embarked on regular training to keep updated on changes and we an e-safety committee which involves teaching, support staff and students.

Image

What do we do in school to protect our community?

  • We teach e-safety and cyber bullying at the start of Year 7 in all ICT lessons. We consolidate knowledge and extend learning on e-safety within ICT, Media, R.E and Personal Development and Citizen lessons
  • We hold regular e-safety assemblies and form time activities for all year groups and we have a week of dedicated e-safety events to coincide with the annual ‘Safer Internet Day’
  • There is an e-safety bullying alert form on the student portal and the CEOP alert button is located at the end of every page
  • The school has a dedicated e-safety committee which includes students, teaching and support staff
  • We hold regular e-safety Parents’ Evenings throughout the academic year and we send out emails and letters to alert our parents on the new trends to raise awareness. Information is also available on e-safety issues at every Parents’ Evening

There is a range of additional support and guidance below for our parents to use .

Image

ooVoo

What is it?

ooVoo is growing in popularity with young teenagers as it is a free high quality video chat, voice chat or free text messaging service which can be used on any device (phone, iPad, PC etc) for up to 12 people at a time. It allows users to also send text messages, videos and picture messages even when on a call. ooVoo is not a safe application for students to use as it has concerns that it is regularly used indecently to groom, harass or otherwise distress children either through indecent pictures or messages being sent. It is becoming apparent that in some cases this app has been hijacked by those seeking to make indecent approaches to children and the police are receiving a growing number of complaints regarding this app.

We urge parents to understand the content that can be sent on ooVoo by watching this short clip linked below so as to clearly understand the threats that this popular application has on their children. If parents choose that their child should have it then there are tips on how to protect their children when using this app however we would stress that there are easier and safer ways for students to video call, send pictures or text messages with less of a risk of accessing or being sent indecent images or texts.

Please click here for more ooVoo information.

Image

Snapchat

What is it?

Snapchat is another social media application that allows people to send a video or message for up to fifteen seconds. Snapchat promotes that this message is then erased forever. The Federal Trade Commission have recently investigated these claims and have stated that Snapchat had deceived their users and failed to inform them that they could indeed be saved.

Snapchats can be screen shot when played and in addition to this there are applications now available which allows people to hack Snapchat accounts without the sender knowing. There have also been serious concerns with the use of Snapchat being exploited by bullies and for other inappropriate contact. We would like to remind our students this application is only available for those 13 and over and all information posted on this application is retrievable.

A parental guide to this is available by clicking here.

Image

Instagram

What is it?

Instagram is a social media application that allows people to upload videos and images and allows others to comment on them. By default all photos can be viewed by anyone on the application unless you have set your account to private. In addition to this, each photo can be easily geotagged which means that people who can view your photos or videos can easily locate where they were taken.

To ensure safety on this application we urge all students aged 13 and over and who have this application to ensure that their accounts are set to private and that the geotag facility is turned off. We would also like to remind our student that they should not accept any friend requests from people they do not know in real life which could increase the risk of inappropriate contact or behaviour.

A parental guide to this is available by clicking here.

Image

Kik

What is it?

Kik is an instant messaging app with over 100 million users that allows users to exchange pictures and videos. Kik does not offer any parental controls and there is no way of authenticating users therefore making it easy for sexual predators to use the app to interact with minors. It is growing in popularity and kids have been using this app for sexting and sending nude selfies to others. For further information please click here.

Image

YikYak

What is it?

YikYak is an app that allows users to post text-only “Yaks” of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by ‘Yakkers’ who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. As this is an anonymous app it raises concerns about what students can post about others. In addition to this, users are exposed to and are contributing sexually explicit content, derogatory language and personal attacks on others.

Due to the popularity of this anonymous app some schools have taken the decision to create a ‘geofence’ around the school which blocks the GPS tracking facility on this app and therefore this app will not work within the school boundary. The e-safety committee at St Peters has contacted YikYak and requested a ‘geofence’ and therefore this app does not work within the perimeter of the school. Please be aware that this app will work outside of school.

Image

Ask

What is it?

Ask.fm is one of the most popular social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by kids. It is an anonymous question and answer site that allows users to ask other users questions. The issues are that kids will often ask derogatory questions that target one person and due to its anonymity can create a virtually consequence-free form of cyber-bullying. Recently, there have been tracker apps introduced so that people can find out the username and/or IP address of those who posted questions.

The message we portray in school is clear. Nothing is anonymous and what goes online, stays online. We make our students aware of their digital footprints and how this may impact on their future.

Image

Facebook

What is it?

Facebook was started in 2004 in the United States as a way for some college kids to stay in touch when they had left campus and it’s evolved since then to become one of the largest social networks in the world. Facebook is an online social networking site and has over 1 billion users. Facebook allows you to create a profile on yourself, communicate with friends on Facebook, share your thoughts and pictures, plan events or join groups.

Image

Sexting

What is it?

Sexting is a growing activity amongst children and young people where they share inappropriate or explicit images online or through mobile phones. It can also refer to written messages. It may be common but 'sexting' is illegal. It is illegal to take, possess or share 'indecent images’ of anyone under 18 even if you're the person in the picture. By sending an explicit image a young person is producing and distributing child abuse images and risks being prosecuted.

What can I do to reduce the possibility of sexting?

The most important way to keep your child safe is to discuss the dangers of 'sexting' and to be supportive if problems do occur. CEOP have produced a ten minute video on the consequences of sexting which makes students realise the potential dangers of this online activity which can be viewed by clicking here.

Image

Useful Links

The following links provides useful advice for parents and general websites which provided guidance and support on a range of e-safety issues.

Childnet International
Beat Bullying
Think U Know
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP)
O2 Parental Advice
EE Parental Advice
Vodafone Parental Advice

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Spot the signs’ leaflets for professionals, services, parents and children and young people can be downloaded from Barnardo’s at:

//www.barnardos.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/cse/spotthesigns.htm

Barnardo’s information, including the ‘Cut them free’ campaign:

https://www.barnardos.org.uk/cutthemfreeappeal.htm