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, pupils 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 pupils. Training is provided on all aspects of e-safety including gaming, social media/uploads 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 pupils.

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 pupil portal and the CEOP alert button is located at the end of every page
  • The school has a dedicated e-safety committee which includes pupils, 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 .

Snapchat

What is it?

Snapchat is another social media/uploads application that allows people to send a brief video or message. Snapchat promotes that this message is then erased forever. 

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 pupils this application is only available for those 13 and over. Snapchat have updated facilities on their app since its first edition which includes SnapMaps and SnapStreaks which have become popular features with users. We urge parents to be aware of the features available on Snapchat so they can inform their children on the safe use of this popular app. 

A parental guide to this is available by clicking here.

Instagram

What is it?

Instagram is a social media/uploads 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 pupils 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 pupil 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.

More information can also be found here

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.

TikTok

What is it?

TikTok is an app that gives users the opportunity to create and share short-form videos with friends, family, and the entire world. The app is especially popular with teens and young adults, who enjoy using its tools to combine video, music, and graphics into fun sketches, and creative shorts. 

Parents can access a PDF parental guide by clicking on the following link. 

https://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/qg-tiktok.pdf

A guide for parents – Net Aware

TikTok’s Youth Portal has been designed to give young people and their parents and carers a place to learn about how to stay safe online, as well as information on TikTok’s safety tools and controls. TikTok’s family pairing mode lets you connect your own personal TikTok account to your child’s and gives you access to features to help manage screen time and who they can contact on the app.

www.net-aware.org.uk

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.

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 pupils realise the potential dangers of this online activity which can be viewed by clicking here.

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

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:

https://www.barnardos.org.uk/online-safety