In today’s world digital devices are everywhere – and they are always demanding some sort of attention – if we let them. We take the security of your children on the internet extremely seriously; it is very important that we work together to ensure they are safely using the fantastic resource of the online world. Whilst use of the internet and social networking sites is second nature to young people, they can often be swept along with what their peers are doing and lack an awareness of the many risks they are facing.
Research has shown that up to 80% of internet use will take place outside of the school environment on a range of devices. As a result of this, at St Thomas More we believe that teachers and parents have a joint responsibility in educating our young people in staying safe in the digital age.
For families understanding and creating ground rules at home is an important step in educating children about their relationship with technology. For many children this can feel like a power play on the part of the parents which becomes and exercise in control. We believe that it’s crucial to enter into a conversation with children about the following key themes to avoid the power play scenario developing.
We feel it is important to highlight that the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat) have a minimum user age of 13. We also feel parents need to be aware of the risks of underage use of sites, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not. Should you decide to allow your child of any age to have a social media profile we offer the following advice:
Through house assemblies, the pastoral program and lessons pupils will discuss the potential issues, hazards and precautions pupils can take when spending time in online environments such as chat rooms, online gaming worlds, IM, online shopping, email, SMS and social networking sites, More information about each of these topics can be found through the links in the “About” tab.
When using technology in school St Thomas More School has an acceptable use policy (AUP) that endeavours to ensure maximum online safety whilst we are in the school environment by educating all of our community and preventing access to non-educational sites.
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