Jul 052017
 
snapchat icon

You have probably seen the press coverage about Snapchat’s new feature and the potential risks for young users but what will you do about it?

 

As ever it is important that you understand the features of Snapchat yourselves and that you discuss the risks with your daughters.  The most important thing is to make sure that the settings your daughter is using will keep her safe.  It is easy to change the settings and this advice from NSPCC is very clear.

Additionally the NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign is a very useful resource for parents who want to know more about the most popular apps currently available.

 

 

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/news/snap-map/

What Do Y8 Think About The Internet?

 Uncategorized, esafety, English  Comments Off on What Do Y8 Think About The Internet?
Feb 212017
 
Internet-Document-icon

How can you be safer on the Internet?

Year 8s talk about how to be safer on the Internet.

 

Many of you will use the Internet every day, because some of you can look up some good things. The internet is a fantastic tool to chat with your friend. Some people can find different pictures like boys and drawings. Some of you lot can chat to your friends and face time them on the Internet.

 

Whilst the Internet is a good tool, you need to be careful about other people who are using it. Weird people can say rude things about your body. They can try to find your number and your address. Mrs Shorrocks said that “We should report the person if they being rude and you can block them.”

 

Some of the teachers are worried about us using the internet, they want to make sure we are being careful. We can find pictures and we can play games. It has been found out that 70% of people are being rude. Emma said that “We can talk to our friends but we can’t talk to weird people.”

 

Here are a few top tips to be safe:

. You can block them

. You can report them

. Don’t put pictures up of your body

 

So  remember to be safe. Don’t forget to show what you are doing to parents or teachers.

 

Louise

Screentime and Wellbeing – Guidance for Parents

 Uncategorized, Whole School, Student Council, Community Links, esafety  Comments Off on Screentime and Wellbeing – Guidance for Parents
Feb 212017
 
chart 1

Screen Time and Wellbeing

Introduction

There has been much interest in the amount of time our teenagers spend online and looking at a screen and speculation about the possible impact on their wellbeing.  Particular concerns have arisen about the light that is emitted from our mobile devices and how these affect our brains and our ability to sleep.  This concerned us here at Alfriston because lack of sleep affects the memory and learning capability of our pupils.

However, recent research, from Oxford University, suggested that screen time can have significant beneficial effects on young users.  They found that digital connectivity enhanced creativity, communication skills and development.  They suggested that there is an optimal amount of screen time or a “Goldilocks” zone as they put it, about two hours on a smartphone each day, for example.

 

Our Survey

We decided to ask our pupils what they thought about some of these issues and to formulate some guidance for parents.

 

The Student Council formulated some questions and issued a questionnaire to our pupils.

Do you enjoy using the Internet?

Do you think the Internet is mostly safe or unsafe?

Do you think using a computer or tablet etc late at night interferes with your sleep?

Do you talk to your parents or other adults about the things you do on the internet?

How long do you think it is reasonable to be using your device each day?

From what time do you think it would be reasonable for parents to say you must stop using your device?

Is it OK to use your device at the dinner table?

Is it OK to use your device when there are visitors to your home?

Is it OK to use your device secretly (eg without your parents knowing)?

Is it reasonable that your parents or other adults should be able to look on your device to see what you have been doing?

Have you ever been bullied online?

Have you ever been mean to somebody else online?

 

Our Findings

We were not surprised to find that the vast majority of pupils enjoyed using the Internet.  However, it was surprising that so many of them considered that, on the whole, the Internet is unsafe.

chart 1 chart 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

This seems to underline the importance of making sure that parents and other adults are equipped to support our pupils through their online experiences.

Most pupils also assessed that using their devices late at night did affect their ability to sleep well

chart 3

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, the majority of pupils were also accepting of the idea that it was reasonable to limit the amount of time and the latest time that they should be allowed to use their devices.

chart 5 chart 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it came to questions of netiquette, our pupils also had some clear cut views, although they were divided on whether parents should look on their devices to see what they were up to.

 

chart 6 chart 7 chart 8 chart 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was pleasing to find that the number of pupils who consider that they have been bullied online is relatively small and the number who admit to being mean to others is even smaller.

 

chart 10 chart 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonetheless, any amount of bullying is too much and we should all work hard to ensure that the Internet is a positive and pleasant place to visit.

The theme of Safer Internet Day 2017 was “Unite for a better Internet” and we encouraged our pupils to do just that.  They can assess their own contributions by asking themselves 3 simple questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it kind?

If the answer is no at any point then they should not post, share or send.

With the results of this survey in mind, and other research findings, we have put together some guidance notes for parents and carers and hope that you will find these useful.

Screen Time and Wellbeing

Guidance for parents

  • Don’t prevent your daughter from going online and don’t block everything that might interest her
  • Be a good parent. Know where your daughter goes online, what she is doing and who with
  • Engage with your daughter in the online world – keep a dialogue going about what you each do on the Internet. Create an environment where she is happy to talk about what she does online.  Don’t wait until there is a problem before you start talking about it.
  • Respect one another’s privacy as far as possible – the extent to which you do so will depend on your relationship with her and her maturity
  • Share your knowledge about how to keep safe and your expectations for kind and positive behaviour
    • Be a good role model in everything from privacy settings to the content of your posts
  • Have rules which you both agree to:
    • No devices during dinner
    • No devices in the bedroom
    • Limit the use of devices when you have visitors
    • No devices after 9pm – or earlier if your daughter goes early to bed – allow 1 hour of screen-free time before bed
    • No pictures of others unless they have agreed
  • Aim for a daily limit of 4 hours of computer time, 2 hours on a smartphone and less on online games
  • Know how to react to instances of cyberbullying
    • Don’t over react, never retaliate: report, block and keep a record

 

 

In addition, please read the topical and very helpful blog from Parent Info which is streamed to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/alfristonspecialschool, where you can also see our Twitter feed and read the school blog.

 

References

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-01-13-%E2%80%98goldilocks-amount-screen-time%E2%80%99-might-be-good-teenagers%E2%80%99-wellbeing

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/127500/20160126/this-is-how-your-tablets-smartphones-can-affect-your-sleep.htm

Jan 162017
 
Internet-Document-icon

The School Council members have been talking about our use of technological devices and how it impacts on our lives.  We are thinking of writing some guidelines for parents about the sort of rules they should impose at home.  The girls are collecting opinions via pastoral groups and some girls are completing more detailed questionnaires.

 

It seems to be a very hot topic at the moment and there were articles in the national press just this weekend.  There has been concern about how screen time affects mental health and general wellbeing.  Here at Alfriston, we have been particularly concerned about effects on sleep patterns.

 

However, this latest research, from Oxford University, suggests that screen time can have beneficial effects on young users.  They claim that digital connectivity may enhance creativity, communication skills and development.  They suggest that there is an optimal amount of screen time or a “Goldilocks” zone as they put it, about two hours on a smartphone each day, for example.

 

It will be interesting to see what our pupils think on the matter.  If you have any strong opinions or just want to comment on your experiences with your own children, I would be pleased to hear from you.

 

We hope to publish our guidelines in time for Safer Internet Day on February 7th.

 

 

Please address any comments to Ros Shorrocks on

office@alfristonschool.com

Nov 012016
 
boycode

When the fabulous boyband Boycode agreed to visit Alfriston, we were delighted not just because of their entertainment value but also because of the important message they brought about online safety and cyberbullying.

They didn’t claim to be experts but since they were at school just a few years ago, they felt they knew first hand exactly what pressures the girls might be under and they urged the girls to make the right decisions in life with respect to online safety, bullying and discrimination.
Their top tips for online safety were:
• Never give out personal information, such as telephone numbers, home address or details about your school, college or place of work – sometimes you don’t know who will end up with this information and what they could do with it.
• Never agree to meet someone you are in contact with over the internet. Remember, not everyone is who they say they are. If you don’t know who they are, how do you know they are a real person? People can easily set up fake profiles, with a picture that isn’t of them (use a story) – Catfish the TV show on MTV – Shows how many people actually pretend to be other people on the Internet, you don’t know that you are actually speaking to that person
• If someone says something that makes you feel upset, uncomfortable or threatened, save the messages but do not respond. Then tell a parent/carer/or report it online – If you respond you can make things worse and escalate the situation. Make the right decision and be the bigger person
• Never send pictures of yourself or any of your friends or family to anyone you meet online that you wouldn’t want other people to see. Once you send it, it could be sent/shown to other people, so if you wouldn’t want other people to see it – don’t send it!
• Follow the rules your parents/carers have set when using the internet
• Remember – spending too much time online can effect concentration, education, sleep and health
• Keep your profiles private – Check your privacy settings and keep everything private so not strangers can see any of your personal information
Report it and block it if you find something on the internet that makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
They also offered some helpful advice just in case the girls do fall victim to cyber bullying:

What to do

• Ignore— If you’re the victim of “minor teasing or name calling” ignore it if you can avoid it. Sometimes bullies are encouraged by seeing a reaction and the situation can become a lot worse.
• Record—Keep a record of bullying messages you receive. If you can show an adult either the messages themselves or a diary of when you received them, it may be easier to verify what went on and who the bully was.
• Reach out—Your parents, your teachers, your friends, and even police officers can help you deal with cyber bullying or discrimination. Speak to people that you trust. There is no reason to suffer alone when you are the target of bullying.
• Cut off the bully—The National Crime Prevention Council advises victims to stop all communication with the bully when possible. If it’s cyber bullying you may be able to block their phone number so you no longer receive their calls or texts. Facebook and twitter etc allow you to block other users so that they can no longer interact with you.
Report It— You can also report If you’re being bullied via a website, chances are that the bully is going against the website’s terms of use. Youtube, facebook etc have safety centres where you can report the activity and sometimes get the bully kicked off the site.

ceop

What Not to Do
• Sink to the bully’s level. Starting your own cyberbullying campaign against the bully will get you nowhere, it will only potentially make the situation worse
• Forward bullying content or messages. If someone sends you a bullying message, forwarding it to a friend only expands the problem. You never know how far an email chain can go.
• Believe the bully. Don’t let bullies destroy your self-esteem. No one deserves to be harassed. Bullies are cowards and their actions are often more about their own problems than they are about you. When bullying gets you down, talk about it with someone you trust who can build you back up.

Since the boys’ visit we have had an internet safety week in school when all the girls reflected on questions related to cyberbullying. In the upper school, pupils heard about the tragic story of Felix Alexander and the heart breaking open letter his mother wrote to the press. We all agreed that we should commit to BE KIND online and that if we are feeling bullied or lonely, it is so important to talk to someone about our feelings.
This is what Sophie wrote to Felix’s mum:

Dear Mrs Alexander

I am really sorry for your loss. I will try to be the better person and be kind to my friend and not hurt their feelings I will support my friends in every way even if they are going through hard time. If they are being bullied and together we can tell someone or ChildLine. I will do everything to stop them killing them self. I will never post any unkind messages to anyone.  If we all remember to be kind there will be no more cyberbullying ever. It is very important to talk to someone if you are worried or getting bullied and remember there is always someone you can talk to.

From Sophie

 
Meanwhile, if you want to hear Boycode for yourself of follow their progress you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Feb 012015
 
PHONE02

 

 

Despite all the technological development that has evolved, the ‘unstealable’ mobile is yet to be designed, and with the increased functionality of our smart phones, comes an increase in mobile phone crime:

  • There are 2 million phone thefts every year, with children and young adults the most likely victims.
  • Mobile phone theft now accounts for about 45 per cent of all thefts on the London Underground.
  • Two thirds of robberies are committed by offenders working in groups.
  • About a half of all street robberies in Britain involve mobile phone theft and almost half of these victims are aged between 12 and 16.

Given that an increasing number of younger children are using mobile phones and apps, often carrying mobile phones for personal safety and keeping in touch, we need to ensure that we are not in fact endangering our children.  We need to educate ourselves and our young people about the risks and how to reduce it and perhaps we should all be more diligent when using mobile phones.

The Out of Your Hands campaign offers some good advice.

To stay safe when you are out with your phone:

  • Try to keep your mobile separate from your keys, purse or wallet.
  • set your phone to silent and keep it in a pocket.
  • In busy public places, keep your mobile in an inside pocket or hold it inside your bag.
  • Don’t use your mobile in a place where you feel unsafe, unless it is an emergency. Move to a safer place if you can.
  • Avoid alley ways and short cuts that are away from main roads – especially if you are alone.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be home.

Take special care anywhere crowded:

  • On buses, trains and the underground
  • Concerts
  • Entering or leaving rail and tube stations

If you are buying a secondhand phone:

visit a site such as CheckMEND to find out if the item you’re buying has been reported lost or stolen. www.checkmend.com/uk

Register your phone

Your mobile network should have a way of blocking your phone within 48 hours of you contacting them, so the phone is then useless to anyone else.

Also special websites such as www.immobilise.com  help to fight this type of crime and work to return property to its rightful owner.

When a mobile phone is made, it is given a unique electronic serial number known as the IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity.  By registering this number with Immobilise, your mobile handset can be blocked if it is lost or stolen. This makes it unusable on any network.

Here’s what to do:

1.Dial *#06# on your mobile phone to display your unique IMEI number.

2.Make a note of it on the front of this booklet, then use it to register your mobile phone at www.immobilise.com

3.If your mobile phone is lost or stolen and you don’t know the number of your network provider, call 08701 123 123 for further information.

 

Even with the help of Immobilise we can’t stop thieves accessing the web from wifi enabled handsets, or more importantly, from accessing your personal details. So make sure you password or PIN protect sensitive information, or better still store it away from your handset in a password protected email account. You can also download the technology to track and even communicate with perpetrators using apps such as ‘Find My iPhone’, ‘lookout mobile security’ and ‘Norton mobile security’.

Make sure you stay safe when you are using your mobile phone!

www.outofyourhands.com

 

Oct 232014
 
Internet-Document-icon

Internet-Document-icon All of these stories serve to remind us that sadly, the Internet can endanger, as well as enrich, the lives of our children.

All ICT lessons this week have been given over specifically to e- safety and responding to the concerns about what we are hearing in the news. Older pupils are discussing the pitfalls of sexting and, indeed, posting any photo that might be compromising. This is particularly relevant given the Snapchat news which has underlined the fact that once your photos go online it is very hard to control what happens to them or who can see them. Other pupils are learning that it is not safe to assume that you know who you are talking to online and therefore you should never meet up with somebody you only know through online communications. Our new pupils are learning the SMART rules which still offer good sensible guidance on what to do or not to do online.

The girls are bringing home the latest edition of the Digital Parenting magazine to help reinforce these messages. Please take a look through the magazine; it is full of really useful advice.

Of course if you have any concerns about how to help your daughter or ward stay safe online please contact me at school.

 

Mrs Shorrocks

 

If you want to follow up on some of the news items, please try these links:

Snapchat: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29569226

Trolling: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29678989

National Crime Agency: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29692685

Feb 102014
 
SID2014Logo square

We have already started thinking about Safer Internet Day in school and pastoral groups are discussing what they can do to make the Internet even better than it already is. Our Monday assembly focused on this and some rules for staying safe on the Internet.

The day itself offers the opportunity to focus on both the creative things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role and responsibility that all stakeholders have in helping to create a better internet and that includes you!

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. But it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so why not take a look at the really useful advice from the SID website:

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers

The website also offers these top tips for parents and carers:

  1. Talk to your child about their favourite websites. Starting a conversation on a positive foot can lead nicely into a chat about online safety.
  2. If your child loves to use social networking sites, teach them about protecting their personal information by thinking about what they are sharing and who they are sharing it with. Show them how to use privacy settings, and how to block and report – and advise them to only accept friend requests from people they know in real life.
  3. Remind your child that showing respect for others online is just as important as showing it offline. Encourage them to think before they post and encourage them to show positive behaviour online.
  4. There are lots of ways you can advise your child about cyberbullying, if they are worried remind them to save the evidence and to always tell an adult they trust if something upsets them online.
  5. SID2014Logo-croppedThere are ways in which you can help to prevent your child from seeing inappropriate content online. Have you considered parental controls and filtering in your home and also on your children’s portable internet enabled devices?

Additionally, SIDtv will be streamed live from the website on Safer Internet Day. Tune in to the parents’ hour at 3pm or 7pm.

Your daughter will be asked to talk to you about making the internet better and she will be bringing home some conversation starters to get the ball rolling.  Please let us know how your conversations go.

 

 

Jul 102013
 
homesafe

HomeSafe Challenge

Alfriston is working with TalkTalk and The Parent Zone on the HomeSafe challenge. It’s an opportunity to learn more about internet safety and what your children are doing online. We know that keeping up to date with what kids are doing with technology can be difficult which is why we have joined this TalkTalk and The Parent Zone initiative to bring you the best available information. It’s also a chance for you to help us win some prizes for the school.

 

How’s it going to work?

Each term we’ll look at a different area of your family’s digital life and give you up to date information on what you can do with your children to keep your home safe.

 

We’ll also set a fun challenge for you to do with your family – we’d like you to join in, find out more, and win prizes for school. You’ll take part through Alfie’s Zone and we need 25% of our pupils’ families to join in to help us win!

 

What will be covered?

We’ll provide a leaflet at the beginning of each term, (starting in the Autumn term), explaining what areas will be covered as well as what challenge we’ll be asking you to take part in. There will also be more information on Alfie’s Zone if you want to know more.

 

Do I need to take part?

 

90% of UK children aged 5-15 have access to, and over 80% of children use, the internet at home.   46% of UK parents agreed with the statement: “My child knows more about the internet than I do”

 

Staying safer in a digital world is a whole new set of lifeskills. We hope that by working together we can support you in keeping your children safer online and help us all to enjoy the opportunities technology offers.

Jun 172013
 
PHONE02

Some girls in school have been learning about mobile phone safety. Please help all young people to stay safe and keep their mobile safe by registering them on the website at www.immobilise.com

 

Immobilise is the world’s largest FREE register of possession ownership details and with its sister site CheckMEND, the largest database of stolen property and blocked mobile phones.

 

According to the Mobile Life Youth Report three-quarters of young people have had their phone bought for them by their parents, while half have their calls paid for by their parents. If your child doesn’t already have a mobile phone then you may be considering purchasing one for them soon. When deciding which phone to purchase, consider their needs at this age and perhaps opt for a basic model, to make it less attractive in terms of theft or bullying.

 

6% of children aged 10 to 15 years reported unwanted and nasty emails or texts, or abusive postings on a website. [British Crime Survey, 2011]

 

1 in 5 boys and girls aged 6 to 9 years old reported being the victim of cyberbullying [AVG, 2011].

 

This is partly because children in the UK use social networks for longer than any other country and the advent of smart phones has made mobile social networking an any time, everyday pass-time. 1 in 10 of those questioned said they used Facebook, even though they were well beneath the minimum age limit of 13.

 

Mobile phones are stolen in about half of all street crime and in approximately a third of cases it is the only property stolen. [National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, 2010]

 

Registering your mobiles before they are lost or stolen, may help to recover the phone. In the event of loss or theft, the details of the handset will become available to Police and other agencies which may assist in its recovery, as well as provide those all important details for insurance purposes. Remember, however, that to have the phone blocked YOU MUST report the loss or theft to the network provider to ensure that it cannot be used to make calls by the finder or thief here in the UK. Call 08701 123123 for further advice.

Unfortunately blocking the handset from network use will not block access to personal information or online accounts which are not password protected, so encourage your child not to store sensitive personal information on their mobile unless it is password or PIN code protected.

 

A staggering 228 mobile phones are reported stolen every hour in the UK

[UK Technology, June 2010]

 

Remember to keep a note of your IMEI numbers and log on to www.immobilise.com for more information or to register your phones today.

 

Encourage your child to carry the pocket sized Watch it! Safety Tips and emergency numbers with them wherever they go, if this leaflet has not been given to your child you can download it from the parents section at www.outofyourhands.com where you will also find other useful information and support on mobile phone safety and cyberbullying.