Parents need to start talking with their children about e-safety as soon as the children start using computers and screens. Periodically they need to make sure that this communication remains open: asking what they are doing, looking at their activity, and helping them understand the dangers of online activity.
Your children should expect you to look at their messages weekly.
We especially need your support in making sure that appropriate behaviours are encouraged with respect to electronic messaging and posting. One guiding principle that we teach the children is, “Would you say that in a conversation if all the people it may affect were there?” Another, is that there is no such thing as ‘private’ on the internet.
The internet and electronic messaging is a huge positive force but children should lose their right to access it if they use it in a negative or inappropriate way, until they have regained trust. At least twice a year we have to manage a problem where the children have put themselves at risk of compromising their safety.
More specific guidance is to be found within the Home/School Book. Parents should familiarise themselves with the resources on the following link- available also from the school website. These are the resources the children principally use in school.
Whilst mobile phones are the latest ‘must-have’ accessory, we can see no purpose to children having them before the run up to secondary school. If they are to be brought in to school because of after school and child care arrangements then they should be handed to the class teacher for safe-keeping at the end of the day.
We believe that the current climate around Social Networking, access to platforms like SnapChat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, is a huge experiment with our children’s psychology. Our anecdotal evidence is that children under the age of 11 do not have the emotional maturity to handle these environments well and our very generalised advice would be to not give them access. We may have to ask you to completely take your child 'off-line' if we are to help you solve some relationship and on-line safety issues. We often find ourselves unpicking issues that have started at home in online environments in which no-one seems to have any control. (See earlier request about parent’s monitoring their child’s internet based activity)
Children need mixed environments and experiences and screen time needs managing as the design of games around dopamine hits can make them very addictive. I think we all experience a different quality of concentration between making and crafting physical things, reading books and reading and making on screens and so we appreciate parents creating routines at home that incorporate a diversity of experience and activity for children.
There are also some really useful 'Device Specific' guides to Parental Controls available on this site: InternetMatters.org