At St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School, we take the online safety of our pupils very seriously. We educate our pupils about the right ways to be safe when using the internet and e-mail and what they should and should not do.
We encourage all parents to safeguard their children and be aware of the dangers of children using the internet unsupervised. Parents are encouraged to read our e-safety policy in the Policy section of our website.
There are many websites that give excellent general advice and resources to parents who wish to keep their children safe online. These include Internet Matters, the NSPCC, Get Safe Online, and the UK Safer Internet Centre. We have also included a list of resources at the bottom of this page.
We also have a separate section on this website in the Children menu, entitled Staying Safe Online, which has some Top Tips for children to make sure they keep themselves safe when using the internet. Please do read this section, with your child, to help them understand safe behaviour when using the internet and social media.
Video Games present new areas of excitement and entertainment for children, but also bring potential risks, particularly when being used to play with strangers online. We recommend children never play games with a PEGI age rating higher than their current age. We also strongly recommend that parents understand and use the parental controls available to help keep children safe - instructions for some popular consoles are available by clicking the links below:
We recognise that older children might be starting to get mobile phones. Whilst we understand that parents may see these as a useful item to keep in touch with your child, especially before they go to secondary school, we also urge you to consider whether this item is necessary, certainly before Year 6 - child smartphone addiction is a recognised phenomenon and guarding against excessive use by setting screentime boundaries is important.
Whilst phones with give children the opportunity to access the internet, and with it access to huge amounts of knowledge and information, they can also present a potential risk. If not carefully controlled, children will have access to content you would never wish them to see and would be deeply upset if you knew they had, as set out by the government here - it is better to help keep children safe from the outset to avoid this risk. See the bottom of the page for some guides on how to enact parental controls for certain popular social media websites.
There are some very useful apps for helping you control your child's use of mobile phones. Family Link is a powerful tool for Android phones, whilst Apple has a variety of services to support parents in managing their child's device.
As with video games, we strongly recommend that children are not given permission to use apps for which they are below the legal age - this includes Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and many others. A full list of age limits for popular phone apps is available on the Internet Matters site here.
Parents should also be aware of their responsibilities when using the internet. Uploading or posting any text, pictures or video that upsets, offends or threatens the safety of any member of the school community, or which brings the school into disrepute, is not acceptable. We like to work in partnership with parents and we would welcome you to come into school and speak to staff if you have a problem.
If any parent or other adult ever witnesses any internet use by a member of our school community which they deem to be unsafe or problematic, we urge you to contact the school immediately to allow us to follow our safeguarding procedures and investigate the matter further. You can do this even if you do not know the names of the individuals involved. Please contact the school office on 01228 818201 and ask for the Safeguarding Lead.
Please look on our 'Parents' tab for further information and resources.