Hello, my name is Stuart McDonald and I am an Assistant Head Teacher at St Cyres. I am also responsible for engaging, organising and leading on the challenging topic of Online Safety.
As you are aware, we supply your children with iPads and these have strict safeguards on them to filter troublesome sites and illegal material from reaching your child. Have a look and you will see that in order to access online, they have to sign in to their ‘Smoothwall’ account. Please feel secure in the knowledge that we can monitor and filter their adventures, even in the home.
We can’t however stop your child from browsing and engaging with these things on their phones, games consoles or personal devices. This is down to you!
I will be sharing some very useful articles and websites in the thread below to help you safeguard your child in what is an increasingly complex arena- the online world.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns or anxieties; or if you are more comfortable doing so, contact your appropriate Head of Year and they will liaise with me so that we can help you.
We are a 1 to 1 school and we are confident and proud of the devices we have shared with you, but as houses become increasingly smart, it is essential to educate yourself in order to safeguard your child in the online world.
Cheers for now, Stu Mcdonald.
Please see below- attached is a very straightforward ‘beginners guide’ to parenting in the online age- created by the NSPCC.
Hi there, I hope your Christmas period was festive- below are some safeguarding details particular to the consoles you may have bought your children. Very useful!
If the worlds of Google and Youtube have passed you by, please feel free to check out this helpful info sheet created by SWGfl.
Smart homes welcome the online world in through many areas- attached is a SMART tv and streaming advice guide, created by SWGfl.
Vodafone have produced some excellent resources and here is a digital copy of the last 2 editions. We expect to have physical copies for you to pick up in the coming weeks.
If it’s raining and you’re sending your children off to Game, please use the attached as a guide to what they should be bringing back!
Please see the latest, and quite straightforward rundown on ‘Fortnight’- the game half your household are currently addicted to online-
In the name of sharing, I have attached below some very useful tips on how to manage the ‘Big 4’ Social Media platforms. Going through these digital leaflets with your children, and by yourselves, will allow you to stay on top of your profiles and interactions. It’s also a very useful way of talking about Online Safety.
Whilst Summer is well and truly here, I imagine that some of your household are stubbornly holding on to their controllers. Attached is a useful leaflet on gaming safely.
And if they are out and about, ensure they are uploading and sharing in an appropriate and safe manner. Check this out!
Over the summer, when your child is online, they may unfortunately encounter nastiness or you may just want to remind them of the ‘online rules’- I have a website link below which can be used to engage your children as necessary. Though slightly Americanised, the advice and information the videos contain is of real value. Have a great summer with your children and stay safe!
Some useful advice on using your child’s images online, in case you wanted to get some post Christmas snaps on there!
As we are well into the Options processes for your children in Yr 8, 9 and 11- feel free to show them this weblink, whether they are interested in the world of IT or not. Better safe than sorry.
Over the next 2 weeks, why not engage in some discussion on Online Wellbeing with your child over some Easter eggs
Gaming ‘Loot Boxes’ and ‘Skin Betting’ at Christmas
After Christmas, be careful with the debit and credit cards that you use to attach to your children’s consoles and gaming. The ‘loot box’ function in your child’s gaming could cost you money and set them up to be more prone to gambling if their activity goes unchecked. We recommend a conversation and a specific amount like an Itunes card to be set up.
Below is an article form The Guardian on this subject.
Charity warns that betting features in video games harm young people. Call for overhaul of regulation amid fear that gambling is ‘polluting’ hobbies
Video gamers: most people aged between 11 and 24 consider buying a loot box or taking part in skin betting to be forms of addictive gambling, a survey by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found. Photograph: John Nguyen/PA
Betting-style features in video games, such as so-called loot boxes, are “polluting” young peoples’ lives and should be reclassified as gambling for over-18s, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has warned.
In a wide-ranging report, the charity added its voice to growing calls for a complete overhaul of gambling regulation in the UK, urging Boris Johnson to follow through on the Conservatives’ manifesto commitment to review it.
The RSPH singled out video games and sport as areas of concern, warning that products with gambling-style mechanisms, as well as increasingly subtle marketing tie-ups, allow betting firms to “sweep over the safeguards” intended to protect children.
Its report raised concerns over video game loot boxes – where players buy or earn randomised in-game rewards – and the rise of betting with “skins”, the term for items such as weapons and outfits that can be bought for money. The Conservatives’ election manifesto branded existing gambling legislation, introduced under Tony Blair’s Labour government in 2005, as “analogue law in a digital age” and promised to examine whether to crack down on loot boxes.
The RSPH called on the government to introduce legislation to classify such features as gambling, meaning video games developers would have to ditch loot boxes – a market worth £700m in the UK alone – or accept age restrictions on certain titles.
RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said: “Young people have told us that gambling and gambling-like activity are slowly but surely polluting hobbies and pastimes that have traditionally been beneficial to their wellbeing. Today, the vast majority of young people take part regularly in video-gaming and no doubt many will receive video games as Christmas presents.”
She added: “However, we, and the young people we’ve spoken to, are concerned at how firmly embedded gambling-type features are in many of these games. The rise of loot boxes and skin betting have seen young people introduced to the same mechanisms that underpin gambling, through an industry that operates unchecked and unregulated on the back alleys of the internet, which young people can access from their bedrooms.”
Clamp down on Fifa ‘loot boxes’, urges children’s commissioner
The RSPH cited research, funded by fellow charity GambleAware, that found that two in five young gamers bought loot boxes and that more than half believed video games could induce them to gamble. The youngest survey respondents were most likely to accept gambling-style products as a normal part of gaming.
Remember to check out the CEOP symbol on the main website, just in case! If you are experiencing any concerns, pick up the phone or email me on email@example.com or 02920352486.