At the Canonium Learning Trust we recognise that ICT is an essential resource that can support and enhance your child’s learning. In our academies we have a comprehensive range of tools and techniques for ensuring your children are able to access these resources safely.

The purpose of this page is to provide some guidance for ways in which you can support your child’s safe use ICT outside of school. If you are looking for links to appropriate ICT based activities for your child, please use the search function on your school’s blogs.

Communication

In school, we teach the children what is and isn’t appropriate to share with others on the internet. We often use videos, provided by CEOP, when discussing issues around communication. These can be found on YouTube.

Whilst direct messaging services like SMS and email are obvious methods of communication, primary age children are equally likely to encounter communication with others via games and apps. It is therefore important to know how and what you child is using. In school we reiterate what should not be shared (for example name, age, location, school name) and doing so as part of open discussion, at home, can support your child to make good choices.

Many devices allow parental control of different options, like disabling public chat features, and these can be found by searching for the app, device or game and the keywords ‘disable chat’ or ‘parental control’. This website from internet matters has a lot of practical advice on how to do this.

It is important that this is part of open discussion with your child so that they know why these features are being disabled. This will give them the confidence to speak openly if were to go wrong.

Internet Filtering

The internet can be a wonderful resource for inspiring and informing. It has content aimed at all age ranges. This can make it a challenge within the home, especially if you have children of different ages accessing it. Filtering can be a method of making this more secure, but it is not foolproof and should be used as part of a wider teaching of how to use it responsibly.

Most broadband providers will have filtering options. Depending on the service this might allow blocking key words or sites or by content. There are also other commercial options that allow you to restrict access to specific addresses going to different devices. One being piHole, an advert and popup filtering service (mentioned here because it is free and can be effective, although it does require a level of expertise to set up).

The above options can be useful within the home environment, but will not work on devices using mobile networks. Both Apple and Google do offer parental controls for their devices that can help in this situation. Google’s service is called Family Link and on Apple iOS they are called restrictions.

Social Media

Almost all social media websites (like Facebook) and media sharing apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter) have a minimum recommended age limit of 13. This reflects the fact that the content on these sites will, most likely, include things that are not appropriate for primary age children.

In school, making videos and taking photos is used to express creativity, share understanding or teach specific skills. We do share some of these via the school blog so that they can be seen publicly. We host the content ourselves (we don’t share it with other third parties) so we can remove it immediately if needed. This is not the case with many social media providers.

When we share content we strive to make sure of the following:

  • Children would only be able to be identified by those who know them (for example we don’t post names with photos or videos)
  • Personal and private information is never shared
  • Videos and photos are only shared if the families of the child have given consent

These guidelines can also be applied to sharing on social media outside of school. If you or your child do share content with others do be mindful of these three points. This ThinkuKnow page has further information about sharing content online and advice about getting content removed.

Useful Links

We hope this page has been of some use. It is not exhaustive and will continue to be updated as new technologies and services emerge. If you feel we have missed something, please let us know via the contact page.

Below are some other useful web-pages that you may find interesting or useful: