That being said, we must acknowledge the issues around the safe use, or rather unsafe use, of the internet. Whilst cases of cyberbullying, hacking, grooming etc. are far and few between, they do happen and it is imperative that we protect our students from this kind of exposure.
At TBS Warsaw, we proactively preach about safer internet usage, particularly with topics such as ‘fortnite’, ‘snapchat’ and ‘whatsapp’ being commonly discussed in the playground (yes, even in primary!).
Whilst we can monitor the usage at school, we are aware that this is not always the case for busy parents. We are also aware that children may not want to confide in an adult if something has happened online that is causing them to be stressed. See this video.
With this knowledge, it is the responsibility of all of us to educate our students/children about the dangers posed without frightening them and demonising the internet. Please see the advice below, taken from internetmatters.org, a website geared towards supporting parents with online safety.
Encourage your child to SPEAK so that you can SUPPORT:
- Create an environment where they feel safe to talk to you or a trusted adult about what they are going through.
- Check in with them regularly and ask open questions.
- Start conversations when you have sufficient time to talk at length.
- Open up and share your own online experiences.
- Be involved in their digital life on a regular basis.
- Be aware of signs of cyberbullying and keep an eye on their behaviour.
- Try to stay calm and don’t get upset or angry about what they are saying; resist the temptation to remove devices as this might lead to further feelings of isolation.
Remember, the school is also here to support you and offer advice if you have any concerns.
Year 4 Class Teacher (Edison)