Wellbeing at Teesdale Primary School
Thank you to those parents/guardians who had a chance to read through my last wellbeing newsletter item and provided feedback or reached out for support.
This fortnight, I wanted to touch on a topic that all families will need to navigate at some point…cyber safety. I believe it is important to consistently revisit cyber-safety expectations and recommendations to ensure the safe and appropriate use of devices at school and at home.
Many families may be unaware that Apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Discord are all age-rated 13+ and children under these ages should not be accessing these apps at all until they are at least 13 years old. Use of such apps can and often do expose children to inappropriate and potentially damaging content. Due to the private nature of many of the 'communication' apps, it can be very challenging to monitor content shared.
We strongly recommend you delete any of the above accounts that your child can access. Please note that deleting will only deactivate the accounts. After 30 days of no use, the app will then be permanently deleted. Throughout the 30 day period, we recommend checking your child’s/your phone to ensure they have not reactivated their account.
We respect that your child’s social media use is a family matter. We cannot force families into any actions, but we can encourage you to monitor your child’s phone/device use and delete apps that they are not yet able to access. We leave this with you to discuss with your child.
Whilst many families are aware of the features of commonly used communication apps, seemingly ‘child-friendly’ games, such as Roblox, also have pop-ups and chat features, which can expose students to age-inappropriate content. It is strongly advised that parents review and implement parental controls on Roblox.
It is also recommended that when children are using devices at home, they should be in the same room as an adult so there is supervision of the content they are viewing. This includes not wearing headphones so adults can hear what is being said or listened to online.
Parents are encouraged to develop expectations for use at home e.g. limit to certain locations within the home, time-periods, so that they can monitor the usage of devices by their children. It is the parents' responsibility to monitor and filter the usage of devices at home.
At school, we provide a filtered internet service to block inappropriate content and some applications cannot be accessed through our internet service.
We will continue to develop our student’s understanding of cyber safety each week at school and provide the students with the tools they need to be safe users online.
Please find below a list of age-restricted apps for your information.