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Gifford Primary School

Be Strong, Be Kind, Be Proud

Online Safety

What is online safety?

This is the safe use of the Internet for gaming and communication as well the understanding that information shared on the Internet (such as news articles) are not always accurate. It includes devices such as laptops, tablets, smart phones and games consoles. It is important that children and young people understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using and sharing information online.


 You can find Gifford Primary’s Online Safety Policy here.


How does Gifford Primary School teach Online Safety?

Children are taught about online safety in the Computing and RSHE curriculum as well as every time children use a device in school. Find out more here (link to overviews for both subjects)


Children are taught the SMART rules:

S - Safe: stay safe online by not giving out personal information.

M - Meet: meeting someone you have met online could be dangerous. Online friends are strangers.

A - Accepting: don't accept emails or messages from people you don't know.

R - Reliable: people online might lie about who they really are. Only chat online to your real-world friends and family.

T - Tell: tell someone (parent, carer, trusted adult) if you are worried about any online issues.


What parents need to do to keep children safe online at home?

Parents need to know the GOLD rules:

G - Ground Rules: parents must have ground rules.

O - Online safety: activate security settings.

L - Location: keep the computer in the family room. Prevent your child from using tablets in his/her bedroom, alone. Set time limits.

D - Discuss: talk to your child about what they are doing on the Internet.


Simple rules for keeping your child safe

To keep your child safe they should:

  • Have screen time limits and switch off times
  • Ask permission before using the Internet, tell you what they are doing
  • Only use devices in family space, not in bedrooms
  • Only use websites and games you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine
  • Only email and message people they know
  • Have limited use of Internet chat rooms (on games consoles or devices)
  • Not use their real name when using games on the Internet (create a nick name)
  • Never give out a home address, phone or mobile number
  • Never tell someone where they go to school
  • Never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet
  • Only use a webcam with people they know
  • Tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.


Using these rules

Go through the rules with your child. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Please reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access away from them.


Parent Control Apps

All devices (typically using Windows10, Apple iOS, and Android operating systems) provide for parental control apps.


The Internet Matters site allows you to select the type of device you have and shows you how to set parent controls. There is also a range of Apps to help.  Information given below can change, so do some research.


Apps vary but here are some of the features available:
  • Blocking access to inappropriate websites (pornography / gambling)
  • Blocking newly installed or undesirable apps
  • Preventing online purchases
  • Monitoring/logging all activity (websites visited, apps used, messages sent, hours used)
  • Setting total time limit device can be used. Can be for specific apps. Child must manage time allowance
  • Setting times that device can work/is unavailable (mealtimes, bedtime, etc.)
  • Showing and tracking location of child’s device
  • Most require a parent PIN code that must be remembered and not disclosed to the child
  • Some apps are “free” but might be limited to only one device, or only part functionality. You tend to pay to control multiple devices/get full functionality/avoid adverts.


Links & Descriptions

Block apps and websites. Set time limits for usage. No monitoring of usage.  This one is free!

Block apps and websites. Set time limits for usage.  No monitoring of usage. Free version limited to 1 device and part functionality.

Block apps and websites. Set time limits for usage on specific apps. See reports on how many hours children have spent on each app and at what time.  View device location.

Block apps and websites. Logs keystrokes, screenshots and websites visited.  Can also log microphone if used. Relatively easy to disable.

Controls access to websites. Easy for older children to circumvent.

Trust me 
New resource designed to support primary and secondary school teachers in exploring critical thinking online.

Helping to make the internet a great and safe place for children

Set time limits for device usage. Time allowance can differ across the days of week.


Useful parent guides

Internet Matters Tips: Things you need to know about Cyber Bullying

Internet Matters: Primary School Guide

Internet Matters: Parent Guide for ages 6-10

Internet Matters: Parent guide for ages 11-13


Please click on the links for more E-safety information:

Digital Parenting Magazine by Vodafone

Supporting Young People online

Using parental controls

Reporting to social media sites 

Safer Internet

Ofsted Webinar on Online Safety

Safe Search Engine




Useful tips for talking to your child

Talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you.