Dear parents and carers,

This blog post will feature a few key updates on online safety for parents. During lockdown, families and children in particular are using the internet more than ever. Families are constrained, our behaviours are changing and how we use the internet is changing. It’s now more important than ever that we support our children with how to be healthy digital citizens.

Our key pillars of online safety remain:

1) Talk to your child about how they use the internet,

2) Set boundaries and rules about how they will use devices.

3) Be a role model: no devices at the dinner table, encourage all family members to leave their devices out of the bedroom at night etc.

Safer Internet Day – February 9th 2021

February 9th is online safety day. The theme for this year’s day is reliability and trust – helping children to be critical thinkers of information they receive while using the internet.

To learn more about ‘fake news’, have a read of this PDF for parents:

At Lansbury Lawrence, we will be marking Safer Internet Day with activities throughout next week:

📣 An online lesson focusing on this year’s key theme

📣 Renewed focus on being kind online – and knowing what to do if you are upset about something on the internet

📣 Daily challenges linked to the Be Internet Legends program from Google/ParentZone.

📣 A weekly challenge which will focus on digital wellbeing and forming good habits with devices (see next Wednesday’s blog post for more details)

Is TikTok safe for my child?

The short answer: no.

The longer answer: TikTok – a video sharing social media site – has exploded in popularity since the pandemic started. The app, which has a minimum age of 13, has seen a huge increase in the number of users, in particular among primary age children. A number of increased privacy changes recently mean that parents can now link their child’s account to their own and ensure better control over how their child uses TikTok.

Despite this, the potential for children to be exposed to violent or highly sexualised video content is extremely high. If a child has unsupervised access, they can easily change their date of birth to get around the Direct Messaging restrictions and be vulnerable to direct contact from strangers.

As a school, we have been hearing reports of children at Lansbury Lawrence having TikTok accounts and using the app on a daily basis.

We strongly urge parents to not allow their child to use TikTok – the age limit of 13 years is in place for very good reasons.

A recent BBC Panoroma episode delved into the world of TikTok and highlight some very concerning issues. Please watch this documentary so you can learn more about how the TikTok app works and the very real safeguarding concerns facing our children who are allowed access to it.

BBC Panorama’s ‘Is TikTok Safe’ – “…a completely inappropriate environment for children”

Click here to watch the ‘Is TikTok safe?’ episode of Panorama on iPlayer.

Ollee – a virtual friend

Ollee is a digital friend for children aged 8-11, created by Parent Zone and funded by BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me initiative, which aims to make a difference to children’s emotional wellbeing. 

It’s designed to help children reflect on how they feel and to process their experiences with the support and help of their parents and carers – and it does this by offering them advice about a range of subjects: schoolfamilyfriends, their body, the internet and the world.

For each of these subjects, children can choose an emotion that matches how they feel about it:  happyangrysadconfusedfrustratedstressed or  worried.

Next, they can choose from a list of topics – for instance, a child who was worried about school might be able to select ‘I haven’t done my homework’ as the cause of their worry. Finally, they’ll see a page of advice about the topic, presented in child-friendly bite-sized chunks they can read then or save for later. 

To access the Ollee website with your child, visit this link or Google ‘Ollee’.

Be Internet Legends – Family Adventure

Google and ParentZone have updated their Be Internet Legends with a new program for families to access at home.

The Legends Family Adventure encourages families to work together to solve the mystery of a stolen toy – learning about how to be an internet legend along the way.

To start the adventure, click here!