Online Safety blogs

December 2022-Present

Percy Hedley School produces a weekly Online Safety blog, find them below.

Protecting Your Child's Identity: A Parent's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft

In today's digital age, identity theft has become a serious concern for individuals of all ages, including children. As a parent, it is crucial to be aware of the risks and take proactive steps to safeguard your child's personal information. In this blog post, we will explore the threats of identity theft, how it can impact your child, and share essential tips to help protect your family's identity online.

A Parent's Guide to TikTok: Nurturing Safety and Fun

In this ever-evolving digital world, social media platforms like TikTok have become increasingly popular, captivating the attention of children and teenagers. As a parent, it's important to be aware of what TikTok is, understand its potential dangers, and know how to keep your children safe while using this platform. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to navigate TikTok responsibly, ensuring your child's safety and enjoyment.

Understanding Snapchat: A Parent's Guide to Keeping Children Safe

In this digital age, social media platforms like Snapchat have become increasingly popular among young people. As a parent, it's important to understand what Snapchat is and the potential dangers and risks associated with it. In this blog post, we will explore ways to keep your children safe while using Snapchat and provide a list of organizations in the UK that can offer support and guidance.

Navigating the Digital Landscape: A Parent's Guide to Ofcom's New social media Rules

Ofcom this week announced in the news that they would be holding social media companies accountable in line with the governments new Online Safe Bill. In an era dominated by technology, our children's online safety has become more crucial than ever. Recognising the need for comprehensive regulations, Ofcom has introduced new rules for social media companies, aiming to create a safer digital space for our kids. We will explore the key aspects of the Online Safety Bill and how parents can stay informed and engaged in protecting their children online.

Are Your Kids Gaming Safely? PEGI Ratings Explained

In today's digital age, video games have become an increasingly popular form of entertainment for children and teenagers. However, as a parent, it's important to be aware of the potential risks that come with gaming, such as exposure to inappropriate content or online interactions with strangers. This is where PEGI ratings come into play. In the UK, PEGI ratings are used to inform parents about the suitability of a game for their child based on its content. In this blog post, we will dive into the world of gaming and PEGI ratings, discussing the types of games available and the importance of understanding and utilising these ratings to keep your kids safe while gaming.

The UK's New Online Safety Bill: A Breakthrough for Online Protection

In an age where the online world has become an integral part of our lives, ensuring the safety of its users, particularly children, has become a pressing concern. The United Kingdom's new Online Safety Bill, set to become law soon, is a significant milestone in tackling the challenges of online safety. In this blog, we will explore what the bill covers, who has been involved in its creation, who it will hold responsible, and how it aims to keep children safe.

Online Safety and Mental Health: A Parent's Guide

This week we'll explore the vital intersection of mental health and the digital world. As we celebrate Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10th October), it's crucial to recognise the profound impact that the internet has on the well-being of children and teenagers.

Cybersecurity Awareness & Fake News

Students this week have had an assembly on Cybersecurity awareness. Please see the attached information that was discussed with some of the students. Staff at school have been participating in their yearly online safety refresher training. They have looked at various aspects of online risk to our young people. One of the issues that was raised was ‘Fake News’.

Navigating Online Gaming Safely: A Parent's Guide

In today's digital age, online gaming has become a prominent form of entertainment for children and teenagers. While it can be a fun and educational experience, it's essential for parents to be aware of the potential dangers and risks associated with online gaming. This blog aims to shed light on these risks, provide practical advice on how to keep your children safe while gaming, and introduce organizations in the UK that can offer support and guidance.

Protecting Your Kids from Catfishing: A Parent's Guide

Some of Post 16 students are completing a unit award on ‘Catfishing’ this term. They may wish to discuss this with you, so here is some information to support. In today's digital age, our children are growing up in a world vastly different from the one we knew as kids. While the internet offers endless opportunities for learning and connecting, it also comes with its share of dangers. One such danger is catfishing, a deceptive online practice that can put your child's safety and well-being at risk.

Keeping Children Safe in Education: New Filtering and Monitoring Responsibilities for UK Schools - 14/9/23

The safety and well-being of children in educational settings have always been a top priority in the United Kingdom. In line with this commitment, the government regularly updates its guidance on safeguarding measures. One such significant update came in the form of the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) guidance, which introduced new filtering and monitoring responsibilities for schools. The new guidance is mandatory from September 2023.

Protecting Children in the World of Live Streaming: Dangers, Risks, and Safety Measures - 7/9/23

The digital age has ushered in a new era of entertainment and connectivity, including the world of live streaming. Platforms like Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live have transformed the way we consume content, with millions of people going live every day to share their experiences, talents, and thoughts. While live streaming offers many opportunities for creativity and connection, it also brings with it potential dangers, especially for children. In this blog, we will explore the risks associated with live streaming, offer advice on how to keep children safe, and provide information on UK organizations that can help.

Keeping Children Safe Online During the Summer Holidays

The summer holidays bring excitement and free time for children to explore and engage in various activities, including spending time online. While the internet offers numerous educational and entertaining opportunities, it also exposes children to potential risks and dangers. As parents and caregivers, it is crucial to ensure the online safety of children during this period. In this blog, we will explore the possible dangers and risks children may encounter online and provide valuable advice on keeping them safe. Additionally, we will highlight some organisations in the UK that can provide assistance.

Cyberbullying - 14/7/23

In today's digital age, where technology is an integral part of our lives, online safety has become paramount. One concerning aspect is cyberbullying, a harmful behaviour that affects individuals, particularly children and young people. In this blog post, we will explore why people engage in cyberbullying, the legal aspects surrounding it, what children can do to protect themselves, and the organisations in the UK that can be approached for help and support.

Safeguarding Online Spaces: Understanding the UK Government's Prevent Strategy - 6/7/23

Last month all education staff at school received a ‘Prevent yearly Update’ from one of the many local authorities that our pupils come from. In today's digital age, online safety has become a paramount concern. Governments around the world are taking measures to combat Radicalisation and ensure the well-being of their citizens. In the United Kingdom, one such strategy is the Prevent strategy.

Protecting Privacy: Understanding Online Safety and Consent in the UK - 29/6/23

This week most of Key stage 4 and Post 16 have Taken part in an assembly about Recording anyone without consent. I have included the presentation in the blog for you to browse. In today’s digital age, where smartphones and social media have become ubiquitous, the issue of recording and taking photographs of people without their consent has become increasingly prevalent. It is crucial to understand the legal implications and the importance of consent when capturing images or videos of others. In this blog post, we will delve into why people record or take photographs, what the law says about it in the UK, what children can do to protect themselves, and the organisations to which such incidents can be reported.

Protecting Children Online: Understanding Grooming and Taking Action - 22/6/23

In today’s digital age, children are increasingly exposed to online platforms and social media, making it crucial for parents and guardians to educate them about potential online risks. One such danger is grooming; a manipulative tactic employed by predators to exploit and harm children. In this blog, we will explore what grooming entails, discuss proactive steps children can take to protect themselves, and provide information about organisations in the UK where grooming can be reported.

Safeguarding Against Cyberbullying: Protecting Children Online - 8/6/23

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an integral part of children’s lives, offering countless opportunities for learning and connection. However, alongside the benefits, there are also potential risks, one of which is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can have devastating effects on a child’s mental and emotional well-being. In this blog, we will delve into what cyberbullying is, provide strategies for children to combat it, and highlight organizations in the UK that can assist in reporting incidents.

Thrive online from Childnet – 22/05/23

Childnet have produced a wonderful suite of resources for educators and parents/carers of SEND young people aged 11 years and upwards. These relevant resources are to help empower our young people to navigate their online world. The useful resources are broken down into three areas: Healthy online relationships, digital Wellbeing, and online pornography

Keeping Your Child Safe and the Law - 18/5/23

As you can imagine the news is littered with articles about children and young adults being convicted of online crime. Under the some of the newer laws of ‘Malicious Communication Act’ and the ‘Computer Misuse Act’. The internet is a wonderful leveller, allowing people to stay in contact and provide vast directories of information, some facts, and others’ opinions. Everyone also needs to realise that not everything is true that is published.

Artificial Intelligence - 11/5/23

Artificial Intelligence seems to constantly be in the news these days. Recently DR Geoffrey Hinton the godfather of Artificial Intelligence has spoken out regarding this topic. Dr Hinton was most noted for his work on artificial neural networks, sharing his working time with Google (Google brain) and the university of Toronto. He publicly announced his departure from google last week, citing concerns about the risks of artificial intelligence technology.

Autism Awareness - 4/5/23

Assembly this week was about Autism Awareness, celebrating Neurodiversity. Sometimes students’ perceptions of what they see on the internet can be very different to what is real and what is ‘Fake News’. Not everything or everyone that is online is genuine and tells the truth. This can be hard for all of us to gauge but it is slightly more complicated and challenging for some of our children at PHS.

Parental Controls - 25/4/23

The internet is an amazing place; the possibilities are endless on what you can achieve by surfing it. It is now a very vital part of life, connecting people throughout the world and allowing you to have experiences without leaving your home. Although there are millions of possibilities and positives; there is a negative side. Users can experience harmful comments, content that is disturbing and targeted at an older audience. The influence of this can be wide reaching and for some of our young people can have a lasting effect.

Emergency Alert on Sunday 23rd April 2023 at 3pm

As you may be aware there will be a national emergency alert to all phones on Sunday, below is the jargon free information that several Autistic charities are publishing currently to support with discussions around what will happen and why.

Personal Development Week - 27/3/23

This week the students have been off timetable as they have been experiencing different aspects of their own Personal Development. One of these segments relates to Online safety. Lower school have completed tasks on general e-safety and Upper school have investigated social media and gaming. This has included different social media sites and their age restrictions. Most sites require the students to be 13 years old or over. They have also examined the laws that relate to online safety such as the Malicious Communication Act and The Computer Misuse Act. Making sure that students are aware there are consequences to their actions. Consequences was also a theme for assembly last week delivered by Claire Hayden which gave context to this.

Christmas Holidays - 19/12/22

Enjoy every minute of your Christmas Holidays with your children. Some of them will have new devices and games and be online over the holidays more than they usually are. National online Safety Centre have produced some interesting factsheets to support them and you over this period. These factsheets are on: Setting up apps, games and software, Making the most of an online world this Christmas and setting up new devices.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - 12/12/22

Christmas is fast approaching, and I am sure that various computer games have been requested by your children no matter what platform they have. One that I am sure will be in some children’s stockings is ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ which is the latest offering from Activision.

County Lines - 9/12/22

You may have noticed over the last few weeks there has been several headlines both in the newspapers and on the television news about criminal activity called ‘County Lines’.