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Although age restrictions of social media platforms are set to 13 years and older, Finton House School, an inclusive independent prep school in South West London, argues that it is never too early to start with E-safety training. As part of a wider initiative to address online safety, the School, in partnership with Childnet International, hosted E-safety training not only for pupils but also for parents and staff. Coincidentally, the Children’s Commissioner’s Life in ‘Likes’ report, published on the same day as the training took place on 4th January 2018, stressed that Year 6 and 7 (11-12 years old) is a crucial age for internet awareness training.
Our children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of technology from birth, and we are often unaware that even parents’ own usage of social media may affect their children significantly. Therefore, what previously only seemed to have been a commonly discussed issue in secondary schools, has now gained a lot of attention in primary schools and from parents of young children alike. Ben Freeman, Headmaster at Finton House School commented: “Giving children the knowledge and understanding of the risks they may face online as well as how to be responsible users of technology is now one of our school aims. Almost every day I read reports that reassure me we are absolutely right to make this an area of focus for us all.“
The School highlights that children need to have an understanding of how to handle digital friendships online and be aware of the dangers such as online predators and cyber-bullying from an early age. For example, children may not be aware that they are putting themselves at risk when posting an image with their school uniform in front of their home; but not only does this reveal where the child lives but also which school she/he attends. Therefore, a lack of awareness of the dangers, may lead to children revealing personal information on social media, without knowing that this may land in the wrong hands.
Media Coverage: In light of the recently published Children’s Commissioner’s report, Childnet International filmed our Year 6 pupils during their online safety workshop for a piece on the Channel 5 News about social media and primary aged children. Please see the video here.
If you would like more information about the topic, please refer to the
Children’s Commissioner’s report.
For questions about the E-safety training, please contact Childnet International under email@example.com
or +44 (0) 20 7639 6967.
If you would like to get in touch with Finton House School, please contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org
or +44 (0) 020 8682 0921.
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