E-Safety Information Evening for Parents
Online Safety Presentation
The e-safety night, held at school in January, was an overwhelmingly positive experience. The speaker, Alan Earl , Police Officer / Harm Reduction Office, gave a very positive talk to the small but receptive audience. He was positive about embracing IT as the future but very clear on the need to protect our own and our children’s privacy and how to do this.
When one in four children under the age of 8 own a tablet and 11% of two year olds can navigate their way around menus and apps, it is evident that education of both parents and children alike is the only way forward. Other incredible statistics included the fact that 1 in 10 children are given their first mobile phone before they are 5 years old and 63% of children get their first smartphone before they start secondary school. So he armed us with facts and figures and showed us how to protect our children online, while embracing the digital revolution.
The magazine Digital Parenting by Vodafone, that was made available to us, is a fabulous source of further information and advice. He opened our eyes to the computer/video games our children are playing and after showing some clips of 18 rated games, including Grand Theft Auto and it was obvious why these games have this rating and are inappropriate for our primary school aged children. However, as long as they are appropriate and used in moderation, video games can be a force for good, improving children’s spatial awareness and problem-solving skills, as well as boosting their creativity. His message was ‘play these games WITH your children’, so you have an understanding of what they are doing.
I found his talk invaluable, both as a parent and as a professional, and have been in contact with him since then. This has led to some exciting work with a professor at Plymouth University, who is conducting research into teenagers’ mental health and online gaming and social media issues.
I cannot recommend this evening highly enough. I hope the School
will not be dispirited by the low numbers, as I feel if this was an annual/biannual event, its popularity would grow as word spreads – all credit to Leckhampton Primary School for finding Alan Earl and giving us the opportunity to hear him talk!
Jo Johnson, Parent Governor