St Georges Church of England Academy

St George's
Church of England Academy

Online Safety


 The internet has changed all of our lives particularly our children's.  At St George's Academy, we strongly encourage sensible use of digital and online technologies.  They open up huge possibilities for learning for all of our children, children can use the internet to research new information, as well as connecting to children they know online or vis mobile phones.

For parent and carers, this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of, particular the need to ensure your child's safe and responsible use of technology.

This section of the website is dedicated to bringing you information and links about how to keep your child safe on-line.  If you have any questions or queries, please contact the school and speak to a member of our Computing or PSHE Team.

Risks your child may face online

The 'thinkuknow' website has lots of information about the possible risks your child faces online. Clicking on the hyperlink to their site below will take you to some practical, primary-school appropriate information about things such as:



Inappropriate websites

Losing control over pictures and video

Viruses, hacking and security.

What can you do to help

As a parent or carer you have a challenging job: you need to know what your children are doing online and also to help them to do it in a safe way. With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the best way to stay informed is to get involved! Conversation starters might include watching some of the videos on the 'thinkuknow' website together and talking about them afterwards, or asking your child to teach you how to do something online. You can use these discussions as a basis for reaching family agreements about how the internet and mobile phones should be used at home.

The most important thing to do is to talk to your child about their online behavior; what sites they visit, how they behave and what they need to do if something happens online or via mobile phone that makes them feel unhappy, uncomfortable or afraid.

The Centre for Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) recommend that access to the internet should be via a computer or device kept in a family room, not in the child’s bedroom or away from where an adult would be able to see what they are doing and who they are communicating with.

If you are speaking with your child about e-safety and they say something that concerns you, don’t panic – try to keep an open mind. Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken. Provide a quiet, calm place where they can talk about what is happening. Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do. It may not be easy for a child to talk about their concerns so it is important to try to find out how they are feeling, what has happened, when and where. However, at this stage it is not so much about establishing a set of facts as listening, encouraging and talking – it could be that through your discussion your concerns will be allayed as you understand more their experiences and feelings.

We also recommend the following:

  1. Don’t deny access to technology. This may prevent your child from speaking to you about their safety online. Some of our students are worried that if they tell someone about anything bad that has happened online, their access to the internet or phone will be removed. The best thing we can do for the children is to teach them how to deal with technology, not to avoid it.
  2. Discuss online safety with your child. Explore the tools available together and know how to report nasty messages or inappropriate behavior.
  3. Save the evidence. Encourage your child to save the evidence of any messages they receive. This is so they have something to show when they do report the issue.
  4. Don’t reply. If your child is experiencing cyber-bullying, most of the time the bully is looking for a reaction when they are teasing or calling someone nasty names. Tell your child not to reply. If they do they’re giving the bully exactly what they want. Instead, they should tell someone about what they have seen.

Buying Devices this Christmas - an online safety guide for parents

 Whether Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or your Christmas shopping is on the horizon – here’s how families can ensure that children and young people can enjoy and stay safe with any new technology and devices they may receive.

Is that the sound of sleigh bells ringing? The holiday season is almost upon us, with many parents and carers across the UK looking forward to Black Friday (Friday 24th November) to grab the best deals for gifts ahead of Christmas.

We’re sure that many young people have devices on their Christmas list, whether that’s a tablet, phone, games console – the list goes on!

Getting a device can be an exciting time for young people, and there may be considerations for parents and carers to make as they consider buying it.

These top tips will help you prepare for giving your child a device as a present and establishing ongoing conversation and guidance with your child about their relationship with it.

Research the device

Using a search engine can be a great way of finding out what other parents and carers are saying about the device that your child has asked for, and how it has affected other children and young people. Asking around in your circle or at the school run is bound to give you a range of opinions, too.

Common Sense Media is a website which reviews games, apps, services and more to help you decide if something is appropriate for your child.

Once you have settled on a device, have a look out for any parental controls you can put in place, and take a look at the privacy settings available.

Set up the device ahead of your child opening it

A great way to ensure your child starts their experience in the safest way is to get the device set up before you give it to them.

Once you’ve researched the device, you can charge it up and have a go at putting in place some safety settings and parental controls to help you feel comfortable with your child using it.

If you are gifting a second-hand device to your child, you can make sure that the device has been reset to factory settings before you give it as a gift. This means that any apps or settings that are already on the device have been removed, and you can start with a blank slate.

On Android devices  you can restrict what content can be downloaded in Google Play.

On Apple devices you can go into Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time to help block and limit specific apps and restrict explicit content, purchases and downloads.

Although setting these parental controls is a key step towards keeping your child safe online, it is important that this is not done in place of open conversations.

For more on parental controls, visit Childnet webpage.

Family Agreements

Childnet Family Agreement instruction page


A Family Agreement

A Family Agreement is a fantastic starting point to help you to establish boundaries and set expectations around your family’s device usage.

It’s a great way to discuss how everyone in the family uses the internet. A family agreement can be a can be updated as new devices are brought into the house, or when the way your family uses technology changes.

Updating an existing family agreement when your child receives their new device allows them to know where they can use it, how long for, and whether they need permission to download apps or make purchases.

Download and print the Childnet Family Agreement here.

Have a conversation

It is important that your child knows that if they encounter something online that they haven’t seen before, or something that worries or upsets them, they can turn to you for help.

Whilst we always recommend that parental controls are enabled, they can never be 100% guaranteed to block inappropriate content.

Therefore it’s important to give practical safety tips to your child in the case of coming across unwanted content, whether that’s teaching them how to use report and block tools, or to turn the device off and speak to an adult they trust.

Often, children and young people can find opening up to an adult about things they’ve seen online daunting, so having regular check-ins with your child provides them with plenty of opportunity to talk things over.

Remember to be curious and not furious – if they know it isn’t their fault and you help them to overcome their issue, they’re likely to come back to you to speak about any future issues.

Whether it’s asking what apps and sites they like to visit, or encouraging them to help you with something online, here are lots of ideas to kickstart the conversation!

Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust

St. George's Church of England Academy is a member of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust which is a company limited by guarantee (company number 10847279) and an exempt charity registered in England and Wales at The Cai Building Cable Dean Royal Quays North Shields Tyne and Wear NE29 6DE