Digital Well-being continues to be an important issue for schools, pupils and parents. At Bridgewater we are committed to ensuring that this is addressed to pupils routinely and regularly throughout the school year. Pupils receive a CEOP course in Year 7 and attend repeated assemblies/PSHE lessons to increase their awareness. Y8 pupils take part in a whole day devoted to safe internet use every February. We also run Parents’ Information Evenings as appropriate and update this part of the website with advice for parents/carers to ensure that you are better equipped to support your sons and daughters.
We have recently amended our e-safety policy (along with a full “360” review of our provision in collaboration with the governing body) and will continue to revise this as appropriate throughout the year. This can be found in the Safeguarding section of this page (entitled Online Safety Policy).
Bridgewater parents/carers also have access to the National Online Safety online resources including a training course for parents/carers. Click here for details.
NEW ADDITION – w/c 12th April – Snapchat
In addition to – but not altogether separate from – concerns over fuelling possible body-image issues, Snapchat has also garnered a reputation as a vehicle for sexting. The fact that messages can be set to auto-delete after 10 seconds can encourage (seemingly) evidence-free sharing of explicit selfies, particularly among teenagers.
But just because a picture digitally ‘evaporates’, it doesn’t mean the risk does too. Even if the image is shared with someone they actually know (as opposed to a stranger who’s befriended them online), sexting between under-18s is against the law – and it’s still possible for a picture to be saved and shared elsewhere.
Snapchat – Parent & Carer Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 8th March – WhatsApp
A chance to check out some new features WhatsApp has introduced. Why should parents and carers be aware of the ‘disappearing messages’ option? What has the app done to arrest the spread of fake news? And how does it help young people to start thinking more critically about things they might read online?
WhatsApp – Parent & Carer Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 1st Feb – Supporting children to express themselves safely online
Mental Health Week 2021 has adopted the theme of “express yourself”. Here is a guide for how pupils should do this safely online.
Expressing Safely – Parent & Carer Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 25th Jan – We Chat
WeChat is an all-in-one communications app for free text messaging, voice and video calls, photo sharing and games. Additionally, through “mini-programs” (apps integrated into the main WeChat platform), it becomes a one-stop shop by allowing users to do things like send payments, make purchases or book taxis, flights and hotels. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, WeChat is one of the world’s most popular social media downloads, with around 980 million active users.
In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as adult content, strangers and drug dealing:
We Chat – Parent & Carer Guide
NEW ADDITIONS – w/c 14th December
12 Christmas Online Safety Tips – New Devices
NEW ADDITION – w/c 9th November
The New Xbox Series Parent Guide
REPEAT ADDITION – w/c 7th September
Omegle Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 31st August
Triller Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 8th June
Microsoft Teams Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 1st June
Instagram Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 25th May
Facebook Messenger Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 18th May
14 Ways to be Kind Online
NEW ADDITION – w/c 11th May
PS4 Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 20th April
Netflix Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 13th April
Here are some very handy home activity packs which you can use with your children at home to support their online safety.
NEW ADDITION – w/c 6th April
Zoom Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 23rd March
Houseparty Parent Guide
SAFER INTERNET DAY 2020 – parent/carer materials:
Parents and Carers – Conversation starters
Parents and Carers – Family internet safety plan
Parents and Carers – Fun things to do
Parents and Carers – Get involved
Parents and Carers – Pack overview
Parents and Carers – Quick activities
Parents and Carers – Resource sheet
Parents and Carers – Understanding Safer Internet Day 2020
NEW ADDITION – w/c 13th January
Minecraft Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 6th January
TikTok Parent Guide
NEW ADDITION – w/c 9th December
12 Social Media Tips for Christmas
NEW ADDITION – 18th November
We are very shortly going to be launching our National Online Safety package to all parents/carers. In the meantime, here are some more very handy pieces of guidance:
NEW ADDITION – 30th July
We have a new subscription to National Online Safety, part of which is to receive guidance sheets on whatever the latest online/social media “craze” is. Here is their recent release about FaceApp along with some general guidance for parents/carers of children who use a Nintendo Switch or Virtual Reality:
FaceApp NOS Guide
Nintendo Switch NOS Guide
Virtual Reality NOS Guide
Our Esafety Ambassadors now meet regularly to help keep us all up to date with the latest apps and social media crazes which may be positive experiences for many but can have dangers of negative usage. The latest to be mentioned is called “Yolo”. See this very recent news piece for further information:
Our Y7 students were shown this PowerPoint in assembly today regarding the use of social media. It also contains this useful link containing guidance for pupils: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrln8nyVBLU&feature=youtu.be
Parents/carers should be aware of this new disturbing online challenge, “Momo”, directed at children:
Here is a list of websites for parents as recommended by Cheshire Police in their recent e-safety presentation at Bridgewater. The first is particularly useful in providing key summaries, including what the potential dangers are, of each new app/game that emerges.
Some parents may have read stories in the press relating to a game called Doki Doki or Doki Doki Literature Club. At the moment, police have warned:
We believe this game is a risk to children and young people especially those that are emotionally vulnerable and anyone with existing mental health concerns.
I would ask parents to check the sites their children are using on a regular basis, as websites like this aren’t flagged up by normal firewall settings.
It’s also really important to discuss with your children which games and apps are suitable, and ensure they understand why others aren’t appropriate to use.
If you see your child using content online that you don’t feel is suitable, please make sure you report this…so that the relevant agencies are informed and can assess the risk posed by that game or app.
Developed by the American-based Team Salvato, Doki Doki Literature Club was released last year and is free to download and play.
No proof of age required to play and the game comes with the warning: “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.”
A new platform has come to our attention called YUBO which is being dubbed “Tinder for Teens”.
Here is some information regarding this from National Online Safety:
As the game FORTNITE grows in popularity, here is a handy guide for parents created by the Safer Internet Centre:
..and here’s another from Common Sense Media:
As part of our commitment to Safer Internet Day, here is a new information sheet focused in particular on live streaming:
Live Streaming Ebooklet
Here is a new link regarding the use of the popular online game Roblox:
Here are some links to sites which offer useful advice for parents/carers: