ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults.
Consequently, Beaumont Hill strives wherever possible to build in the use of these technologies in order to ensure our young people have the skills to access life-long learning and employment. E- safety alerts will be posted on the as they become available.
A copy of the E-Safety Policy can be found here E-Safety Policy.pdf
Information and Communications Technology covers a wide range of resources including web-based and mobile learning. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole. Currently the internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
· Email, Instant Messaging and chat rooms
· Social Media, including Facebook and Twitter
· Mobile/ Smart phones with text, video and/ or web functionality
· Other mobile devices including tablets and gaming devices
· Online Games
· Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments
· Blogs and Wikis
· Video sharing
· On demand TV and video, movies and radio / Smart TVs
Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much ICT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed. All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these internet technologies and that some have minimum age requirements (13 years in most cases).
In Beaumont Hill we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils on e-Safety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom. Our Emerging Technology lead is a trained CEOP Ambassador and is responsible for monitoring current e-Safety issues and ensuring staff, students and parents are confident with e-safety. Our VLE (FROG) site has its own online safety area where students can access up to date e safety information/fact sheets/online safety games and resources and more importantly easy access to the CEOP (Child Exploitation online protection) site where they can report online abuse. They can also report any online issues within the student portal and an alert email is sent to The Emerging Technology Lead.
The NCA's CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. We protect children from harm online and offline, directly through NCA led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies.
Reporting inappropriate content
If your child comes across any content that is not appropriate they can press the icon with three dots on the side of the screen and select ‘report abuse’ from the list of options.
Some useful websites for parents/carers are:
To report online abuse please click the report abuse button on the following link
Spring Term 2019
You may be aware of the recent article in the Northern Echo that warned parents about a popular YouTube character called Jeffy.
Here is some more detailed information about Jeffy that you can share with staff and parents.
What and who is Jeffy-
Jeffy the puppet is a popular character from the SuperMarioLogan universe of YouTube channels. The channels and videos have been around for over 10 years and are nothing new. The video content features popular plush toys from the Super Mario universe along with other plush toys, dolls and puppets acting out a variety of stories. These stories are often rude, offensive and bizarre in nature. The humour is very similar to what you would see in the popular TV adult cartoon show Family Guy or the movie Ted. The content in the videos feature a lot of toilet humour, use very explicit and offensive language which is often sexual in nature. The humour is often racist in content and uses a lot of racial stereotypes for some of its other characters. Some of the videos feature rude songs that are often repeated by children and young people.
The Channel is aimed at adults and it states on its homepage that the content is for a mature audience. In 2018 the people behind the channel added age restrictions to its videos to try to prevent children from watching them.
Jeffy who was introduced to the channel around 2016 is portrayed as a character with learning difficulties who often acts very inappropriately using offensive and sexually explicit language. He is easily recognisable as he always wears a blue helmet, a nappy outside his pants and normally has a pencil shoved up his nose.
Despite being targeted towards adults Jeffy has been a very popular character with children and young people for a long while now. You can even buy Jeffy dolls and t-shirts on Amazon and many other retail stores and despite the adult content in the videos the t-shirts sizes start from age 5 and up.
Over the years stories about Jeffy and the negative influence he can have on children have popped up in national and local newspapers across the world and despite this his popularity has grown. His video channel on YouTube has over 6 million followers from around the world. Jeffy’s most popular video has over 40 million views.
Jeffy is not going to go away anytime soon in fact Jeffy the movie is currently being made which will only lead to a further increase in popularity.
What can we do –
YouTube features millions of different videos and a lot of the content is not suitable for children. YouTube is also very difficult to moderate and as a result a lot of content that isn’t suitable for children often does not get flagged. You also need to be aware that content that has age restrictions on it are often copied and uploaded by other users without the age restrictions in place.
Parents and carers need to realise that not all content on YouTube is suitable for children and parental controls need to be put in place to prevent children from watching inappropriate content. However the best parental controls in the world can’t stop everything. Ideally primary age children should be supervised at all times when using YouTube to prevent them from watching inappropriate content such as Jeffy.
Autumn Term 2018
MoMo Some of you may of heard about the MoMo Game as it has featured in a number of newspapers in recent weeks and we have had reports about parents having issues with primary age children getting very upset after coming into contact with MoMo images online.
What is it?MoMo Game apparently began on Facebook and has now spread to YouTube and WhatsApp. It involves users receiving a message from an unknown source who challenges the recipient to complete various dares and orders which are gruesome, cruel and violent in nature. The final challenge apparently demands the user to commit suicide and the MoMo Game is currently being linked to the suicide of a 12 year old girl in Argentina. The controller of the game uses the attached image
of a women who is half bird an half human as there avatar. It’s this image which that we’ve been told has led to primary aged children becoming scared and upset. The image is taken from a sculpture that was designed for a Japanese Horror Art exhibition.
The trouble with the MoMo game is like Slenderman, killer clowns and the Blue Whale game it looks like it’s becoming a modern day urban tale/myth. There is very little evidence that people are playing it as it’s being reported in the press. What appears to be happening though is children and young people are sharing images about it and stories that they think are real and it’s having a negative impact upon some of them. YouTube now has a number of MoMo themed games/videos as well that involve jump scares and disturbing images that I imagine will spread it further and lead to sleepless nights for those scared by it.
What parents need to know:-
Awareness is key so we can support children and young people who come across it and are upset or disturbed by it. Pointing out it’s not real and encouraging parents and carers especially those of primary aged children to have appropriate controls and checks in place to prevent access to such material.
Omegle - is a free online chat and video chat website that allows users to socialize with others without the need to register. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously. Users must be aged 13 years plus and any one aged between 13 and 18 are encouraged to gain parental consent.
What parents need to know:-
Omegle offers a monitored service and an unmonitored service. The monitored service is supposed to protect younger users from inappropriate content including nudity and sexualised behaviour, however it has a reputation of not being very effective. The unmonitored service is pretty much anything goes and has a reputation for a lot of sexualised content and nudity. We have talked to a number of young people who have used Omegle and all have reported to seeing adult males and in some cases females naked and more often than not masturbating.
There is also a lot of reports of users dressing up as horror movie characters and trying to scare and intimidate others by making threats such as “I know where you live” and “I’m watching you”.
In our opinion Omegle is not suitable for children under 13 years of age due to the risk of being exposed to inappropriate and explicit content. Alongside this is the fact the site encourages users to chat and interact with strangers. We also find it hard to recommend Omegle for many users aged 13 and over due to the reasons already mentioned.
GroupMe is an app that doesn't charge fees or have limits for direct and group messages. Users also can send photos, videos, and calendar links.
What parents need to know:-
It's for older teens. The embedded GIFs and emoji’s have some adult themes, such as drinking and sex.
Teens are always connected. Without fees or limits, teens can share and text to their heart's content, which may mean they rarely put the phone down.
Whisper is a social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.
What parents need to know:-
Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post "confessions" of desire. Lots of eye-catching, nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.
Content can be dark. People normally don't confess sunshine and rainbows; common Whisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
Gaming parental controls information
Parental controls fact sheets from Safer internet centre can be found here
Safety fact sheets for gaming platforms, snapchat etc.
Online streaming warning
Twitch – is a live video streaming service for video gamers tostream live footage of themselves playing video games. Viewers watching your stream can type live comments about your stream as you play.
As of May 2018, it had 2.2 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users, with around a million average concurrent users.
To sign up for Twitch you must be aged 13+ and Twitch states on its website that The Twitch Services are not available to persons under the age of 13. If you are between the ages of 13 and 18, you may only use the Twitch Services under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Terms of Service.
The typical Twitch user is male and aged between 18 and 34 years of age.
What parents need to know:-
While Twitch is a legitimate platform enjoyed by millions of users it doesn’t come without issues particularly for younger users. Comments left on peoples live streams can be at times very abusive, negative and explicit. Female gamers who stream are often the target for abuse and receive offensive and explicit comments. Younger users are also known to be targeted for abuse by older users who see them as an easy target to wind up etc.
We are also aware of users becoming very upset and stressed when no one watches their streams or they receive negative comments. This is having a negative impact upon their self-esteem and confidence. Appropriate content is a major issue with regards to younger views as many of the games broadcast are not suitable with games such as GTA 5 and other 18 cert games broadcast. These broadcasts are often accompanied with a content warning on start-up but you don’t have to verify your age.
While we have seen a rise in primary age children saying that they are using Twitch it may not mean that they have an account as you can access Twitch streams without needing an account. You cannot leave comments on someone’s stream however without an account.
DOKI DOKI Warning
Doki Doki Literature Club! is a game for PC and Mac. It has been in the headlines because, although it looks like a dating game, it has a dark twist about 90 minutes in. Suddenly the characters start killing themselves. During this process, suicidal images are shown. There little narrative warning of these events that come out of the blue for the player. Contrary to newspaper reports, the game does not send messages to your phone, and is not played online. Why No PEGI Rating? Because the game does not have a physical release it doesn’t legally require a PEGI rating to be sold. If it was sold on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo or Android online stores it would need a PEGI or ESRB rating because those platforms voluntarily enforce the rating. If it was on the App Store it would have an Apple age rating. Because the game includes adult language it would get at least a PEGI 16 rating if it was released on these platforms or sold in physical form. On Steam this isn’t the same. However, it is listed as Psychological Horror, Visual Novel, Dark, Gore, Violent and Sexual Content. The game page also states that “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed”. When you start the game this is re-stated and you are required to confirm you are aged 13 or older.
Are There Parental Controls? You can turn on Family Settings on your Steam account by: Selecting Account | Family View. Enter your four-digit PIN.You can then restrict access to games and the Steam Store.
Spring term 2018
The ‘Sarahah’ app has been out for about 8 months, however now parents and carers are sharing their experiences and concerns about the app on various parenting sites and networks, related to cyberbullying and how “horrendous” messages can be sent without consequence. The app allows users to register easily and send anonymous messages, which are encouraged to be honest and ‘critically friendly’ the designer of the app wanted it to be used for employers and staff mainly to be critical friends and highlight development opportunities. Further information on the app, how it is used etc. is in the links below. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/25/an... http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-an... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/08/10/s...
Roblox App warning
Roblox is the world’s largest interactive platform for play that allows children to imagine, create, and play together in immersive 3D worlds. The app includes a messaging function which, potentially, could allow strangers to message children. There have been reports that some of the messages being sent to children are of a sexual nature. Please monitor what apps your children have and reiterate the importance of never accepting anyone as a friend who they don't know personally. Please click on the link for more information on Roblox.
Durham Constabulary have been made aware of several recent incidents whereby children have been contacted over Instagram by a profile called either maxjudernit or person511.
These profiles are targeting the girls and asking them for intimate and sexual photographs and they are sending sexual pictures in return, many are believed to be screenshots.
Although it's anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the "Meet Up" section.
Please check your child’s social media use and reiterate the importance of telling you should anyone make unsolicited requests.
Many parents have asked how to help their child set their social media accounts to friends only, particularly on Facebook. Below you will find some help sheets to help you manage the settings on your child's Facebook account.
Click below to find out how to turn off messenger notifications
Click below to see how to set your settings to friends only on Facebook