Helping children stay safe while using technology and the internet

In today’s world, technology is developing rapidly and parents often find it hard to keep up with the ever changing apps, websites, and social media that their children are intuitively viewing and interacting with. Iain Robertson, headmaster at Buckholme Towers School and Nursery explains why it is vital for students to embrace technology, but not without structured education.

“At Buckholme Towers School we embrace technology and actively teach our students how to incorporate communication devices into their lifestyle. From the age of three when children join us in nursery, Ipads, laptops and interactive whiteboards become part of their daily experience. These days there is no avoiding technology and although it can be daunting, we feel that it is best to teach children from a young age about how to use these devices safely and how they can assist them in learning.

“Pupils use devices to access educational apps, a library of recommended websites for research, programmes for film making as well as software for art and design. We have a fully equipped Information and Communication Technology suite where students learn skills required by the national curriculum, such as word processing, creating Powerpoint presentations and setting up and sending emails. At Buckholme, children learn at an early age about the possible dangers and pitfalls associated with using the internet – we cannot give them 100% protection, but we can equip them with the skills and understanding to deal with inappropriate material or behaviour. Pupils are also taught how to set up a username and password on their school computer and why it is important to keep their personal details a secret.

“More and more devices allow access to the internet, including games consoles, mobile phones and televisions. There are a surprising number of parents who are grossly out of touch with the level of knowledge their children have, and their use of the technology available to them.

Parents can obtain all the advice they need by logging on to www.saferinternet.org.uk.

It is alarming to learn that many parents today do not activate restrictions on devices their children are using. These can often be applied at the click of a button. With such controls in place, parents can block access to unsuitable websites and inappropriate material. It is also important to ask grandparents or other people who may care for your child to be mindful of children using their devices and potentially coming across information that could be upsetting.”

*On Thursday February 6 Buckholme Towers School and Nursery hosted a full day e-safety workshop run by the Dorset Police Safe Schools and Communities Team. Pupils, teachers and parents were taught how to use the internet safely and avoid potentially dangerous situations.