eSafety for Primary School children

IGS Head of Primary School Colin Bird invites parents to reflect on eSafety.

Exponential changes have taken place for primary aged children over the past few decades.

Thinking back to when I was in middle and upper primary school, the greatest technology available was an AM transistor radio I kept in my room (as long as I could manage to get four batteries to power it for the week). Knowing the words to Daddy Cool’s Eagle Rock was about as worldly as it got.

We’ve all moved on from those “black and white” times to days of ultra-high-definition colour in surround sound, and information on anything at our fingertips.

The fact children can have such broad exposure to the wired world produces a number of challenges for parents.

Even though there is so much information on eSafety available, having time to read it can be difficult. Even then, knowledge on its own may not help. Behaviour change interventions, building skills and promoting appropriate behaviours needs to accompany the knowledge.

Research findings show us that a few simple approaches may be of assistance to your child. Many of these will not be new to you.

Most children know how to use their parents’ phones from before they even begin school, so it can be tempting to take the next step of them having their own.

Why a phone at all?

The question parents should perhaps be considering instead is why do I need my child to have a mobile phone? And if so, do they need a smartphone, or a more simple phone that allows phone calls and messaging only.

Control time on devices

The amount of time a child spends online, especially if it is between 5pm and 10pm can lead to three possible outcomes. The first is that they will learn to become a cyber bully, the second is they will more likely be bullied, and the third is that their sleep will be disrupted to the point that they will find it difficult to learn at school the next day.

Devices must be in common areas of the home, and turned off at night

This is why technology should be kept out of a child’s bedroom and positioned in common areas of the home. If children do have mobile phones or other portable devices, the recommendations are that they be turned off and kept by parents overnight.

In this recent post, we shared these amazing resources about apps. Please be aware of the simple recommendation that most apps are for children aged 13 years or older. Should Primary School students be using apps at all?

Ask for assistance

We acknowledge the challenges Primary School parents face when considering their child’s use of technology, and we are here to help!

Please contact, Mr Smith, your child’s teacher, me or our School Counsellors should you have any questions or require assistance navigating your child’s online behaviour.

Colin Bird
IGS Head of Primary School