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Modern communication is amazing and it continues to evolve quickly. It is crucial that adults create and maintain open conversations with children and young people to ensure they can discuss any elements of their online lives with us. Please click here for a great guide to encouraging open discussions with children.

There are many communication apps on the market and sometimes we can forget that there is an age rating on them for a reason. It’s worth noting that the following apps have the following age rating on them:

WhatsApp – 16+ in the UK.  Click here for a helpful parent guide.

Snapchat – 13+. Click here for a helpful parent guide.

TikTok – 13+. Click here for a helpful parent guide.

Instagram – 13+. By default, photographs and videos published by a user are public, and anyone can see them and follow the user.  The user must actively choose to make their posts private in order to protect them.  If selected, images and videos can also be added to a ‘photo map’ which shows where each picture was taken, therefore potentially giving away the location of the user.  A user’s profile picture and ‘bio’ is public, even if they choose to make their posts private. Click here for a helpful parent guide.

Fortnite – 13+ due to action violence and open chat. Click here for a helpful parent guide.

Youtube – 13+. Click here for a helpful parent guide.

With many social communication apps, social bots are used to masquerade as humans. Whilst most pose no risk, others are designed to extort, sell products, spread propaganda or bully human users. Click here for a handy parent guide that tells you all about social bots.

We can do many things to protect our children, sometimes the simplest approaches are the most effective.  We highly recommend that you put the following things in place at home if your child has a mobile device:

  • Do not allow your children to have a communication app that is not appropriate for their age.
  • Ensure that when your children communicate online they are polite and respectful. Quite often conversations on social communication apps can quickly become misunderstood. If they don’t like something that is said, they should speak with an adult.
  • Limit the amount of time your child has on their mobile devices and have an evening curfew. No primary age child should be on their mobile device after 8pm in an evening.
  • Don’t allow mobile devices in your child’s bedroom at night. Have a central charging point in your house and be very clear about the rules.
  • Check your child’s device regularly. It is important that you check how your child interacts with others and how others are interacting with them.

Useful web sites for parents

  • – A non-profit making organisation working directly with children, parents and teachers to ensure that the issues of online child protection and children’s safe and positive use of the internet are addressed.
  • – The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre
  • has set up its own educational website which has been designed and written specifically for children, young people, teachers, parents and carers.
  • A beginner’s guide to using the Internet safety, including a quiz and some video tutorials about how to ‘stay safe’ on-line.
  • – One in five young people have experienced bullying by text message or via email. This website gives advice for children and parents on bullying.
  • – Lots of guidance and articles for parents about keeping their children safe online.

Please note that Welwyn St Mary’s Primary School will never send direct payment requests except to parents of children at the school via Parentmail.   Campaigns are publicised via our website with contributions sent to school and not a third party.

As a school we aim to recycle what we can. Please click here for a guide on how to be green with your tech.