eSafety UPDATE

eSaftey Update

eSafety is such an important aspect of what we teach students at school. We also ask for your assistance regarding eSafety at home.

The rise of on-line gaming platforms that allow students to message/converse while playing has been something that generally remained 'at home'. Over the recent years more of what occurs 'at home' has been coming to school and is 'followed' on from discussions during on-line play at home. This makes it a hard area for teachers to deal with as a lot of the issues have arisen from on line conversations that have occurred outside side. This is when the partnership developed between school and home is so important.

The eSafety online resource is a FANTASTIC website for parents to look at. The link I am including talks about on-line gaming and risks associated with it as well as ways parents can monitor what children are engaging with. It is definitely worth a read.

https://www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/iparent/staying-safe/online-gaming

Thanks for your support in this matter.

Suz Prendergast

PS - I have also added this as this is also an interesting read for parents (taken directly from the eSafety website) -

There are many ways you can help your child maintain a healthy balance between online and offline activities for the benefit of their health and wellbeing.

Talk to your kids - Monitor the games, apps and devices your kids buy and then chat about any concerns you have. Your conversations should also cover positive things, such as what they love in life, careers they are interested in and new hobbies.

Find a balance - Finding balance is so important and you can help your kids with that by encouraging a mix of non-screen entertainment and socialising opportunities.

Set screen time limits - Set clear rules about when and for how long your child can play games or use the internet—the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines provide a useful benchmark. It may take time to strike a balance but a minor reduction each day or ‘15-minutes to switch-off’ warning can help the transition. Reducing your own screen time also sets a positive example.

Create a screentime plan - Involve your kids in a family screen time plan to help set clear boundaries and balance online and offline activities. It could include an agreed age-based screen time schedule, rules about what websites can be visited and electronic games can be played (with clear consequences for breaking those rules), and control of access to the internet with daily passwords revealed once family time, homework and chores are complete. Where possible, try to avoid using screen time as a punishment as this approach may inflate its importance to children.

Filter their access - You may like to install a filter on the device your child is using that can be adjusted to limit the amount of time an internet connection will be available.

Open location for devices - Try to locate the devices that your kids use in a shared or visible place in the home.

Seek help - If your child seems particularly anxious or irritable, or you notice them becoming isolated from friends or other activities, there may be an underlying issue so seek help from your child’s school counsellor or your GP, or direct your kids to support services such as Kids Helpline (1800 55 180), which offers free and confidential counselling for young people or eHeadspace (1800 650 890) for online and telephone support for those aged 12–25.