During Covid-19 our Children and Young People may have been spending more time than usual online or on gaming devices.
We understand that it is hard for parents, grandparents, teachers and carers to keep up with the latest games, apps and social media, so we have attached a link to a NSPCC site http://www.net-aware.org.uk/
On the main screen there is a search box, simply key in the name of the particular game, App or social media and it will give you a summary of what it is, identify any risks and explain how you can take simple steps to make things safer.
It also includes useful information such as:
- Age rating
- An expert view of the risks
- Top tips for usage
- Top tips for staying safe
Online activity can also be monitored via your broadband provider to ensure that your child stays safe on the internet.
GoCompare have compiled a guide to broadband parental controls and internet safety for children.
Their guide can be viewed at https://www.gocompare.com/
Online Game – Fortnite
We are becoming increasingly aware and concerned that a lot of our children, some as young as 3-year-old, are talking about regularly playing on a game called Fortnite.
Unfortunately, discussions around this game are being brought into the classroom which is distracting children from their learning, with many children talking about the violence within the game.
Here is some information for you below so that you are aware as parents, what the game is about: –
What is Fortnite all about?
It offers a knife-edge gun battle that requires practice, skill, teamwork and fast reactions, but in the form of a cartoon. Parents need to be aware of the amount of screen time, stranger chat, rage at losing and escalating costs of in-app purchases
What is the age rating for Fortnite?
In the UK the Video Standards council rate Fortnite as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence.
I-Tunes rates the game only suitable for children 12+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence and Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information.
As parents, you know your children better than any rating body and can use this information to make an informed decision.
Monitoring who they are talking to?
Along with suitability, it’s worth checking the online communication settings on the game to ensure children aren’t talking to strangers.
Setting time limits on Fortnite:
Finally, it’s important to have some limits in terms of play time for the game. This is something you can agree with your child once you understand how the game works.
We have ‘banned’ any talk of the game during school when they should be learning as NO CHILD within our school is over the age of 12.
For further information and support with this game I have added some links on our website plus this link to a Safer Internet Website.
I am sorry to have to write to parents/carers again about this and hope you will support us on this matter.
Child safety on TikTok
TikTok is a video-sharing app. Users can upload and share short videos of themselves lip-syncing to songs or acting out comedy sketches, and add special effects. They can gain followers (‘fans’) and browse other people’s videos.
You may have heard of the app by its previous name: Musical.ly. Everything that was on Musical.ly is now on TikTok. If your child previously had a Musical.ly account they will be able to access their content on TikTok.
The age recommendation is 13 and above. However, you don’t have to prove your age when creating an account, so younger children can still use it easily. It’s most popular with under-16s.
TikTok is free to download on Android and iOS devices (Apple phones and tablets). It carries ads and offers in-app purchases. It has about 150 million active users worldwide and is available in over 30 languages.
Parents’ guide to TikTok – https://parentinfo.org/
As well as the above links. there is some more useful information on these topics as well as other internet safety issues and guides on the website www.darlington.gov.uk/disp
The links below show people how to set parental controls on Xbox one, PS4 and Switch.
In our recent Healthy Lifestyle Survey, it was identified that twelve of our Year 5 and 6's use Twitch. It has a guidance of 13+.
Please see guidance top tips for parents twitch parents guidance