Why Are They Allowed to Use a Phone?
Lots of our learning uses technology and outside the school, digital skills are an increasingly important part of life in the UK today. We know that many young people have these devices and want to make sure that we play our part in teaching them how to use these resources sensibly and responsibly. Students have access to email, communication services, learning spaces and programmes that support lessons and by being open about the use of phones and other devices we can teach students the digital skills that will last far beyond their time in school. There are also lots of sessions and opportunities for students to learn about the dangers that they face online and how to access help and support if they come across things that are upsetting.
What Are the Settings on the School Wifi?
Students must log in using their own username and password if they want to use the school wifi. Any Internet searches will be traced back to the login used, so it is really important that they never share their login with anyone else.
Social media is blocked for children on the school wifi, but they can deliberately try to get round our security settings. Students can still get to social media sites if they swap to their own data, use a VPN or another students’ hotspot but these are deliberate acts that go against the school rules.
What Are the Rules?
The full set of rules is in the picture, but generally, students agree the following:
- Any device brought into school is covered by the school rules even if it is a personal item
- Phones can only be used in class with permission from the teacher
- Students will make sure that the use of a phone doesn’t interfere with learning
- Students may not take photos of adults, other pupils, or visitors without permission
- Students agree not to create, post or share anything which could be seen as cyberbullying
- Students agree to stay within the security settings and not use a VPN or other methods to bypass security settings
There are form time sessions every September where students are reminded of the rules and they sign an agreement to show that they understand and agree with them.
How can Parents Help?
- Do not feel you have to buy your child a mobile phone – a laptop or device to use at home could be useful, but there are after school/lunchtime spaces for students to use computers in school if needed
- Do not buy an expensive data contract – ask students to use the school wifi connection instead and talk to them about the importance of sticking to the rules
- Talk to your child about responsible use of any device, not just in school but at home as well – see the list of useful resources here on our Digital Parenting page
- Encourage some screen-free time every day, especially just before bedtime and leave the phone in another room overnight
- Support the school if your child uses their device irresponsibly