What is e-Safety?

e-Safety is concerned with the electronic safety of any device that has Internet capabilities. No longer can e-Safety be solely concerned with computers and laptops that can access the Internet. In today's world the Internet can be accessed on a range of devices including televisions, mobile phones, tablets, watches and gaming consoles to name but a few. Technology is ever evolving and changing on a daily basis and we all have a duty to keep abreast of the developments and review security settings on all devices in order to protect the safety of the children this. This guidance is in line with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.

Some simple suggested tips:

  • Get involved in your child’s Internet use
  • Have children ask permission before using the Internet on devices
  • Have devices which can access the Internet in a family space so as you can keep an eye on what they are doing
  • Set rules, time limits and agree boundaries
  • Create a family email address for registering online
  • Use parental and privacy controls
  • Check content is age appropriate (PEGI – gaming)
  • Know the SMART rules (outlined below)
  • Encourage children to tell a trusted adult if they feel sad or uncomfortable about something that happens online
  • Use safe search engines (outlined below)
  • Promote good netiquette/online behaviour
  • Set ‘Safety Mode’ on YouTube to help filter content
  • support.google.com/youtube/answer/

e-Safety Learning at School

All the children at Donhead learn about e-Safety in their ICT lessons. They explore the wonderful educational benefit that the Internet can provide whilst at the same time exploring a range of scenarios should something go wrong and what to do in such an event.

We feel that the more we talk about and discuss the risks the better the children will be able to make informed and sensible decisions online in order to have a safer all round experience online.

We also encourage the children to never be afraid to tell and if they come across anything that makes them feel sad or uncomfortable while online they should tell a trusted adult straight away.

SMART e-safety

The older children in the Prep School communicate their understanding of e-Safety through a variety of means; posters, avatars with special powers, brochures and movies.

The children explore in different ways the SMART concept of e-Safety:

Safe: Keeping all personal information safe, including name, age, address, school, and passwords and using a nickname when gaming.
Meet: Never ever meet someone you only know from the Internet.
Accept: Never accept emails, IM messages, or open files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust as they may contain viruses or nasty messages!
Reliability:  Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the Internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books or someone who knows. If you like chatting online it's best to only chat to your real world friends and family.
Tell: Always tell a trusted adult if something makes you feel sad or uncomfortable.

The boys are also shown how to take a print screen, using the 'Prt Scrn' key (normally located at the top of your keypad near the insert/delete keys). The Print Screen key takes an image of whatever is displayed on a pc screen which can be then be pasted into a document and printed out.

Safe Searching

Children across the school learn how to carry out a safe search of the internet using an appropriate safe search engine. The school highly recommends that children avoid using the main Google search engine when searching on the Internet. Instead the following search engines have been designed with children in mind and provide stricter filters.

It must be noted vigilance should always be demonstrated as not everything is perfect. In addition, the school recommends that children type in ‘for children’ at the end of every search.

The Mobicip browser is highly recommended for children's use, particularly on Apple and Android products, but it also be used with Microsoft.


Through discussions with the children, it has become very apparent that the way in which children use the Internet has evolved. Children are now using different devices to communicate with one another via the Internet. We feel it is very important to highlight this, as parents may not be aware.

One of the main discussion points, mainly with the Prep School children, is that the majority of the them are playing games over the Internet where they can communicate with other people, known and unknown, via headsets and through typed messages. It is important to note that some games also allow the use of web cameras. Listed below are some of the games the children identified that they are playing which allow for this type of communication and we have included age ratings where we could find one.

List of Popular Online Games (PDF)

The list above is not exhaustive and we would draw your attention to the games listed on the right-hand side and especially to the age ratings for these games. Of course, it is at your discretion to decide which games your children can play, but they do have age ratings for a reason. We would also ask you to please be considerate of other parents' wishes, particularly on playdates.

Parents are also encouraged to read the additional information regarding gaming, published by PEGI entitled which can be downloaded below:

"The Good Gaming Guide" (PDF from the PEGI website)

Social Networking

The older children at Donhead have identified a trend in experimenting with social networking sites - Vine, snapchat, Skype and Instagram are the popular choices amongst the boys.

The children seem to be engrossed with having lots of followers and they do not see the problem with having followers they do not know. Discussions in their ICT lessons cover in detail the potential that people may not be who they say they are on the Internet.

We also explore digital footprints and identify that once a comment, photograph or video is posted online, an individual loses ownership of that content. You may delete the content, but there is nothing to stop another individual taking a screenshot of it beforehand and using it.

We would highly recommend that parents discuss this further - showing your children how to keep their personal information private by having strict privacy settings and by reiterating that they should only add/accept followers/people that they actually know.

Further Information

Further information about e-Safety is widely available online. Listed below are some links to recommended websites for your convenience:

Donhead e-Safety Staff Contacts

If you have any concerns about your son's safety online, please contact the following members of staff:

Mrs Katy Brady (e-Safety Officer) or Mrs Olivia Rodrigues (ICT Subject Leader).