Internet Safety

OoVoo – A Guide for Parents

OoVoo is among some of the most popular Apps for young children at the minute. However, with a minimum age limit of 13 to be able to use the app, this clearly shows that the creators deem the app to be inappropriate for primary aged children. Enabling video chat and group chats, OoVoo provides a popular alternative to facetime, Skype and Whatsapp. As it’s used by both adults and children, it does mean that adults can directly contact children on the App, and like most apps with an age restriction, some of the content on the app is adult in nature.  Ultimately, the decision of whether your child uses the App lies with you! CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) recommend that no child under 13 uses the app, and that children over 13 set their privacy settings to only allow contact with people in the real world. Please click the link below for further info!

Josh David – Computing Coordinator and 21st Century Learning Leader

‘Our Pact’ – a hassle free solution to parental controls…and it’s free!

‘Our Pact’ is an app for parents to download, which helps them set their own custom made internet controls. It works on all devices, smartphones, androids, tablets and computers. It also controls multiple types of devices, remotely, all at once.  You can set time limits on your children’s internet use as well as limiting their internet access. Have a look at this handy guide and trial ‘Our Pact’ in your home. I hope you find this App helpful. Please let me know how you got on.

Josh David – Computing Coordinator.

Internet Safety Talk – Thank you to everyone who attended!

Thank you so much to all the parents/carers who sacrificed their time to attend our St Catherine’s internet safety talk on Wednesday morning this week. We had an excellent number of parents attend and the support from parents has truly been fantastic.

I am aware, that for a multitude of reasons, there will have been parents who would have liked to attend but were unable to. Luke, who led the internet safety talk, has promised to send me over a copy of his slides he used in his talk, and I will be posting these on the ‘E-Safety’ page of the St Catherine’s website as soon as they arrive. I hope that you find these slides useful.

We will continue to work tirelessly at St Catherine’s to ensure that our children are taught internet safety in an engaging and thorough way.

For any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask either myself or a member of the safeguarding team.

Next Step for Parents:

Have a go at setting up ‘Our Pact’ (an app which allows parents to control and monitor their child’s internet use on all devices) and see what you think of it.

Thank you for your continued support,

Josh David – Computing Coordinator.


Free Internet Safety Talk for Parents/carers -Wed 28th September 9am – Main Hall

Calling all parents/carers! Your child’s internet safety matters!

On Wednesday 28th September at 9am – there will be a free Internet Safety talk for all parents in the school’s main hall. The talk is open to parents from Nursery right up to Year 6  – and will provide parents with children of all ages with invaluable information and support. The talk will be delivered by leading industry experts ‘Education Child Protection Ltd’. ECP provide talks all over the country and work closely with the government and CEOP to ensure the safety of children across the UK.

The talk will focus on general internet safety for children – with information, tips, parental controls and guides, as well as tackling the increasingly controversial issue of mobile phones – and how to keep children safe on them.

2 years ago we set a St Catherine’s attendance record for our internet safety talk. This year, we hope to beat it.

Please spread the word and make sure you put the date in your diary and attend the talk if you can.

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Thank you for your continued support,

Josh David – Computing Co-Ordinator


David Cameron – Internet Safety at Number 10

Whilst being quizzed by school children this week, David Cameron has given the public an insight into his internet safety rules at number 10.

The Prime Minister, who has three children, said that he limits their “screen time” and encourages them to lead “very active” lives.

When asked specifically about technology and internet safety, he explained:

“The children are allowed to use our iPad from time to time, but they don’t have a Nintendo DS yet and they haven’t got mobile phones and they haven’t got iTouches or whatever. That’s purposeful.

“We try to limit screen time. We have rules. We don’t do morning TV – they should be doing something.”

Well at least he’s doing something right…

Please do ensure that there are agreed times for use of technology at home and that these are enforced. For any help on how to go about doing this without causing an argument – pop in and have a chat with me – I’d be happy to help.

Josh David – Computing Co-Ordinator

Phones and tablets – When should children be allowed on technology?

It can be a very tricky situation to manage – your child has an I-Pad or a smartphone, but when do you stop them using their device? How do you stop them using it at certain times, without an argument?

It has been brought to my attention that some children at St Catherine’s are using their technology at very inappropriate hours, and that parents are struggling to find ways of preventing this from happening, without huge arguments. Most mornings I overhear children say that they are tired because they were up all night due to groups of children messaging each other on Whatsapp, Viber, Skype or by other means. This is having a huge impact on their ability to learn, as they are often too tired and unfocused in class.

How can I solve this issue?

A simple way to alleviate this issue is to set an agreed time with your child, for when they are no longer allowed to use their technology. Some parents choose to do this before a family meal and others before their children get ready for bed. Whatever you decide, this does need to be enforced and set in place as soon as your child has their device. As long as you have a discussion with your child, explaining why this needs to happen and agreeing together that this is necessary, then they won’t feel like they are being unfairly treated – this is important to establish trust and a willingness to talk to adults about their use of technology.

Syncing Devices:

Another hugely helpful way to monitor your child’s use of a device is to sync it to your own device. This can be done on a range of technology. You can do this in secret or agree this with your child, up to you. But it is an effective way of making sure that messages your child is receiving and sending are appropriate and only being sent/received as appropriate times.

How do I sync Apple products?

On your I-Phone: Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > You Can Be Reached By, and add a check to both your phone number and email address. Go to Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and enable the device(s) you would like to forward messages to. Your Mac, I-Pad, or I-Pod touch will display a code. Enter this code on your I-Phone to verify the SMS feature.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator

Don’t pay the price for your child’s online fun

If your child has their own smart phone or tablet, or has access to yours, read on…

Many parents are often given huge bills at the end of the month for phone calls, in app purchases and downloads that they know nothing about. ‘Phonepayplus’ (a rate regulator) explains what to look out for as a parent to ensure that you are not billed with a huge amount too.

I strongly recommend you have a look at this article. Once again, the importance of parental controls on all devices cannot be stressed enough.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator. – A parent’s guide to the App

Many children at St Catherine’s and across the globe are using the App. The app is a fun and interactive way to record yourself voicing over popular songs and sharing videos of yourself doing so with your mates. It encourages socialising and creativity. However, there are also many things parents don’t know about the App. Firstly, users must be 13 to have their own account – which rules out any Primary School aged child. Unless your child’s account has been checked and had all elements set to private by yourself, anyone in the local community can view videos of your child without even connecting to the internet. On top of that, due to the nature of popular music, there are a plethora of songs on the app that contain explicit content and adult themes and language which the children can easily access. Aside from all of this, perhaps the most alarming part of the app is that a user can insert their own hash-tags on the bottom of the video, which when clicked on, will take a user to another image or video. The problem here being that many parents have been reporting that the content of some of these hash-tags is alarming and would be shocking for adults to view let alone children. As a result, many user guides rank the app as appropriate for either 16+ or 18+. Please do talk to your child about this app and help educate them about internet safety!

Viral Videos: The good, the bad and the bazaar

Viral Videos: The good, the bad and the bazaar.

There has been a recent trend among young people, including Primary aged children, to share, create and watch videos that have gone viral (been shared rapidly online). With these viral videos being viewed, in some cases, over 100 million times, the likelihood is that your child has seen or heard of at least one of these videos. Whilst some of the videos are harmless, and focused around sharing a joke or a funny impression etc, or even encouraging raising money for charity (such as the recent ‘ice bucket challenge’) some of the videos are definitely not harmless. Particularly as children get older, the content of these viral videos can change to move away from jokes towards more ‘shocking’ content. The recent phenomena of ‘Neknomination’ which has been heavily publicised in the news recently, has seen lots of young people sharing viral videos for the wrong reasons. It is incredibly important to talk to young children about what’s appropriate and safe to share and what isn’t from a young age, so that when they encounter these viral videos, which they inevitably will, they will know how to react. For more information, have a read of the below article.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator.


Talking Angela – Talking sense or nonsense?

It has been brought to my attention that many parents and children are concerned about a series of Apps where children interact with an online sprite (computer graphic). One of these Apps is ‘Talking Angela’. Sound familiar? There has been a lot of hype in the media recently about these Apps, which appear at face value child friendly, but are not always what they seem. Whilst not as sinister as some would have you believe, like all technologies, it does pose it’s risks. The App itself requires children to interact with and look after their sprite which is seemingly harmless – although not all things in the App are child appropriate at all. With all technologies, the best way to decide if you want your children playing the app is to play it yourself! Download it and have a go, if you’re not satisfied, you know what to do! Have a read of the below article and make sure your children are internet safe!

Josh David – Computing co-ordinator