Dear Gloucester Academy Families
As you are aware, social media has become a significant element of day to day life, with many individuals accessing multiple social media platforms. Used correctly, social media has many benefits including; increased communication, access to wider knowledge, a sense of belonging in a virtual community and exposure to a variety of support within education and wellbeing.
However, as we are all aware that with any communication method, there are accompanying risks. Whilst these risks will not affect every student at Gloucester Academy, it is likely that no matter how internet safe they are, at one point or another they are likely to be exposed to some level of risk whilst using social media.
It is important that we support our students by providing education in school around the risks of social media, it is also vital that this message is received by our students at home. The risks include; sharing or seeking inappropriate images, accessing inaccurate information, promotion of harmful views and behaviours, and cyberbullying.
There are many ways to safeguard your child whilst they access social media and an important aspect of this is making sure that you are talking to your child all the time about what they access and you are involved in their social media journey.
Research suggests that to help reduce the exposure of social media risks, parents should do the following;
- Ask your child to show you
- Ensure all privacy settings are enabled
- Show your child how to report / block offensive accounts
- Regularly look through your child's social media accounts with your child
As a school, we provide education around the benefits and risks of social media as part of our Character Education curriculum; to ensure that your child is safe online. This topic will be revisited in the coming weeks so we encourage you to have an open dialogue with your child regarding this.
More information can be found here : https://www.internetmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Internet-Matters-Guide-Official-UK-Social-Media-Guidance.pdf
Should you require any further information or support please do not hesitate to contact myself firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms G Bines
Associate Assistant Headteacher