Internet & E-mail Policy
The school encourages use by pupils of the rich information resources available on the Internet, together with the development of appropriate skills to analyse and evaluate such resources. These skills will be fundamental in the society our pupils will be entering.
On-line services significantly alter the information landscape for schools by opening classrooms to a broader array of resources. In the past, teaching and library materials could usually be carefully chosen. All such materials would be chosen to be consistent with national policies, supporting and enriching the curriculum while taking into account the varied teaching needs, learning styles, abilities and developmental levels of the pupils. Internet access, because it may lead to any publicly available site in the world, will open classrooms to electronic information resources which have not been selected by teachers as appropriate for use by pupils.
Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation of citizens and future employees during the coming Information age. The school expects that staff will begin to investigate possibilities and blend use of such information as appropriate within the curriculum and that staff will provide guidance and instruction to pupils in the appropriate use of such resources. Staff will consult the IT co-ordinator for advice on content, training and appropriate teaching levels consistent with the school’s IT programme of study.
Independent pupil use of telecommunications and electronic information resources is not advised and will only be permitted upon submission of permission and agreement forms by parents of pupils and by pupils themselves. Access to on-line resources will enable pupils to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with people throughout the world. The school believes that the benefits to pupils from access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration exceed the disadvantages.
But ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end, the school supports and respects each family's right to decide whether or not to apply for independent access.
The school’s IT co-ordinator will prepare appropriate procedures for implementing this policy and for reviewing and evaluating its effect on teaching and learning.
Remember always, treat others as you wish to be treated; there are real people viewing what you post so always be polite and do not use offensive or abusive language. We will not tolerate abuse of any kind which may cause offence to others – nor will we tolerate any kind of discrimination.
The following are not permitted:
- Sending, displaying, sharing or downloading offensive messages or pictures;
- Using obscene language;
- Posting malicious or false information about other;
- Harassing, insulting or attacking others;
- Damaging or attempting to damage computers, computer systems or computer networks;
- Violating copyright laws (e.g. downloading copyright protected music, videos or images etc.) without the express permission of the copyright holder;
- Using others' passwords to gain access;
- Sharing of passwords to circumvent restrictions placed on other users;
- Intentionally wasting resources;
- Intentionally denying access to resources by others;
- Sending personally identifiable information to other online users without explicit permission;
- Accessing websites with the intent to access "chat-rooms" or unsupervised e-mail facilities.
Should a student be found to have breached any of the rules then an appropriate sanction will be applied. Sanctions include:
- A temporary or permanent ban on Internet and/or E-Mail use;
- Where the 'offence' originated outside the school premises, then a formal request to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) requesting the termination of the service and account(s) of the publisher and/or author will be issued;
- Additional disciplinary action may be issued in line with existing practice on inappropriate language or behaviour;
- Where applicable, the matter may be referred to the Police or other local authorities.
guidelines for Internet use
Pupils are responsible for good behaviour on the Internet just as they are in a classroom or a school corridor. General school rules apply. The Internet is provided for pupils to conduct research and communicate with others. Parents’ permission is required. Remember that access is a privilege, not a right and that access requires responsibility. Individual users of the Internet are responsible for their behaviour and communications over the network. It is presumed that users will comply with school standards and will honour the agreements they have signed.
Computer storage areas, school originated e-mails and floppy disks will be treated like school lockers. Staff may review files and communications to insure that users are using the system responsibly. Users should not expect that files stored on servers or disks would always be private. During school, teachers will guide pupils toward appropriate materials. Outside of school, families bear responsibility for such guidance, as they must also exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other potentially offensive media.
For safety reasons it is important that you do not reveal information about yourself that could allow others to locate you. For example, do not say which school you go to or talk about where you live. You are normally allowed you to say the region of the country where you live and the county – but any more specific details are strongly discouraged. It is also important not to reveal information about family and friends – particularly if it is something that they may not wish to be shared with others. If staff have particular concerns about an individual student, they may have to contact a parent / guardian.
Even on a supervised system, there is no such thing as 100% secure or safe. Students should ensure that they are as wary of talking to strangers online as they are of strangers out on the streets. Students should ensure they are aware of the issues of on-line safety: for more information on staying safe online, visit http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
- Do not identify individuals such as staff or other pupils using fullnames;
- Do NOT post your email address or other contact or personal details (this includes personal website addresses or photographs);
- Keep your password to yourself. Don't share it with anyone else, even your friends, or allow others to log on as yourself ;
- Change your password every 3 months
A parent’s guide to the Internet
What is the Internet?
The Internet is a large number of computers all over the world linked together with cables. In most cases, each of these computers is also linked locally to a number of other computers, in a local network. It is possible for someone using one of these computers to access information on any of the other computers. Universities and Government organisations established the system for the fast and efficient transfer of largely text-based information around the world directly from one computer to another.
It is possible for other people, outside these local networks, to connect to the Internet by using standard telephone lines between their computers and those already connected to the Internet. A number of companies specialise in providing this service for a fee.
What is the World Wide Web?
To make the appearance of information available through the Internet more attractive, and to assist people in finding information more easily, it is now possible for special pages of information to contain text, colours, and pictures, sound and even video. These pages, collectively, make up what is known as the World Wide Web. Most of these pages include information on the location of other pages on the World Wide Web, and it is possible to follow up links between pages with similar or related content. Moving from one page to another, regardless of where in the world they might be located, is called browsing, or surfing the net or web. Many of these Web pages contain information that may be useful in the classroom, and it is presented in a way that is often easy to use.
A number of UK suppliers including BT and Research Machines, offer schools the facility of keeping their own pages on the Internet. These school "home pages" might describe the school’s activities to outsiders or explain project work that pupils are involved in.
What is Electronic Mail (E-mail)
This is merely a way of sending messages from one person to another via the Internet. Each Internet user has a unique e-mail address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) and by sending a message to this address, the recipient can read the message the next time he or she connects to the Internet. Internet e-mail addresses are usually provided along with a schools’ connection to the Internet and normally pupils will have their own e-mail address.
What are News Groups?
These are collections of messages written for public readership rather than addressed to an individual. Each collection, or group, of messages is about a particular subject or theme. Individuals can reply to these messages, and these replies are also public. In this way it is possible to track a multi-way conversation about an important issue of the day. At present there are more than 10,000 different topics available for discussion, from specialist science research to support groups for asthma to fans of James Bond movies. Most of the press concern for pornography on the Internet refers to newsgroups but they are the easiest for school Internet providers to police.
What are the dangers of the Internet referred to in the media?
It is true that there is some material on the Internet that would be offensive to most people, such as pornography, racist and fascist material; students, if unsupervised, might access this. The provider that we use tries to 'filter' known offensive locations of material of this kind, but there are too many sites on the Internet for this filtering to be 100% effective. The only guaranteed way to block access to this kind of material is to have a restricted range of pages available, in which case many of the advantages of the global and dynamic nature of the Internet may be lost. It is a feature of the Internet that the information available is free. Increasing restrictions will undoubtedly lead to systems of charging for access to specific material, in addition to the other costs described. An alternative system is to educate pupils and encourage an acceptable use policy and partnership between home and school in dealing with the less savoury side of Internet use.
How can I get more information?
There are many magazines in newsagents that cater for beginners-advanced use of the Internet. If you have any specific questions please contact the school and ask for the IT co-ordinator.