Internet Use

Scoil San Phroinsias              Tirellan Heights                 Galway

Internet Acceptable Usage Policy

Educationalists believe in the benefits of curriculum-based internet use. The purpose of the Internet Acceptable Usage Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources, and will be protected from harmful and illegal use of the Internet.

Scoil San Phroinsias will employ a number of strategies to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

  • Acceptable Usage Policy

  • Education

  • Filtering/Monitoring

Pupil Access to the Internet

The school is pleased to offer the internet as an available resource to both pupils and teachers for reference purposes, researching project materials, playing interactive educational games, learning to touch-type and for lesson reinforcement. Access to online resources will enable pupils to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards throughout the world.

Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation for living and working in this information age. The school will integrate such information as appropriate within the curriculum, and staff will provide guidance and instruction to pupils in the appropriate use of such resources, as outlined in this policy. Pupils’ use of telecommunications and electronic information will be taught and provided for from Infants – 6th class and will only be permitted upon submission of permission and agreement forms by parents of pupils and pupils themselves.

  1. Pupils will not be given access to the Internet without teacher supervision

  2. Internet will be used for educational purposes only

  3. Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher

  4. Pupils will seek permission before entering any Internet site, unless previously approved by a teacher

  5. Filtering software will be used to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material

  6. The school will regularly monitor pupils’ internet usage

  7. Pupils will receive training in the area of internet safety

  8. Pupils will be taught to evaluate the content of internet sites

  9. Teachers will be made aware of internet safety issues

  10. Uploading and downloading of non-approved material is banned

  11. Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis

  12. The use of personal memory sticks, external storage devices or CD-ROMS in school requires a teacher’s permission

  13. Pupils will observe good ‘netiquette’ (etiquette on the internet) at all times and will not undertake any action that may bring a school into disrepute

Email

If pupils are allowed to use email, the following rules will apply:

  1. Email will be used for educational purposes only

  2. Students will only use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher

  3. Pupils will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person

  4. Pupils will not send messages to or from school email

  5. Pupils will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details e.g. addresses, telephone numbers, or pictures via school email

  6. Pupils will never arrange to meet someone via school email

  7. Sending or receiving email attachments is subject to teacher permission.

Internet Chat

Students are not permitted to use internet chat rooms.

School Website

Pupils may create projects, artwork, writing or audio-visual recordings which would be suitable for publication on our school’s website. Designated teachers will manage the publication of material on the school website adhering to the stipulations below.

  1. Personal pupil information, home addresses and contact details will not be published on the school website

  2. Class lists will not be published

  3. Pupils’ full names will not be published beside their photograph

  4. Digital photographs, video clips and audio clips will focus on groups and group activities rather than on individual pupils when possible

  5. Pupils will be given an opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the school website

  6. Teachers will select work to be published and decide on the appropriateness of such

  7. Permission to publish a student’s work will be sought from pupils/parents/ guardians. This permission may be withdrawn at any time

  8. Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Education and Internet Awareness

Scoil San Phroinsias will undertake an education programme to educate children on the safe, responsible use of the Internet. Cyber-bullying has become a significant threat for teenagers. Through education and awareness, we aim to limit our children’s susceptibility to it as they progress to secondary school. 21st century life presents dangers including violence, racism and exploitation from which children and young people need to be protected. At the same time, they need to learn to recognise and avoid these risks – to become internet wise.

Resources that may be used to implement this programme include:

  • NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video

  • Use of the ‘Kids’ section on the www.webwise.ie website

  • SAFT Internet Safety Awareness Education Programme and exemplars

Filtering

The school will use the Internet provided and filtered by the NCTE (National Centre for Technology). ‘Filtering’ is a term used to describe a way of limiting the content of web pages, emails, chat rooms and other electronic data to which users may be exposed. Scoil San Phroinsias also uses additional filtering software on all our machines, which, while not foolproof, thus filtering pupils’ access to the internet further. No filter is 100% accurate. The most effective filtering tool is adult vigilance. At Scoil San Phroinsias, we believe that the advantages to pupils having access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration far exceed the risk of disadvantages.

The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCTE. Websites are only allowed through following a verification of their suitability.

Many browsers have their own built in filtering tool e.g. Google. Google’s search engine has a built-in “Safe Search”. This filter eliminates sites that contain pornography and explicit sexual content from search results. It is easily applied by clicking on the Preferences link on any Google page. Unfortunately it is also easily removed.

Windows XP has a built-in firewall. Firewall software can be purchased or downloaded free from the Internet. Scoil San Phroinsias has installed firewall software.

Laptops

Every site that is accessed within the school network or by a school machine is monitored and reports of all access are sent to the management team on a weekly basis. Each laptop has a number and the children of each class will be designated a specific laptop. Teachers check computer logs of all information accessed by pupils. An audit of internet usage may be run at any time.

Use of laptops that travel between home and school are subject to all stipulations, procedures and sanctions outlined in this policy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Parents of children who have been sanctioned laptops are instructed to be vigilant in monitoring their use in the home, as per procedures for school. Parents of all children are advised to keep laptops in a common area (i.e. kitchen or living room) with the screen visible to others while a child may be on the internet. The use of laptops by children in their bedrooms is not recommended.

Sanctions

If a pupil deliberately misuses the internet or email, is found running searches on inappropriate topics or attempting to access inappropriate/unsuitable websites, this will result in disciplinary action, including the withdrawal of access privileges. Parents/guardians will receive notification of misuse by a pupil. Further misuse will result in longer withdrawal of access privileges, as seen fit by the school staff.

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 13th June 2016

Signed: __________________________ Signed: __________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management Secretary/Principal

Date: ______________ Date: _________________

Date of next review: ________________

Responsible Internet Use – Pupil Undertaking

We use the School computers and Internet connection for learning. These rules will help us to be fair to others and keep everyone safe.

  • I will ask permission before entering any website, unless my teacher has already approved that site

  • I will not bring external storage devices such as pen drives (or memory sticks/USB keys etc) into school without permission

  • I will not use email for personal reasons

  • I will only use email for school projects and with my teacher’s permission

  • The messages I send will be polite and sensible

  • When sending email, I will not give my home address or phone number or arrange to meet anyone

  • I will ask for permission before opening an email or an email attachment

  • I will not use internet chat rooms

  • If I see anything I am unhappy with, or if I receive a message I do not like, I will tell a teacher immediately

  • I know that the school may check my computer files and may monitor the sites I visit

  • I understand that if I deliberately break these rules, I could be stopped from using the Internet and computers and my parents will be informed.

Signed: __________________________________________________________Pupil(s)

Signed: _________________________ Parent/Guardian

Date: _______________

Internet Permission Form

Name of Pupil(s): _____________________________________________

Class(es): _____________________________________

As the parent or legal guardian of the above child, I have read the Internet Acceptable

Use Policy and grant permission for ______________________________________________________________________

(name(s): son/daughter) to access the Internet. I understand that school internet usage is for educational purposes only and that every reasonable precaution will be taken by the school to provide for online safety.

I accept my own responsibility for the education of my child(ren) on issues of Internet Responsibility and Safety.

I understand that having adhered to all the enclosed precautions the school cannot be held responsible if my child tries to access unsuitable material.

Signature: 1. _________________________ 2. __________________________

Parents/Legal Guardians

Date: ___________________

School Website

I understand that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the school’s website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Usage Policy in relation to publishing pupils’ work and photographs of school activities on the website.

Signature: 1. _________________________ 2. __________________________

Parents/Legal Guardians

Date: ___________________