E-Safety At Cambridge Steiner School

What is E Safety? 

E-Safety (Electronic Safety) simply means protecting all users of the Internet, both young and old, and providing guidance to allow them to protect themselves when using technology such as the World Wide Web and mobile phones.
Very often when people talk about E-Safety they are referring to the various dangers that can be encountered online, especially on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

What are the main risks at this time?

The fundamental risks can be broken down into three primary areas:
  1. Inappropriate contact from people on the Internet.
  2. Inappropriate content found or displayed on the Internet.
  3. Inappropriate conduct of children themselves online (sexting/downloading inappropriate content)

What are some basic precautions that I can take right now to help protect myself and others online?

  • Check that your family are using the security settings on social networking websites in order to set each section of their profile page to ‘private’ so it can only be viewed by their friends. See the list of sites further down this page.
  • Ensure that they are only friends with people who they know in real life.
  • Make sure that secure personal details such as mobile phone numbers and contact email addresses are not displayed.
  • Consider using a cloud based filtering service such as OpenDNS(see the section on OpenDNS below).


Without getting too technical, DNS (the Domain Name System) is what’s used to turn text addresses that humans understand (like www.bbc.co.uk) into the system of numbers (IP Addresses) that the Internet works on (like This has a convenient by-product in that if we know what the “bad” websites are from the IP Addresses in the global and public DNS register, we can filter and block them before they reach the end user’s computer.
An American company, OpenDNS has taken this idea and made a business of supplying web filtering to corporations and large organisations. They provide the same service free of charge to personal users. Click here for the OpenDNS page on Parental Controls. To use the service you’ll need to create an account (free) with OpenDNS which you can do by clicking here and a moment’s work with a search engine will give you any number of tutorials and explanations of the system. Click here for a good one to start with and here for the official page on setting up devices.

What about mobile telephones?

Modern telephones are really just handheld computers and every precaution that we take with a desktop or laptop computer applies just as much to a telephone or indeed any other connected device (Smart TV, Games console, etc.). OFCOM provide an excellent page with up to date links to the various mobile network providers. You can find it by clicking here.

A note on relying on filtering software

There are a number of software applications available via a quick Google search (click here) but no amount of technology can ever replace observation, consideration and education on the part of both children and parents. We must be aware and knowledgeable about the Internet, its good and bad points, its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to us as guardians of children to make the effort to understand.  We are committed to developing a discussion between teachers and parents to share information and ask questions.  We will hold termly meetings to enable this, please check the bulletin for dates.
One idea is for parents to open an account in the popular social networking platforms (see the list below) and play with them, look at and understand the security settings, read what other people are saying and, most importantly, talk to other parents and talk to your children.
A list of (currently (not exhaustive)) popular social networking platforms and their security/privacy pages:
Facebook (Security page)
Twitter (Security page)
Bebo (Terms and Conditions)
Pinterest (Account Settings page)
Snapchat (Safety Settings)
Tumblr (Child Safety)
Instagram (Privacy and Safety)
Flickr (Privacy policy and help)
Vine (Privacy policy and How To)
FM (Security page)

What does Cambridge Steiner School do to ensure children are safe online? 

Cambridge Steiner School is committed to ensuring children and young people are safe both in the real and virtual world.  E Safety is incorporated in our E Safety Policy, Safeguarding Policy and Pupil Acceptable Use Policy.


ICT and online resources are increasingly used across the curriculum.  We have an Online Safety Curriculum that begins at compulsory school age and is continually reviewed and developed in line with national recommendations.
We begin teaching children about the concept of technology from a young age.  In kindergarten we introduce children to a number of tools (such as carding wool, knitting etc), which forms the foundations of our technology curriculum.  This progresses through the Lower School where children experience a range of technologies through our outdoor curriculum where children make their own flint knives for example.  In this way children learn how these ‘technologies’ can be useful tools, but can be dangerous if used incorrectly.  From Class 6 children are gradually introduced to ‘information’ technology, perhaps occasionally doing some research for homework.  During the last few years of the Lower School children study information technology during a main lesson block, learning what a computer is and how it works.  Our aim through this approach is to slowly build a broad understanding about the nature of technology and therefore critical thinking skills about how and when information technology is useful or potentially unsafe.  
Kindergarten to Class 3 – We deliver E-Safety awareness through bi annual special assemblies (Classes 1-3) followed by recall and discussion with Class Teachers, and in small groups for the older kindergarten children (Sunbeams).  We raise awareness about how technology is used and use pedagogical stories to give important messages about staying safe online. Additionally, teachers are informed and able to respond and guide children if the topic arises in class.  If there are specific concerns about a child and their internet use this is addressed with parents and a supportive plan developed.
Classes 4 – 8 – We hold half termly Internet Safety Lessons following our E Safety curriculum.  In addition, we use opportunities in everyday discussions with pupils and parent/teacher consultations to address specific issues as they arise.  We also focus on educating parents through information on our website, parent meetings/consultations, the termly safeguarding bulletin and termly parents safeguarding meetings to help their children understand and navigate safely through their internet use.

I’d like more in-depth information. Where should I start?

Think You Know – Guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people and their families:
Google Safety Centre – Manage your Privacy and Security:
Childnet Parents Factsheet
Childnet Parents Leaflet – Supporting Young People Online
Childnet Parents Guide – Young People and Social Networking Sites

I have a concern or an issue that I’d like to discuss with the school regarding e-safety. Who should I contact?

The designated safeguarding lead is Nicola Conlin, and the designated personnel are David van Marle (Lower School) and Beate Guertler-Green (Early Years). If you would like to discuss any issues in confidence please get in touch on the email addresses below, or contact us through reception on 01223 882727.


Nicola Conlin - Designated Safeguarding Lead
David van Marle – Designated Safeguarding Personnel Lower School
Beate Guertler-Green – Designated Safeguarding Personnel Early Years

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) - Making a Report

CEOP helps any child or young person under the age of 18 who is being pressured, forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity of any kind. This can be something that has taken place either online or in ‘the real world’, or both. The CEOP Safety Centre has clear information and advice on what can be reported to CEOP, the reporting process and what will happen if you do decide to make a report. You can visit the CEOP Safety Centre and make a report directly to CEOP by clicking the 'Click CEOP' button below. If you are experiencing online bullying or something else online has worried you please speak to an adult you trust, or you can talk to Childline at any time on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk. 
CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency and is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP helps children and young people under the age of 18 who have been forced or manipulated into taking part, or are being pressured to take part, in sexual activity of any kind. This can be both online and offline. The CEOP Safety Centre offers information and advice for children and young people, parents and carers and professionals. You can visit the CEOP Safety Centre and make a report directly to CEOP by clicking the Click CEOP button.
Online bullying or other online concerns should not be reported to CEOP and children and young people should be directed to speak to an adult they trust, and/or referred to Childline, if they would like to speak to
someone about how they are feeling.