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Children & Social Media

Most social media platforms have a minimum age limit of 13, but research shows a growing number of children aged under 13 are using social media, with 3 in 4 children aged 10-12 having their own accounts. While much is known about how teenagers use social media, this research provides the missing piece to the story, exploring the social media lives of children before they reach the teenage years. In October and November 2017, The Children's Commissioner conducted 8 focus groups with 32 children aged 8-12 to understand the impact of social media on the wellbeing of this age group. The findings of this research are summarised below (Please click on the Children's Commissioner link).

St Michael's Junior are committed to keeping our children safe, however we also recognise that as children become older they do use social media sites to communicate with their peers.  We understand that social media is used as a tool to maintain friendships, although most children also  recognise the value of face-to-face interactions.  We also believe social media can inspire children and help them learn about new things and when used appropriately is a wonderful tool, nevertheless the internet can become a distraction for some pupils, interfering in their lives and affecting their well-being.

It is important that school and home work together to educate the children and provide information to ensure our children stay safe.  We want to enhance their self-worth, build confidence and give them the resources to make sensible choices.  We also want to make sure children feel comfortable sharing their concerns, worries or problems with appropriate adults so that their young lives are not stressful.

With this in mind St Michael's Junior School will continue to provide e-safety lessons for all our children, but from 2018 we will also be planning social media lessons directed at year 5 and 6 pupils.  These lessons will pay particular attention to the subtler impacts that social media use can have on wellbeing,  incorporating awareness of this into education about life online. 

For more details on how you can talk to your children about social media please visit our parents e-safety page http://www.st-michaels-junior.kent.sch.uk/Parents/E-Safety-for-Parents/