Advice about different programmes



Facebook is one of the world’s most popular social networks, allowing people to share details about their life with their ‘friends’.

What pupils say…

‘Facebook is mainly for adults, it is not as fun as some of the other sites that we visit.’

What we say…

Facebook terms and conditions state that Facebook users must be over 13 years of age. Whilst we understand that children like to keep in touch with each other outside of school, it is very easy to be fooled into thinking that Facebook is more private than it actually is. Keeping up to date with the latest changes to Facebook’s privacy settings is very important. It is notoriously difficult to get Facebook to remove content from its site. Comments made on Facebook are considered in the public domain and therefore are covered by both libel and slander laws.

It is important for children to understand the difference between a real friend and a Facebook friend – who in some cases can be a complete stranger.

Further guidance (please click on the links below)

13 reasons why Facebook is for 13 year olds

Updating Facebook privacy settings

Facebook’s own safety centre



Twitter is a way for individuals and organisations to give brief real time updates to their ‘followers’, sharing their latest news and images. Our official school twitter feed is @stfrancisbraint.

What pupils say…

It’s good to be able to see what people have been up to and is a great way to get news really quickly and keep up to date with what is happening. It saves your phone bill as you can communicate with friends for free. Be careful who you follow though, as they may not always be who you think they are. Try following only people that you know.

What we say…

It can be quite exhausting keeping a twitter feed up to date! Do you want your child to feel the need to constantly inform people of what they are doing and when? We need to ensure that children understand that they are entitled to keep things private. We certainly agree with our pupils when they say that people on Twitter are not always who they seem.

Further information (Please click on the link below)



Minecraft is an incredibly popular ‘sandbox’ game, meaning that players are involved in creating their own virtual ‘plot’ from scratch as part of the virtual Minecraft world. It is incredibly popular with children and can be played on a wide range of devices including, mobiles, tablets, PCs and games consoles.

What pupils say…

‘Minecraft is really fun. It allows you to be creative and to design a plot exactly as you want it to be. There are lots of different versions of Minecraft. Some of them allow other people that you know and even some that you do not know to play with you. There is the chance for you to have an in-game chat with your friends although you have to be careful because you might be contacted by people who do not know you.’

What we say…

Minecraft allows children to develop important computing skills in their use of the computer to aid them in designing and shaping virtual objects in a virtual world. Playing Minecraft online however opens the possibilities of the children playing Minecraft with friends as well as strangers. We have had recent examples in school of pupils being targeted by internet trolls whilst playing on these online versions of the game.

Further information (please click on the links below)

Internet Safety – What is Minecraft?

A parent’s guide to Minecraft



Instagram is a popular photo sharing app, mainly used on mobile phones and tablet devices. As well as sharing images with friends, it is possible to comment upon each others images, search for images and message other Instagram users.

What pupils say…

‘It’s a great way to catch up with friends, especially those outside of school. It’s nice to see what your friends have been up to. It’s important to set your profile to private though so other people you don’t know can’t see your images.’

What we say…

How ever children view Instagram, it is a tool for sharing images of themselves and others. Interestingly children seem to have a view that Instagram is ‘for kids’ – in fact it is used predominantly by adults and teenagers. As a result it is relatively easy to come across pictures of a more adult nature including those involving drugs, obscene gestures or partial nudity. Children must realise that they should not post pictures of or involving other children without first seeking permission (we would suggest at this age that that permission actually needs to come from the parent.)

Further information (please click on the link below)

Instagram’s own tips for parents

A parent’s guide to Instagram



Snapchat is a photo and video messaging service with a difference – the content sent ‘self destructs’ after a matter of seconds – disappearing from your phone!

What pupils say…

‘It’s good for messaging with your friends – you can easily see what people are up to. If you are under 13 you can sign up for a safer children’s version. There is the potential for people to use it for cyber bullying because the content disappears so quickly.’

What we say…

The problem with Snapchat is its immediate nature. No matter how vigilant you are as a parent, if messages are come and gone within a matter of seconds then it is very hard to monitor your child’s use of this. The children are right when they mention the potential for cyber bullying. There is also the potential for users to be tempted to send images that are riskier than they may ordinarily be happy to send, due to the fact that they think they will only be seen fleetingly. However even though the message ‘self destructs’ it is possible for quick witted phone users to take a screen shot of the image/ video or even photograph it from another device.

Further information (please click on the links below)

Snapchat’s own parents’ guide

A parent’s guide to Snapchat
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