Teaching our pupils / young people to stay safe on line is a crucial part of their learning. It is essential that they are equipped with the tools they need to become responsible online citizens.
Online safety is high on our agenda right from the start of the school year.
Anti-bullying week in November provides a good opportunity to teach the pupils and young people about cyber-bullying specifically and steps to take if they, or someone they know, encounters this. In addition each February our school participates in ‘Safer Internet Day’, a world-wide initiative raising the profile of e-safety to learners of all ages.
Pupils/ young people are taught about online safety as part of the curriculum. Due to the individual needs of our pupils/ young people, this needs to be tailored according to their individual abilities. However our curriculum will cover the following areas:
In Early Years Education, pupils/ young people are taught to:
- Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private
- Identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies
In Middle Years and Sixth Form Education, pupils/ young people are taught to:
- Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy
- Recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
- Identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
- Recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns
The safe use of social media and the internet is covered in other relevant subjects.
The school uses assemblies to raise pupils/ young peoples’ awareness of the dangers that can be encountered online.
Support for Parents & Carers
The online world offers amazing opportunities but also brings elements of potential risk and for Parents & Carers, making sense of the online world can appear to be an enormous challenge. Unlike previous generations, the online environment is an integral part of children’s lives and therefore we can no longer consider their well being or safety without also considering their relationship to technology. However, staying safe online is fundamentally about behaviours rather than the technology itself and if approached from this perspective, we can begin to gain confidence to support our children.
Useful and Recommended Resources
There are an enormous variety of Online Safety resources available and as Parents and Carers, it is often challenging to know where to start or where to find information on a specific topic. The items below have therefore been highlighted as a selection of recommended resources specifically designed for Parents and Carers on different aspects.
Note: A common question from Parents & Carers is where to find information on setting up internet content filters at home. As these will vary according to local circumstance, the Internet Matters resource covers implementing settings for Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk broadband connections as well as other areas such as mobile phone settings
Fake News Guide – recommended by Alan Mackenzie (Online Safety weekly)
Internet Matters have created a lovely little guide to build critical thinking about fake news and what sources to trust. Please click HERE