Teaching Pupils to be Safe Online
As a school, we are very clear that this is an area that must be taken incredibly seriously and should be a central focus of our work. Through completing annual pupil voice surveys, it is clear that our pupils have a high level of online access and from an early age. It is impossible to think that this exposure will not continue and that parents and carers can supervise this fully and therefore the key to enabling our pupils to navigate safely through this online world is through the education that we provide.
Therefore, the school has ensured that online safety should be a focus in all areas of the curriculum and staff should reinforce online safety messages across the curriculum in a number of key ways:
The school's Computing Lead is also the Online Safety Lead; they are a member of the Senior Management Team and supports the Safeguarding team when issues arise that are linked to online behaviour
A planned online safety curriculum should be provided as part of Computing, PHSE and other lessons, and should be regularly revisited
Key online safety messages should be reinforced as part of a planned programme of assemblies
Pupils should be taught in all lessons to be critically aware of the materials and content they access on-line and be guided to validate the accuracy of information.
Students and pupils should be taught to acknowledge the source of information used and to respect copyright when using material accessed on the internet
Students and pupils should be supported in building resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making.
Students and pupils should be helped to understand the need for the student / pupil Acceptable Use Agreement and are encouraged to adopt safe and responsible use both within and outside the academy.
Staff should act as good role models in their use of digital technologies, the internet and mobile devices
In lessons where internet use is pre-planned, it is best practice that students and pupils should be guided to sites checked as suitable for their use and that processes are in place for dealing with any unsuitable material that is found in internet searches.
Where students / pupils are allowed to freely search the internet, staff should be vigilant in monitoring the content of the websites the young people visit.
If in doubt...
Whilst the school has a wish to be thorough in its approach to this area, there is an also a danger that too much information can dilute the key messages and therefore all pupils are taught one key message:
'If in doubt, minimise and shout out!
Our approach towards online safety extends beyond the school gates and we aim to also update parents as much as is possible. Therefore, the school holds an annual parent workshop to provide key updates and to direct parents to websites such:
Just as with parents, the school staff struggle at times to keep pace with the current platforms, games and habits of our students online. Therefore, one of the school's pupil committees is focused on this issue with Digital Leaders chosen to support the school with their knowledge and expertise. This is comprised of children from Years 3-6 who have an interest in this area.
Whilst the school reminds all pupils of the age-limits that are linked to many social-media platforms and online games, pupils are increasingly using these for out-of-school socialisation. On occasion, as in the real world, our pupils can make errors in the words that they chose and the actions that they take. As with all mistakes, the school feels that these should be seen as opportunities for the school to further educate pupils around safe online behaviours amongst them and therefore is keen to have these shared with the class teachers for us to deal with as if it had happened within the school building.