We view online safety education as critical to the safeguarding and wellbeing of our children. Every adult in the school considers themselves a teacher of online safety. We have adopted the UK Council for Child Internet Safety framework – Education for a Connected World – to base our learning sequences. The internet is a continuously evolving environment, so anticipating, planning for, reacting and responding to it is an ongoing cycle. To reflect its continuous nature, online safety is taught throughout the year. Once each half term, the entire school focuses on one of eight areas of study from the framework, teaching an extended lesson addressing the age appropriate objective. These objectives may also be linked to other related PHSE objectives. Learning is intended to be both creative and reflective and classroom displays are regularly updated to reflect these sessions. Other opportunities to incorporate this learning are sought throughout the curriculum.
Parent involvement in this learning is vital to it being successful. Parent information sessions are run on the same day as online safety being taught in school. Led by external specialists, Mr Bell and members of the Designated Safeguarding Team, they explain the learning and explore with parents how the same issues can be addressed at home with adult specific information and guidance.
As part of your child’s curriculum and the development of computer skills, we provide access to the internet only in teacher supervised lessons. We strongly believe that the use of the web is hugely worthwhile and an essential tool for children as they grow up in the modern world. But because there are always concerns about children having access to undesirable materials, we have taken positive steps to deal with this risk in school. Our school internet access provider (the London Grid for Learning) operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials.
At the start of the school year, we make every child aware of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in an age appropriate lesson. This lays out the expectations of using technology in and outside the school and equips the children with the skills and understanding on staying safe.
As a parent you’ll know how important the internet is to children – they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. It’s a highly creative place of amazing opportunities. But the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting and you might worry about the risks your child can face online – such as bullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content.
You can download a simple checklist here that may help you start to protect your children online and decrease the risks they face. Or you can engage with your children regarding their use of the internet while at home. Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com
- Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
- Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online
Please see the resources below which have been created to inform and raise awareness about specific Apps available for children.