In a world where technology is at arm’s length and information and communication is available at the touch of a button, there is an essential need for children to understand how to use this technology safely and responsibly for the benefit of their mental health. We feel that by providing children with that information, we will be able to support them to become confident and digitally literate, showing respect for others and projecting the best version of themselves as per our expectations.
Throughout our journey, children will be encouraged to see the huge benefits that the internet and devices provide and how they can be utilised to help and support them in all aspects of life. Technology is, and will continue to be, a huge part of their day to day routines and will no doubt, provide them with hours of entertainment outside of the school walls. It is through technology that our children will grow as learners and gain a wider view of the world around them and form their own social networks.
With Youtube as the ‘go to’ platform of choice for children in our school, online gaming becoming the norm, social media profiles bringing pressures and influences, communication via emails, it is not a question of ‘if’ children will need to apply safety measures, it is ‘when’. Even as adults, we come across phishing emails and, for that split second, we have our hearts in our mouths, wondering if we really do owe thousands of pounds– it makes us second guess ourselves. But it is about applying appropriate strategies, understanding what to do in that situation and dealing with it in an appropriate way which will limit the effect on mental health. And that is what we will ensure we equip our children with- teaching that will explore how the children recognise these scenarios and deal with those types of situations in the appropriate way.
How is Online Safety taught?
In recognition of its vital importance and role within safeguarding, online safety is taught to all pupils in their computing lessons exclusively for the first half of the Autumn Term. Different year groups focus on different aspects and key themes within online safety, exploring cyberbullying and its effects, choosing secure passwords, excessive screen time and gender stereotypes to name a few. Within each theme, mental health will be addressed and discussions will be had as to what effect this may have on a person’s wellbeing.
In the same fashion as our spiral curriculum, knowledge from previous year groups is interleaved throughout the year so this knowledge is constantly revisited and seamlessly embedded within all aspects of computing. The structure of these lessons are designed to impart that crucial knowledge on how children can keep themselves safe but also to encourage children to voice their own experiences and know who to share any worries and concerns with. Through incorporating our online safety work on our Journey to Wellness, we hope to instill the skills and knowledge that children can apply throughout their lives, not just during their time here, and become responsible digital citizens of the world.
Where can I get extra support with online safety?
It is so important that we are aware of new apps and dangers that jeopardise children’s enjoyment of the internet and the online world. National Online Safety have a webpage that provides parents and carers with ‘platform guides’ to the very latest trends, explaining what they are, age restrictions and what can be done to keep children safe online. As a school, we are able to sign up to see the latest advice and obtain the latest resources and we are able to give you that access too - please get in touch with the school office for more information!
Other Links that can support: