As part of Computing in our school - we aim to teach children about the importance of Internet Safety.
With access to some many devices, pupils have a world of technological marvel at their fingertips. The internet is an incredible way for children to research digitally, explore the world and have fun. However, there are of course risks online such as cyber-bullying, inappropriate content and the risk of grooming - amongst others.
Along with our efforts here at school, you will find a wealth of information and resources that you can use at home to further educate your children about using the internet and technological devices safely.
'The world wide web and technology has truly transformed the way we live our lives and changed the world our children grow up in. Seemingly children have access to technology at every turn and they embrace it, they do not have any of the inhibitions adults may have so they will try new technologies and use it to sometimes push the boundaries. It is this constant access to, and interest in technologies, that demands us as educators to help to create ‘digital citizens’. We have to ensure that children are aware of the risks of using technology so they remain safe when using it and ensure that they use technologies appropriately. We must ensure that they know what to do if something goes wrong.' [Knowsley CLC]
Teachers and staff at our school highly value the importance of keeping our pupils safe when they are online and as such, we always have special restrictions centrally controlled at the Civic Centre that filter any inappropriate content.
All content and internet use is strictly monitored by the Local Authority. Pupils are never allowed to use the internet without adult supervision and will always use computers using their own login. We ensure that any software that helps to filter and protect us online is adopted and used via the Local Authority IT Service.
Our staff teach Internet Safety across the school in Computing and Citizenship lessons and through interaction online and discussion offline. We have had a special assembly for the whole school - talking about the sharing of information online and use of mobile devices - to a special assembly and Internet Safety poster competition on the annual Safer Internet Day where pupils were reminded of the SMART Rules from Childnet:
At our school, we know your children will tell you all about Internet Safety at school and the SMART rules poster we sent home after the annual Safer-Internet Day - but we know it is useful for parents to have the opportunity to learn more and ask any questions in a special 'Internet Safety for Parents' session. More information will be made available on this at the start of the school year. If you need to report something, you can do so at CEOP too.
- The Computing Suite is only accessible through a number lock entry system, preventing unauthorised entry.
- The internet connection is directly controlled, monitored and filtered by IT Services and the Local Authority.
- Pupils cannot access sites that cover a range of inappropriate categories and the school is alerted if required.
- Pupils each have a unique login and use this in sessions so that each pupil is responsible and accountable for their usage.
- Access to video sharing websites such as YouTube is automatically blocked for pupils through login.
- Teachers use viewpure.com to play YouTube videos in class - allowing the removal of adverts, pre-content video adverts, pop up annotations and post-video related video suggestions or automatic playlists. This also prevents pupils seeing related videos or potentially offensive or inappropriate comments on screen.
- Pupils are taught the SMART protocol and encouraged to share something they think is not appropriate by informing the teacher immediately.
- Pupils know they can talk to their teacher, the Computing leader or the Head-teacher if they have concerns about accessing material online - at school or a home.
- Pupils are encouraged to use safe search websites as an alternative to Google Images in KS1 and are taught practical and sensible search term strategies to search sensibly in KS2 (e.g. the addition of words like clipart, vector, painting etc).
- Pupils have access to a unique Minecraft Server which is ONLY accessible through our internal network and cannot be accessed by anyone outside of our Computing Suite.
- We have posters created by pupils which are in the Suite and around school that remind them of the SMART rules.
Teachers and other staff report any Internet Safety issues to either the Computing subject leader or the Head-Teacher. The whole school take part in special assemblies to celebrate SAFER INTERNET DAY. Pupils that week use their Computing Session to take part in and discuss the SMART RULES and a host of interactive online activities promoting Internet Safety. This is something we value very highly and are most vigilant about. We want our pupils to be informed, SMART digital-citizens and we hope to give them every opportunity to be just that. If you would like any further information - or discuss any matter related to what you have read here, please contact our Computing subject leader who will be more than happy to talk to you.