Safer Internet Day takes place on Tuesday 9 February and in school...
Safer Internet Day this year takes place on Tuesday 9 February with the theme Play your part for a better internet. Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, hundreds of organisations will be helping to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. In school we will be focusing this week in our assemblies on using the internet safely and helping to create a kinder internet.
In recent weeks our Year 7 and Year 9 pupils have been looking at issues surrounding online safety in their Computing lessons. Both groups have been using the thought-provoking videos from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) and class discussion to help them put together advice leaflets and videos.
Year 7 pupils have been exploring ideas about online friendships, privacy and cyber bullying. They have come up with their own sets of guidelines based on those found in the films.
- Make sure that you know who your online friends are in real life.
- Make sure any accounts are set to private.
- Make sure that you don’t share photos that you wouldn’t be happy to show parents or other relatives. Posting photos that are not appropriate can leave you vulnerable to blackmail or threats.
- Don’t talk about others or post photos of others online that they may not be happy with.
- Be kind and make sure that your online posts represent you in a positive way.
- If you have any problems, speak to an adult. If the issue is serious, speak to Childline or CEOP.
In Year 9 we have started to look at issues of sharing images online, with a particular focus on the dangers of ‘sexting’ or sending revealing images. We have looked at the legal issues as well as the emotional trauma that can be caused by such images becomingpublic and/or permanent.
The work in these lessons is part of a wider curriculum. In PSHE, similar issues are discussed in Year 10 as part of the unit on Healthy Relationships. Pupils will examine the dangers of sexting and the consequences of posting images online. Furthermore, pupils reflect on the dangers of meeting people online.
In Year 8 a visiting theatre company performed a play called Chelsea’s Choice in November, tackling the difficult issue of child sexual exploitation and elements of online safety.
On Thursday a team from Gloucestershire Police will be in school with their Community Engagement Vehicle, providing information for all year groups on staying safe from cyber crimes and other online safety advice. Pupils can come and chat to officers about internet concerns/worries and will be able to talk to officers discreetly and privately if they have are issues that concern them.
We should all be having conversations with our children and young people about staying safe online, respecting others and knowing where to find help. If in any doubt, our young people should feel able to talk with parents/carers and any staff at school. As digital devices have become increasingly portable, it can feel more difficult for parents to feel a part of their child’s digital world, but we hope that the information above regarding our pupils' discussions and work in school, and the following links, can support the conversations you and your children are having at home.
- Safer Internet Centre: Parents and Carers
- Safer Internet Centre: Young People
- Gloucestershire Constabulary: Staying safe whilst online