A significant part of my role now looks at ways to help children stay safe online. I have recently taken over the role of E-safety Champion, alongside my role as Designated Safeguarding Lead for the school, and I’m really pleased to be increasing my knowledge and understanding of how we can support and empower our children when they use the internet.
Many of us have had to adapt the way we work with technology over the last year, maybe this has been conducting meetings via ZOOM with colleagues or catching up with family. I am sure you are all very familiar with the platforms we have used as a school during our time of lockdown too: Google Meet and Seesaw.
Last week, I attended an E-safety event led by the UK Safer Internet Centre. I found it beneficial to understand more about how we interact online and how this has advanced over the last few years. I was interested to hear that some online activity can be good for our mental health. Perhaps one of the most useful pieces of information given was to use gift cards when making in-game purchases to provide a cap on children’s spending!
Ditto, the e-safety magazine which has recently been distributed to all staff and parents, is a good way to learn more about what is new online and a useful way to feel more confident about what children are facing in our digital world. I really like the premise set out by its editor, Alan Mackenzie, that ‘behaviour is the most important aspect (of using technology). To understand behaviour, we have to be a part of children’s lives in order to understand what they’re doing with technology and why.’
In school it is every teacher’s responsibility to support children to feel confident when using the internet, making them aware that it has many benefits but also to know how to protect themselves effectively. On Friday we gave children in Forms 3 – 8 the opportunity to take part in the ‘Be Internet Legends’ e-safety national assembly. This has provided us with a great platform to start discussions about how our pupils use the internet. Lecca Moss, Form 4 Tutor and part of our safeguarding team, has very kindly provided a link to a game related to this assembly for children to enjoy on Seesaw. This is available by clicking on your child’s computing class.
A drop-in session is also being hosted soon for any parents who are interested. The focus is sharing information carefully on the internet. Please click on the link below when it goes live on Tuesday 30th March at 15:30pm:
In the meantime, please let me know if you have any concerns or questions.
Mrs Sarah Smith
Form 8 Tutor
Head of Humanities
Designated Safeguarding Lead and E-safety Champion