What is online safety?
In simple terms, online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety and cyber safety.
Although the Internet has limitless resources for information, communication, music, videos, games etc. There is a darker side to the Internet and it is important to know how to keep safe.
Being safe online means individuals are protecting themselves and others from online harms and risks which may jeopardise their personal information, lead to unsafe communications or even affect their mental health and wellbeing.
Staying safe online has never been more important or relevant to our pupils and families. Online Safety is part of the Computing subject curriculum in KS1 and KS2. It exists in the 'Digital Literacy' strand. It is also a life skill taught in school to be reinforced at home and can be practised daily through a consistent message at home and in school.
Below are a number of resources, links and documents that will help you as a parent not only to understand in more detail what is taught in school, but also how you can support your child at home, whatever their age.
What we teach in School...
At Sherwell Valley we use a range of strategies to ensure we are teaching good habits and safe behaviours when going online as well as providing a range of contexts and experiences for them to practise and embed these habits. These will often include Modelling safe behaviours through Google Workspace, use of the internet and other online tools
- Drip feed of key messages through all curriculum subjects, such as how to search safely through a search engine, or how to collaborate in a document;
- Sequential and progressive planning for direct teaching of Online Safety throughout the school, using National Online Safety, saferinternet.org, CEOP's 'Think You Know' material and the South West Grid for Learning's Project Evolve scheme.
- Specific whole school focus on annual and national events, such as anti-bullying week and Safer Internet Day.
How can we keep our children safe/ raise awareness?
We are introducing (spring 2021) Acceptable User policies for all pupils to sign. These are age appropriate: one for Infant children and one for Junior children. They are designed to highlight important key facts which help children to respect the Internet and associated equipment. (See below to download.)
Our Curriculum includes...
At Sherwell Valley we educate children to:
- Keep their personal information safe;
- Tell a trusted adult if anything makes them feel uncomfortable;
- Realise online friends are online;
- Check before opening links, taking part in competitions from unknown sources etc;
- Understand what their Digital footprint is;
- Be aware of fake news! You cannot trust everything you read and see. Always check at least 2 websites, ask someone or refer to a book.
A copy of our Online Safety Policy is available to download below.
Using the Internet in School
We use Sophos filtering to fall in line with Government requirements. Schools in England (and Wales) are required “to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school, including by establishing appropriate levels of filtering.” Furthermore, the Department for Education’s statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2)
obliges schools and colleges in England to “ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place. Children should not be able to access harmful or inappropriate material from the school or colleges IT systems,” UK Safer Internet Centre.
There are many websites which offer guidance and advice. They have information, videos, quizzes and games to support online safety. Here are some to help you and your family:
National Online Safety – a lot of guides for using Facebook, TikTok, Fortnite etc.
Use of Google Classroom
Our login names are linked to our filtering system for use both at home and in School.
Our remote learning devices are restricted to our domain name for the safety of our pupils.