Today’s pupils are growing up in an increasingly complex world, living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also presents challenges and risks.
As a school we want to equip our pupils with the knowledge needed to make the best use of the internet and technology in a safe, considered and respectful way, so they are able to reap the benefits of the online world. Furthermore, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure that students understand the importance of adopting safe and responsible behaviours and good online safety practice when using digital technologies outside of school. With teenagers’ use of technology constantly evolving, we recognise the need to regularly share information, training and guidance in an appropriate manner across the wider school community, include parents, carers and governors.
From September 2020, Relationship Education became compulsory for all secondary age pupils. Through a wider whole school approach pupils are being taught about online safety and harms. This includes being taught what positive, healthy and respectful online relationships look like, the effects of their online actions on others and knowing how to recognise and display respectful behaviour online. Online safety and appropriate behaviour in an age appropriate way that is relevant to their pupils’ lives is being addressed through both Key stages
Our existing computing curriculum covers the principles of online safety at both key stages, with progression in the content to reflect the different and escalating risks that pupils face. This includes how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely, and where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
It is important to focus on the underpinning knowledge and behaviours that can help pupils to navigate the online world safely and confidently regardless of the device, platform or app. Our teaching is therefore built into existing lessons across the curriculum, covered within specific online safety lessons and/or school wide approaches.
Teaching will always be age and developmentally appropriate and will include, but is not limited to, teaching pupils:
Online safety is firmly embedded in the Computing curriculum across years 7 - 9 with it forming the basis of the first unit pupils study in each of these year groups. Online safety is further consolidated by the delivery of lessons in the PSHE curriculum, which address wider online safety topics with very specific foci. Elements of online safety are also delivered in KS4, with key topics being covered in a range of option subjects as well as through PSHE.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch with Mr Paul Bell, Director of Digital Learning.