Online Safety at Our Lady Star of the Sea
The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.
At Our Lady’s, online safety is like a golden thread that runs through our curriculum. The creative approach that we use when we teach the curriculum allows the children to constantly be using the technology that we have in school. Whether it is using the i-pads for filming or the computers for IXL or the laptops for research, the children need to be able to use these things to support their learning. With each and every opportunity to use different devices, discussions are had with the children about how they can stay safe whilst using the internet. The world that we are preparing the children for is one that is full of technology. Instead of writing a letter, we now send an email. Instead of taking a photograph and getting the photograph printed, we now take them on our smart phones and upload them to the cloud. It is crucial that we allow the children to embrace this but that they are educated about how to keep safe whilst using it.
In school, we have created a progressive list of key skills that tackle each issue associated with the children keeping safe online. It is important that the topic is taught sensitively and alongside our PSHE curriculum. The children are enabled to have open and honest discussions. They share worries and stories that they have heard so that they have all the tools needed to keep themselves safe online. We know that at some point they may be exposed to something online that they feel uncomfortable about. What is important is that they have the education to help them when this happens; to tell an adult straight away.