Online Safety and Advice for Parents
Click here to see the school’s online safety policy.
There are two members of staff responsible for online safety: Mrs McGettigan and Miss Zoey Diemer.
The impact of the internet has been so profound on our lives, that all schools are presented with the challenge of ensuring that children can be safe and responsible as citizens in a virtual world as well as the real one. As adults and educators, we are very conscious of the fact that when our children have grown in adults, the world that they will experience is not one that we can see right now. This is particularly true when it comes to the impact of the internet.
At St. John Rigby, the “Switched On” computing curriculum is embedded from Years 1 – 6. Within each year group, there are clear age-appropriate modules and topics which allow children to develop in their ability to manage themselves safely when online.
Within the “Switched On” curriculum, pupils are taught how to take responsibility for their own Internet access and are given clear objectives for Internet use.
- Pupils are taught how to evaluate Internet content and how to validate information before accepting that it is necessarily accurate.
- Older pupils are taught to acknowledge the source of information, when using Internet material for their own use.
- Pupils are made aware that the writer of an e-mail or the author of a Web page might not be the person claimed.
- Pupils are encouraged to tell a teacher immediately if they encounter any material that makes them feel uncomfortable.
With many older children, safe internet use includes the increased time spent on mobile devices and, in particular the use of social networking apps.
Across Years 5 and 6, the following events have taken place in the last academic year in order to raise awareness of online safety:
- Year 6 visit from MK Safety Centre: full day of workshops on keeping safe online.
- Year 6 visit from PC Richard Denton (half day), from Bedfordshire Police. PC Denton and his team liaise directly with many Bedford schools and is able to advise on local issues that may affect our pupils.
- Year 5 “In the Net”. This year group attended a play organised by Bedford Borough and hosted by St. Thomas More. It was able to present many of the internet safety issues in an age appropriate way.
All of these events are based on the ongoing advice given to schools by two agencies:
The school has also engaged in an online safety audit whereby Directors have met with the Headteacher, and online safety lead, to scrutinise policies, procedures and systems including data protection and the use of internet filtering. Directors also met with pupils and carried out a learning walk to see the children in action.
Directors are currently collating evidence from visits so that the school can apply for a SWGFL accredited online safety award in the next academic year.