As a non-class-based teacher in the school, one of my responsibilities, which I share with Mr Pitts and Miss Clarke, is to supervise the computing curriculum. One of my specific roles is around online safety. I sit on the school’s online safety group, a steering group made up of staff and trustees, which guides the direction of online safety within the curriculum. We also review and monitor what happens in classrooms, looking for trends in the use of online resources and feeding the information back to teachers so that they can educate the children appropriately.
Because we are so proactive in our use of digital technologies as tools for education, we get very few online issues – but sometimes our monitoring will flag things like playground disputes that have been taken onto Messenger, or perhaps inappropriate searches within projects using words that are automatically flagged-up by the filtering company we use.
Aside from this monitoring, our approach is to allow children filtered access the internet. Our policy is about developing safe behaviours and habits, which is much more useful than blocking the whole internet and keeping children ‘in a box’, bearing in mind that they have unfiltered access at home and need to develop their own safe practice.
I’m also involved in the work of the Cornerstone Teaching School, delivering online safety workshops on behalf of Babcock LDP, both in-house here at Broadclyst and at other schools.
Last year I trained as a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Ambassador, and can train people in the Thinkuknow education response to CEOP’s child protection initiative. CEOP is a multi-agency, multinational branch of UK law enforcement, and their remit is child protection. The Thinkuknow website aims to develop safe behaviours online, including mobile, browsing and social media.
For Safer Internet Day 2017, we have made a short video in school about our golden rules of safe behaviour, talking to Freddie and Alicia, who helped make the South West Grid for Learning film about internet safety. All the children will be watching the video this week, and every class will be working on this year’s SID theme, Be the change – unite for a better internet.