Online Safety in School

How we help to ensure the online safety of pupils and staff when using the school’s network and Internet connection.

The use of technology brings many learning benefits; however, there are also risks that we need to be aware of. All users, be they children or adults, need a clear understanding of what the risks and dangers are, and how these can be managed safely. As a school, we need to balance these risks with the opportunities technology offers and moderate them by the careful and rigorous application of e-safety measures.

Just as we would teach a child how to cross a road or ride a bike safely, then it is important that we also teach children how to keep safe online, rather than deny them the opportunity to learn from and enjoy the wide variety of material available through the Internet.

At Swansfield Park Primary School, we use stories to teach the children how to make safe decisions when online.

With younger children (Early Years and Key Stage 1), we use the story of Smartie the Penguin. The children follow the adventures of Smartie and Daddy Penguin as Smartie learns how to be safe on the Internet.

If you’d like to explore the story or try some fun activities at home, here’s the link to the website:

http://www.childnet.com/resources/smartie-the-penguin

We also use the story of Penguin Pig to teach children not to believe everything they see online. You can see photos from Penguin Pig's visit to Swansfield Park here:

Penguin Pig!

With older children (Key Stage 2), we use The Adventures of Kara, Winston and The Smart Crew:

http://www.childnet.com/resources/the-adventures-of-kara-winston-and-the-smart-crew

These cartoons illustrate five e-safety SMART rules and include a real-life Smart Crew of young people, who guide the cartoon characters in their quest and help them make safe online decisions.

You can find a copy of the SMART rules here:

http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/KidSMART-poster.pdf

Children are also taught to follow our ‘Think then Click’ rules when using computers in school:

  • We only use school computers for school purposes.
  • We keep our passwords safe and don’t share them.
  • We don’t change or delete anyone else’s work.
  • We always ask permission before using computers or the Internet.
  • We only use websites our teacher has chosen.
  • We immediately turn off the screen or close a webpage if we see something that makes us feel uncomfortable.
  • We only send messages to people our teacher has approved.
  • We send messages that are polite and friendly.
  • We never open e-mails sent by anyone we don’t know.
  • We never use chat rooms.
  • We never give out personal details, such as our address or phone number.
  • We never arrange to meet anyone we don’t know.
  • We tell the teacher if we see anything we are unhappy with.

Use of computers at Swansfield Park Primary School is dependent upon agreeing to follow these rules.

In addition to educating the children on how to stay safe online, we also use monitoring software (Policy Central Enterprise) which allows us to help ensure the online safety of pupils and staff when using the school’s network and Internet connection. Policy Central offers us a wide range of features, in particular identifying and preventing:

  • Bullying
  • Inappropriate comments or searches
  • Inadvertent exposure to inappropriate web sites
  • Access to unmoderated forums and chat rooms