Our Six-Steps training is now CPD Accredited, which gives schools peace of mind and knowledge that the sessions we run are quality assured. Our expert team deliver the sessions in an engaging and interesting way. Our feedback is consistently good.
Teaching online safety
The importance of teaching children online safety has never been higher. Each week we seem to hear of new or different threats and issues from mental health to addiction, from privacy to reputational damage. But teaching online safety has developed, it’s changed. It is no longer enough to visit the matter once a year (during or around Safer Internet Day), nor is it appropriate to focus entirely on not giving away personal information. The topic is now much wider than cyberbullying, stranger danger and accessing inappropriate content.
Wider range of knowledge and understanding
Children need a much wider and coherent range of understanding covering privacy and security, copyright and ownership, information and fake news, respectful relationships, caring friendships, reputation, self-image and identity, bullying, health and well-being and lifestyle. These are the areas covered by the Education for a Connected World Framework and Relationships Education, but we have purposefully removed the online reference in each of these as children live increasingly blended lifestyles -largely ignoring the difference between what is online and what is offline.
Children’s access to the internet
Children are accessing the Internet before they start school. They are moving quickly from consumers of content (Youtube, Netflix), to playing games (Fortnite, Slither.io, Roblox, Minecraft) to communicating through such games, to sharing, viewing and friending through Social Media (WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok) to Live Streaming; often with limited guidance or supervision. In a world where online and offline activity is becoming increasingly blurred and blended it is essential that we not only teach children effectively, but that we develop a culture of online safety that covers the spectrum of an ever-complicated and growing area.
Children sharing and learning
Young children invariably learn about technology and the Internet through observing and copying their older siblings, parents and peers. They explore and use trial and error. Methods that are successful, but not without risk. Consequently, children need teaching, they require scaffolding and modelling, but they also need to be able to apply that learning through first-hand experience. To provide the relevant experiences, it is essential that schools develop a culture of online safety where all the members of the community have a role to play and a responsibility to undertake.
We have developed our Six Steps approach to support schools in developing such a culture. It is adaptable and flexible to meet most circumstances in schools. Our proposal involves schools adapting their practice according to their specific circumstances based on six key areas of activity;
- Whole school approach
- Planned and progressive curriculum
- Approaches for children and parents to use to keep themselves safe
- Shared knowledge and understanding of children’s online activity
- Knowing the signs of manipulative online behaviour
- First-hand experience for children
Each area is important to ensure that the school approach is coherent and successful. Each part is as critical as any other.
We are delighted that our work in this area has resulted in recognition through our training being CPD accredited. We are equally pleased that what we have been saying for some time is now embedded in the recommendations from the DfE in their most recent online safety guidance. Our steps make sense in a rapidly-changing world. The challenge is for schools to embed them in their practice.
Get in touch to find out more or attend one of our briefing session.