NOS Certified School Community Case Study – Michael Hall School
Michael Hall School is an independent full age range school, serving children from ages 3 to 19. It is also the longest-running Waldorf Steiner School in the world. With such a broad range of ages and, given its pedagogical approach, is a “tech shy school” Michael Hall was looking for support and a range of online safety information that would work for staff, pupils and parents alike.
The SLT at Michael Hall School found approaching online safety as a broad issue challenging as Steiner Schools try to limit tech and screen time in favour of creative and spiritual sessions and outdoor lessons. Similarly, staff and parents tend to be “not necessarily very technical” (some don’t have internet access at home) and therefore needed maximum support, training and guidance to protect pupils from new and changing online risks.
“Delivering online safety lessons was not a popular request amongst some of our teaching staff. Without the resources that NOS provided I think it would have been a lot harder to achieve.”
– Cecile Monks, Compliance Officer & Admin Office Manager
They became aware of National Online Safety, and the Certified School Community programme quickly became their support service in August 2018. NOS’s wide range of courses, resources, activity packs, lesson plans and regular newsletters – plus the goal of accredited status – appealed to Michael Hall’s needs. Plus, the total alignment with the changes to the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 legislation assured the SLT that this was the only choice for them.
They say the staff have learned alongside the pupils, creating a shared approach to tackling online safety. And while initially the teaching staff were reluctant to deliver online safety information to their classes, they say that without training and resources gained through their Certified School Community membership “it would have been a lot harder to achieve”.
The staff, governors and parents have now completed the courses required to achieve Certified School Community status. While they have met their immediate goal, they will continue access to updated course modules, accompanying resources and regular updates as they strive to build their online safety knowledge and capability even further.