The online world evolves at a relentless pace and schools are always looking for ways to remain up to date with the latest online safety trends and developments.
Bowling Park Primary School opted for National Online Safety’s Certified School Package to help safeguard their pupils online. Sadie Cordingley, Deputy Headteacher and DSL, joined us to discuss how the school have benefitted from their membership.
An increased use of apps, games, and devices
Online risks for children can manifest themselves in several different ways and for Bowling Park Primary School, it’s important to always be proactive in combatting these threats.
“I took over the role of DSL around 18 months ago, in the midst of the pandemic,” Sadie recalled. “We looked at the main safeguarding issues that were coming up, and online safety was one of those, which I think many schools were finding at the time.”
She commented: “Throughout the pandemic, more children were using devices than ever before.”
“We felt that we weren’t knowledgeable enough to understand the risks and dangers,” Sadie conceded. “We were struggling to keep up-to-date with the latest apps, games and devices that were available.”
“Our main issues were within Key Stage 2,” she clarified. “We had done lessons previously, covering online safety, but we found that there were still incidents within the school.”
Choosing National Online Safety
Sadie noted: “I knew about National Online Safety, as my daughter’s school had received their accreditation.”
“From a parent’s perspective, I found the Wake Up Wednesday guides really useful,” she nodded. “I'd completed one of the parents’ courses too, and thought it was excellent.
“I really liked what National Online Safety could offer our school,” Sadie smiled. “That’s how we discovered the platform, initially.”
Certified School Membership
Reflecting on the decision to become members of National Online Safety, Sadie said: “We decided to use National Online Safety as a school, and we particularly liked the lesson plans on the platform.”
As well as strong engagement levels from staff, parents and carers have shown a real enthusiasm, too – something that’s delighted the school.
“We started doing parent and carer workshops with the platform, which were well received with a lot of parents attending,” Sadie enthused.
“We use the guides when we have an online safety concern: informing parents and carers and providing them with a copy of the relevant guide,” she went on. “A few parents have been completing the courses and have said they are great. Our aim next year is to push that more to parents and carers.”
Staff have also benefitted immensely too, with experts from the world of online safety helping to shape our library of resources, such as courses and webinars.
“Staff have given excellent feedback on the webinars and courses: they really like those,” Sadie confirmed. “A lot of staff members have taken the Wake Up Wednesday guides home, to use with their own children.”
She summarised: “We like the training provided by National Online Safety because it’s very engaging in comparison to CPD which is available with other providers.”