Peel Park Primary School have a proactive approach to online safety, and one which recently saw them rewarded with a Certified School Accreditation from National Online Safety.
Naturally proud of the accomplishment, Emma Radcliffe, computing and online safety lead at Peel Park, says she and the rest of her staff will be using the achievement as building block for future safeguarding successes.
That being said, Miss Radcliffe did have the opportunity to reflect and consider just how hard the Accrington-based school have worked.
Working as a collective
As well as ongoing support from National Online Safety, Peel Park have also established a culture of online safety amongst key stakeholders.
She said: “We’ve set up a working group, for developing all of the policies and talking about online safety issues in our school – and that’s worked really well.
“That includes myself, the headteacher, technicians in school, governors, a local police officer and head boy and head girl.
“We all work together as a team for online safety.”
Miss Radcliffe explained how the school have harvested strong relationships with their parental community.
Subsequently, this has afforded the opportunity for ongoing conversations to be had, especially when a specific concern is raised.
“With the lockdown which took place previously, we noticed a huge increase in the number of children who are going online and chatting to each other,” she revealed.
“We used to have them playing games online, whereas that seems to have shifted towards going into more chatrooms and talking to people.
“The parents who’ve let us know about these things are concerned, but they’ve not always got the right skills to equip them in order to support the children at home.
“So, where they’ve been talking to us about their concerns, we’ve been trying to prompt them and guide them towards your website for the extra parental guides which are on there.
“We share the guides on our Facebook page every Wednesday, but we also print them out as and when we need to share them with parents. So, when we’re having those conversations with them, we can have them on hand to say that we’ve got the guides if they’d like to use them.”
Engaging lesson plans
Classroom-based learning has been invaluable too, with our age-relevant lesson plans having a huge impact when it comes to engaging the children.
Miss Radcliffe stated: “The videos have been fantastic – a great resource!
“We’ve then linked in with the PowerPoints and the extra worksheets and resources. The discussions we’ve then got from the children really have been phenomenal.
“It really shows their understanding at a deep level, but it’s also enhanced their understanding. We’ve done some lessons on the persuasive advertisements, and the children have been really engaged in thinking about the apps which they use.”
With a Certified School Accreditation under their arm and, that consistently updated suite of training and resources from National Online Safety, Miss Radcliffe highlighted the confidence which exists moving forward.
“We’ve worked so hard on online safety as a school for many years, so it’s nice to have that recognition of the steps towards the success which we’ve had,” she declared
“As an online safety lead, I’m very well known in the school for having a bit of a bee in my bonnet about issues and chasing people up for doing things, and that’s not going to stop just because we’ve got the award.
“I want to really build on this a lot further, to ensure that we keep up with all the skills we’ve got.
“Whenever new technology comes in, your resources are going to be the first place which we’ll keep going to.”