For St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy, equipping their staff with the latest online safety knowledge is essential.
The school places a huge emphasis on ensuring that all pupils are taught in a way which empowers them to make safe decisions when they are online.
With support from National Online Safety, St Thomas’ has been able to embed a culture of online safety throughout the whole school community.
Importance of online safety
Kachelle Shepherd from St Thomas’ joined us to discuss the importance of online safety – and how our Certified School Programme has empowered the school’s community to keep children safe in the online world.
With the digital landscape continuing to evolve rapidly, it was collectively felt at St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy that, to be properly equipped, a proactive rather than reactive approach was needed.
Kachelle said: “The internet is such a big part of everybody’s lives – more so after the pandemic. Children were using the internet daily in most cases.
“It’s a fantastic tool – if it’s used safely,” she smiled. “So we're trying to push key messages out to our whole school community around online safety.”
Becoming a Certified School
When it came to choosing National Online Safety, Kachelle was impressed with the range of resources and training which multiple stakeholders could access on our platform.
“We wanted something which provided support for pupils and staff, but also for parents,” she recalled. “There wasn’t one particular aspect of the programme which stood out to us, because when we were looking through the platform, we saw that there was a wide range of CPD available to ensure that we are committed to online safety as a school.”
She added: “It’s important for us to be able to prepare the children for their future in the wider world.”
Positive feedback from the whole school community
As well as strong engagement levels from school staff, parents and carers have shown a real enthusiasm, too – something that’s delighted the school.
“Feedback has been extremely positive,” Kachelle confirmed. “Parents and carers now feel that they have online safety support at home.”
She continued: “It’s been really good having that holistic support from National Online Safety. The evolving world of apps was important for us to focus on: TikTok in particular after the pandemic.
“The platform provided us with a bank of the most up-to-date knowledge in a really user-friendly way,” Kachelle commented. “It’s been crucial to have that flexibility – particularly with parents who have varying work patterns.
“National Online Safety provided them with support on a range of online dangers and risks,” she added. “It’s a coherent approach to online safety for the whole school community, which offers us regularly updated resources that we can use to support the children.”
“It’s not just about preparing children for the physical world anymore,” Kachelle summarised. "It’s crucial to inform them about the online world, too.”