The commencement of lockdown earlier on this year provided Thomas Gray Primary School with the opportunity to place a strong focus on ensuring their whole community had proficiency in online safety.
As a reflection of this, the Bootle-based school purchased our Certified School membership package and subsequently achieved their accredited status in September 2020.
Year 4 Teacher and Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Chris Davies, says that the whole-school approach of National Online Safety’s resources and training has had an overwhelmingly positive effect.
Why did you choose National Online Safety?
We joined National Online Safety during lockdown and it was just before then that we found out about it.
One of the things which I liked about it was the video that came with it.
How have you found the service from National Online Safety?
The service has been great from the National Online Safety team!
How much of a benefit has National Online Safety’s resources been to your school?
We’ve got a parent consultation group that I lead on and we’ve got 15 or 16 who are heavily involved in school.
We meet together about four or five times a year to discuss what’s going well in school and what we can do further. We’ve actually put them on so they can complete the course (Annual Certificate in Online Safety for Parents & Carers), which means they’ll be trained in online safety and can pass the message on.
That’s been a real positive.
What were the goals for using our resources?
We chose it really to empower the children a little bit more, so that they had more of an understanding of what online safety was.
We’ve used figures from Children’s TV programmes in some of our lesson plans, how good has this been for the children in terms of providing a relatable source of content?
We’ve even got a nurture base in our school, which is for children who have severe dyslexia, autism or ADHD.
They’ve really took to it because of the specific characters that are on it and actually who they are.
If you could draw one positive from National Online Safety’s resources, what would it be?
It puts everything together, because now governors, parents, staff and children can all be trained in online safety, which is what we like about it.
What is your feedback on our weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides? How would you say they’ve added to your e-safety approach?
We’ve been putting all of the #WakeUpWednesday guides on our Twitter and social media, especially with all the new apps which are coming out at the moment.
Some of them we’ve not even heard of and the children are fully aware of them, which is quite scary when you think about it.
How much of a benefit has the ability to undertake courses and training on an online platform, in your own time been?
We’ve got a computer suite and because we’ve got bubbles, we’re not allowing all of our children to go in there at the moment.
There are just two bubbles, that’s it.
With the rest of the children, especially because of lockdown and everything that’s online at the moment, we’re using the online safety lesson plans on online relationships and straight away, looked at that.
You recently achieved your Certified School Status – how rewarding has it been to be awarded with this?
We’ve now got the validation which we’ve put on our website and it is a validation that we’re focusing on online safety.
It’s a really important point about your training, because not only have we achieved it, but that is there all year in terms of staff being able to go back and have a look at the videos.