Valley Primary School and Nursery recently achieved their certified status after successfully implementing a whole school approach to online safety.
The Cumbria-based school have enjoyed great success in engaging the whole school community, including children and parents and carers.
ICT Coordinator, Charlotte Branney kindly took the time to talk to us about how National Online Safety have had a positive impact on their online safeguarding capabilities.
Why did you choose National Online Safety?
We’d used a lot of your #WakeUpWednesday resources and, around two years ago I saw an advertisement on Facebook which focused on the certified online safety training.
We work in an area where it is quite difficult to engage parents sometimes and we found that a lot of outside influence is coming into the school – so we needed to be at the head of our game.
Could you tell me a little bit more about the package/resources you’ve purchased and how you found these?
I spoke to Chris (Skinner) and he explained what National Online Safety could do for us.
We looked at how we engage staff, governors and parents and how we could bring that all together, which was quite appealing to us as a school.
It was apparent that the whole school approach would work alongside the resources which you produce as well.
How have you found the service from National Online Safety?
We’ve had incidents where we’ve not known what to do and not heard of the app, and your support team have told me exactly what it is, the danger(s) – which is invaluable.
It means that we can give ‘firefighting’ type feedback.
How much of a benefit has National Online Safety’s resources been to your school?
As an ICT Coordinator you become something of a jack of all trades, so it’s so nice to be able to go onto Facebook and share the guides. They make you feel like you’re doing your bit and there’s that element of providing a regular reminder.
What is your feedback on our weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides? How would you say they’ve added to your e-safety approach?
The #WakeUpWednesday resources are brilliant!
How much of a benefit has the ability to undertake courses and training on an online platform, in your own time been?
We’ve managed to get everyone trained up during lockdown, which has been absolutely brilliant. There’s been really good parental engagement, with high numbers signing up to the hub.
From my point of view, it’s vital to get everyone trained. Undertaking training in this way allows people to dip in and out when they wish.
You recently achieved your Certified School Status – how rewarding has it been to be awarded with this?
During lockdown, we achieved our Certified School Status, which we’re really proud of.
It’s great and it’s great for the parents also, because they’re really chuffed that we’ve been able to achieve something so big and it’s helped them to feel engaged with everything.
In a way, it’s brought the whole school together and it’s something we can celebrate at the end of this very strange time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The monthly online safety news webinars, for me as ICT Coordinator, really helps because, instead of trawling through guidance, I can watch a webinar and then feed that information back to the Designated Safeguarding Leads and staff, to let them know of what to be aware of.
That’s really handy.