Thomas Gray Primary School aims to help its whole school community to grow, believe and achieve.
Aware of the risks that the online world can pose to their pupils, the school had an ambition to empower staff, parents, carers and children through high-quality online safety training.
Joining National Online Safety
Amy Bell from Thomas Gray Primary joined us to discuss the importance of online safety – and how our Certified School Programme has empowered the school to keep children safe in the digital world.
Amy began: “I think online safety is a huge focus for our school: I’m very passionate about that. I encourage teaching staff to include it in every lesson that we possibly can.”
She explained: “We have Chromebooks for all the children, which they use for homework, reading and researching. Therefore it’s important that we place a big focus on keeping the children safe online.”
With pupils spending more time at home and online throughout the pandemic, Thomas Gray Primary felt that a proactive approach was needed.
Amy confirmed: “Throughout the pandemic, we had more online safety issues, so we’re trying to ensure that the children know how to be responsible digital citizens.”
Reflecting on the school’s journey with National Online Safety, Amy recalled: “I believe we saw an advertisement for National Online Safety, initially. It was something that we were in the market for at the time, too.”
She continued: “We signed up for a low number of subscriptions, but we increased that over time because we’ve found the programme so useful.”
A wealth of online safety training and resources
Classroom-based learning has also been invaluable, with our age-specific interactive lesson plans proving hugely successful in engaging the children.
Amy nodded: “We use the lesson plans throughout the school, to support learning in the classroom. The children absolutely love the fact that the presenters are from national children’s television!”
She smiled: “They were so excited - it was great. It really helped us to engage them. I think that’s a very useful aspect of the programme.
“Some teachers struggle to include online safety in their lessons, as they might not be confident in the area. The lesson plans are invaluable for that.”
Amy commented: “There’s a huge range of webinars and courses on the platform, which is great. Our staff can access it when it’s convenient for them and complete the CPD in their own time.
“We find the certificates particularly helpful, as we can keep track of who has completed the CPD and where we could be improving.”
Increasing parent & carer engagement
Only around half of UK parents and carers regularly talk to their child about possible risks on the internet, according to a new survey by National Online Safety.
At Thomas Gray Primary School, increasing parent and carer engagement is of the upmost importance.
Amy outlined: “We use National Online Safety to support our parents and carers too. We direct them to the platform, and they use the courses and free guides on there.
“We’ve had really great feedback on the resources from parents and carers in the school community. It’s all been very positive from them.”