Matchborough First School Academy places significant importance on the safeguarding of its pupils.
Becoming a member of National Online Safety has empowered the whole school community to respond to current online developments, using a variety of resources available on our platform.
The importance of online safety
Ceri Cartwright, IT Lead at Matchborough First School, revealed: "We focus on digital literacy a lot in our school."
Reflecting on the impact of several national lockdowns, Ceri explained that Matchborough decided to put more emphasis on online safety training for all staff members.
She explained: "Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there were a lot more children at home, on computers or iPads."
"Because of that, we found that children were using digital devices more often and experiencing more online learning."
Ceri continued: "We felt that since they returned to school, some pupils had experienced negativity online. We decided to focus on that and spent a lot of time on online safety to support the children."
Starting the journey to become a Certified School
Utilising our multi-award-winning online safety resources, the staff at Matchborough First School Academy have been able to deliver both engaging and informative content to the children.
That, coupled with the ability to adopt a flexible approach to online safety training, played a huge part in their ultimate decision to join National Online Safety.
Ceri clarified: "The school wanted to ensure that parents, carers and staff felt that they could keep children safe in the online world."
"The whole school community can get involved with the National Online Safety programme."
She added: "The training can be done online, and all stakeholders have access to it at all times, when it's convenient for them."
"Being able to access the training from anywhere, on any device, has been very beneficial. Even if you’re impacted by Covid, there's something that can be worked on at home."
Positive feedback from the whole school community
Ceri outlined how staff feedback is pivotal when assessing the impact of an external provider. The response to National Online Safety’s offering has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Staff have said that the training is a great length, it's not too intensive and they can return to it when they have the time," she nodded. "We've had great feedback on the #WakeUpWednesday guides too."
"If children mention a game or app, we can use the guides to find out more and support them with that," Ceri elaborated. "We ran a competition to see how many parents could complete the online courses and provided a voucher to the winner. Parents and carers have said that the mobile app is really helpful, too."
A collective sense of pride
Reflecting on achieving their Certified School Accreditation, Ceri said the over-arching feeling is one of pride, which is continuing to motivate everyone at Matchborough First School Academy to further utilise our resources and training.
She declared: "We’re extremely proud of the Certified School Accreditation. We're really committed to safeguarding our pupils online, so I'm pleased that we’ve managed to reach all of those stakeholders."
Ceri concluded: "Enabling parents to access the training and resources online has been extremely helpful. There are a few resources that we haven't had chance to use yet, but we’re planning to use those for Safer Internet Day 2022."