For Aston Fence Junior and Infant School, equipping their staff with the latest online safety knowledge is of paramount importance.
The school, located in Sheffield, has placed a huge emphasis on ensuring that all pupils are taught in a way which empowers them to make safe decisions when they are online.
Through National Online Safety’s comprehensive Certified School programme, Aston Fence has been able to embed a culture of online safety throughout the whole school community.
The importance of online safety
To gain a further insight into exactly how the staff at Aston Fence Junior and Infant School approach online safety each day, we spoke to IT Lead Andrea Finn, who has been instrumental in the implementation of our training.
She explained: "With Aston Fence Junior and Infant School being relatively small, I have a number of roles and responsibilities."
As the online world evolves so rapidly, it was collectively felt at the school that becoming properly equipped required a proactive rather than reactive approach.
Andrea revealed: "I’m a deputy DSL, which has given me a lot of experience in real-life situations that our children have found themselves in."
Accessible training for the whole school
"What prompted us to join National Online Safety was the implementation of the new PSHE curriculum, which overlapped with the computing curriculum," Andrea clarified.
"With online safety being flagged up there, we felt that we really needed to highlight and promote it in a much more obvious way to our whole school community."
National Online Safety’s training and resources are all designed in line with the statutory requirements for schools – leaving Andrea with no doubts when it came to the product’s validity.
"We looked for a resource that was relevant to our needs, manageable for everyone and would involve no extra workload on the already high demands of a classroom teacher," she outlined.
High-quality resources for teaching staff
Classroom-based learning has been invaluable too, with our age-specific interactive lesson plans being hugely successful in engaging the children.
“We're only about a year into the Certified School programme, and the main thing we've got from it so far has been the lesson plans and the delivery of the training itself for all of the year groups." Andrea commented.
She declared: "The staff have been really pleased with the resources and training."
Utilising our online safety lesson plans, the school staff have been able to deliver informative content to the children
“The ease of use is fantastic, and the fact that the lessons are able to be delivered by a range of staff across the school." Andrea reported.
"It's quite a flexible approach. The lessons are already planned, the videos are extremely relevant and someone else can pick up that lesson if required without a lot of input from the class teacher," she nodded.
Engaging with parents and carers
In addition to the award-winning online safety training, our weekly #WakeUpWednesday series has given the school another means of providing informative and eye-catching online safety advice to their whole school community.
Andrea stated: "We’ve been sharing the #WakeUpWednesday guides via Twitter on a weekly basis."
"National Online Safety provides the relevant information that parents may need. For example, the 'Setting Up Parental Controls' guide or looking at specific apps, games and devices that could be dangerous for their children if they’re not being managed in the correct way."
”The biggest benefit so far has been the ease of use”.
Andrea explained: "With any purchase or subscription you go for as a school, you always want to make sure that you’re getting value for money and that the programme is well used."
Andrea expressed her appreciation for the Certified School programme, highlighting the consistent messaging around online safety which has been embedded in the school community.
"In my role as IT Lead, I've been able to observe that staff have planned lessons and there’s evidence that these are being delivered regularly. It's now being consistently and regularly used for the purpose of improving the delivery of our PSHE and computing curriculum, which was our initial intent.” she concluded.