Mindful of the rapidly evolving digital world and the risks which exist online for their pupils, Sunnyside Spencer Academy wanted to further develop their culture of safeguarding through National Online Safety.
Since gaining Certified School status, they have been delighted with the online safeguarding training and education that the programme has provided for the whole school community.
Verity Lee, Deputy Headteacher, joined us to outline the benefits she has witnessed so far.
Online safety training for the whole school community
Reflecting on the school’s culture and approach, Verity began: "In terms of our ethos, it’s all about our community.
"As a school, we have the SHINE values,” she continued. “This stands for being successful, happy, independent, nurtured and enriched."
Verity recounted: "We were looking for high-quality online safety training and resources that would empower our staff.
"Having those regular updates for staff has been incredibly important and has already had such a massive impact on the whole school community."
Engaging with parents and carers
At Sunnyside Spencer Academy, it’s not only the school’s staff who are benefiting from our award-winning resources.
"When we have parents or carers coming in and asking what they can do to support their children with online safety at home, we’re able to hand them the #WakeUpWednesday guides from National Online Safety," Verity revealed.
Responding to the latest apps, games and online trends, our weekly #WakeUpWednesday series has been invaluable for the school, who’ve been able to send out timely information when necessary.
Verity elaborated: "We send those out with our newsletter anyway, and it's important to empower our parents and carers to keep their children safe in the online world.
"It's great that they can download their certificates for completing the parent courses too."
She summarised: "By educating the parents, we have that joint responsibility of keeping children safe online. They have that toolkit of strategies to support their children, from National Online Safety."
Excellent feedback from staff
Verity 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 feedback has been excellent," she confirmed. "We trained all staff members on how to use the platform. Now they’re accessing it independently, which is great."
She smiled: "Teaching assistants are racing up the corridor with their certificates, and we can see in their behaviour and attitudes that it's having a huge impact."
"We've introduced this because we want to make sure that the whole school community is educated and aware," Verity nodded. "We have a lot of opportunities for parents to come in and see how to use the National Online Safety platform."
A consistent approach to online safety
At National Online Safety, we frequently update our resources and training – so that all our member schools can be confident they’re up to date with the latest developments in the digital world.
Verity revealed: "I love the regular monthly updates. They summarise the main points that staff need to be aware of regarding online safety."
"It allows our staff to realise that online safety is not about a one-off lesson,” she went on. “It's about those conversations happening all the time. I often hear staff communicating the messages that they've had from National Online Safety."
Verity concluded: "If you don't have the subject knowledge, you won't be confident when discussing the risks with parents and carers. Now, staff can educate the children and make them aware of the online risks."