When Chapel End Junior Academy achieved their Certified School Accreditation in June 2021, “elated” was the word which best described their emotions.
Involving the whole community, the Walthamstow-based academy have been able to develop an online safety ethos thanks to the expertise and resources provided by National Online Safety.
Year Group Leader, Computing and E-safety lead and Designated Safeguarding Lead for Online Safety, Charlie Trunkfield says there’s now a confidence embedded when it comes to protecting all pupils online.
Clarity in an ever-changing online world
In what can be a sometimes confusing and challenging online landscape, Chapel End’s ability to negate any subsequent problems has grown with National Online Safety by their side.
Mr Trunkfield said: “The online world is ever changing and it can be hard to keep up! Once you have your head around how one app works, another pops up that the children are talking about. The internet and the online world can be a wonderful place, but if used incorrectly, it can be quite scary. As children spend more time online, we feel it is our duty to educate the children on how to use the internet safely, as well as help and guide parents in their understanding of apps and the online world.
“We have been using the ‘Wake up Wednesday’ guides for a few months now, placing these in our websites and sharing on our app. However, we always felt that we could be doing more to support the children, parents and the community. We had a demonstration about what National Online Safety could offer us, and realised that this fits the needs to our school.
“The amount of resources are fantastic. If you need it, it is probably already on the National Online Safety Hub. We are also excited that our parents/carers get to access all of the information at their leisure. We know how hard parents and carers work and can often find it difficult to come into school for training sessions, now they can do it in their own time.”
Staff and parental empowerment
Protecting children online is a collective responsibility, which sits with not only the school teaching staff, but parents and carers too.
Through our versatile and robust training, there’s been a real unity when it comes to empowering respective knowledge, whether that be in the classroom or at home.
“All staff have undertaken the Annual certificate in Online Safety for teaching staff and non-teaching staff. Our DSL’s have undertaken the Online Safety for DSL’s training and our SENCO has completed the SENCO training. Staff have also experimented with using the Online Safety lessons this year, before we imbed this into our curriculum for the next academic year,” he explained.
“The feedback from staff that have already used the lesson plans has been extremely positive. The plans are easy to use and follow. They also provide plenty of talking opportunities with the children, which is one of the best ways, in my opinion, to help children understand how to use the Online world safely.
“Parents have also been very positive with the online training. As the videos are brief, they have not felt overwhelmed with information.
“Parents have also commented on how much content that they have to choose from and how it has helped them with their understanding of phrases they have heard relating to the online world, but did not necessarily understand.”
An overwhelming feeling of elation
Not only does our Certified School Accreditation provide a sense of pride, but also arms educators, parents and carers with the confidence to ensure that safeguarding continues subconsciously.
In Mr Trunkfield’s eyes, this statement couldn’t ring more true.
Mr Trunkfield stated: “We are elated as a school to receive this wonderful achievement.
“We know that we are still on a journey with online safety, and always will be, however now that we now have a community based approach, involving our school, pupils, parents/carers and the wider community, we have confidence in keeping our children safe online.”