Online Safety for the Whole School Community: Case Study from Curwen Primary School

Aware of the risks that the rapidly evolving online world can pose to children, Curwen Primary School wanted to develop their culture of safeguarding through a Certified School Membership with National Online Safety.

Deputy Headteacher Emma White explained the programme’s benefits and discussed how it has empowered the whole school community to keep children safe online.

Curwen Primary School

Emma began by outlining the school’s culture: “We’re based in Newham, and it’s such a diverse area. It’s fantastic. That’s reflected in our whole school community.”

She continued: “We have 54 different first languages spoken in our school, and it’s great to have such a rich community with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”

Importance of online safeguarding

Reflecting on the importance of online safety, Emma explained: “There are so many reasons why online safety is a priority in our school.

“The DfE’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance highlights the importance of online safety, and we have a statutory responsibility to keep children safe in the digital world,” Emma reasoned.

“The KCSiE guidance outlines that our DSL has overall responsibility for online safety as part of their role, and they must be able to recognise the unique risks associated with online safety too,” she elaborated.

“It’s crucial that our staff are given the appropriate training on that subject.”

At National Online Safety, we’re consistently updating our resources and training – so that all our member schools remain up to date with the latest developments in the ever-changing digital world.

Emma confirmed: “The best thing about National Online Safety is that it’s always up to date.”

“It’s doing the groundwork for us,” she added. "We know that the information is correct, relevant and regularly updated.

“Throughout the pandemic, children were online every day,” Emma observed. “It was difficult to identify those online risks. The resources that National Online Safety provide have certainly educated our whole school community.”

Award-winning training and resources

At times, trying to keep on top of the latest online safety risks can be a challenge.

Our weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides for parents, carers and educators have proven invaluable for Curwen Primary School in this respect.

“The vast majority of online safety incidents tend to happen outside of school,” Emma revealed. “It could be things like gaming, texting friends or using Whatsapp.”

She nodded: “The #WakeUpWednesday guides have been fabulous to help us with those issues.

“We share those guides with parents and carers every week and post them on Twitter. We have a link to the resources on our website too.”

Parents and carers can obviously play a huge role in preventing their child from being exposed to harmful online content and behaviours, so Curwen Primary School have been increasing their engagement among the whole school community.

Emma noted: “Educating parents and carers on the terminology and slang is extremely helpful. The reason that we have found that useful is that we can share expert advice with parents and carers directly.

“I think the guides have been a particularly useful resource to support us with issues in relation to online safety,” she asserted.

“Parent and carer engagement with the programme has been really good,” Emma enthused. “We have over 200 parents and carers signed up, with many more accessing the resources in our newsletter too.”

Emma expressed her appreciation of the Certified School programme, highlighting the amount of knowledge, awareness and learning for all stakeholders involved.

“It’s reassuring for us as leaders, to know that we are engaging with quality CPD,” she reflected. “The resources are up to date and are relevant to the whole school community. There’s something that’s useful for all stakeholders.”

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