Each year, Safer Internet Day provides an opportunity for whole school communities to consider the importance of staying safe online and educating children on the risks that can be encountered in the digital world.
This year’s theme is ‘All Fun and Games? Exploring Respect and Relationships Online’, with the event taking place on Tuesday 8th February.
Green Oaks Academy is one of many schools across the UK that will be participating in Safer Internet Day 2022.
Amanda Dickens, Computing Lead, revealed how they will be marking the occasion as she discussed Green Oaks Academy’s journey with National Online Safety so far.
The importance of keeping children safe online
For Green Oaks Academy, it was crucial to ensure they could stay abreast of new developments in the online world.
Amanda explained: "I started to look at our provision and how we deal with online safety, and then decided to embed National Online Safety into the school community. Now, it has a much higher profile within the school."
Amanda said that equipping staff with the most up to date online safeguarding knowledge is of paramount importance.
"Online safety is really important to focus on," she opined. "Most of our pupils have access to a device - whether that's a personal device or something to keep them entertained."
"Children have access to the internet through these devices, at all times," Amanda reasoned. "There isn't always a lot of parental knowledge or understanding of online safety."
Choosing National Online Safety
When it came to choosing National Online Safety, Amanda revealed that the school was impressed with the wide range of resources and the cohesive nature of the package.
"The Certified School Programme ticked lots of boxes for us." she nodded. "The main things were the mobile app and the free parent courses. They’ve allowed parents and carers to upskill their own knowledge of online safety."
A key benefit for Green Oaks Academy was the Certified School programme’s role-specific training, which brings the potential to empower all members of the school community to help protect children online.
Amanda confirmed: "There’s so much CPD available for the whole school community. We can allocate the training and know that all of our staff can access the platform."
Plans for Safer Internet Day 2022
With this year’s Safer Internet Day fast approaching, Amanda explained that Green Oaks Academy plans to utilise our award-winning online safety training and resources to help them mark the event.
Reflecting on previous years, she said: "We’ve always acknowledged Safer Internet Day as a school, through activities and lessons. This year, I'll be promoting the resources available through National Online Safety to the whole school community."
Amanda continued: "I'll be running some age-appropriate assemblies too, centred around Safer Internet Day 2022, utilising your resources and training."
Leading up to Safer Internet Day, Green Oaks Academy has focused on increasing parental engagement with National Online Safety’s resources and training, which has proved a resounding success.
Amanda smiled: "Some parents have done a phenomenal amount of work on the National Online Safety platform. One parent has completed around 50 courses over five weeks!"
She continued: "It's amazing: I can't believe how many parents have signed up and looked around the app. It's been really positive for us."
Becoming a Certified School
Amanda reflected that the accreditation has been a fantastic testament to the school’s approach to online safeguarding.
"The biggest positive has been becoming a Certified School and showcasing that we take online safety seriously as a school," she summarised. "We live in an ever-changing online world, and we need to make sure that we’re preparing our children for the future."