The internet is becoming an increasingly significant part of young people’s lives, and although it is undeniably a great resource for learning, unsafe use can pose risks. At Southwold Primary & Nursery School, we believe that education is crucial to making sure that our pupils are able to use the internet safely. On Safer Internet Day, we will continue to teach children about the threats and dangers they may experience while online.
Every year, new statistics demonstrate the risks that unsupervised and unrestricted children face online. Here are some of the most alarming:
- Almost 1 in 4 young people has come across racist or hate messages online.
- Around 1 in 8 has been bullied on social media.
- 1 in 4 children has experienced something upsetting on a social networking site.
- There were more than 12,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about online issues in 2017.
Safer Internet Day is a global event that is coordinated in the UK by the UK Internet Safety Centre, a partnership whose mission is “to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people”. This year’s campaign is being run with the slogan “Together for a better internet”, a call to action for people to work together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, especially younger users.
We will celebrate Online Safety day on Friday 14th February. Our digital leaders will be taking Key Stage assemblies first thing. During the day, our digital leaders will be inviting each class to our digital hub where the children will experience a range of activities such as discussing and ordering how important they perceive various people to be online using an equality thermometer, discussing various scenarios relating to online identity and going through some strategies, creating avatars, use children's ideas to create an 'identity' wordle, voting on their favourite emoji that they use on email or texts, doodling what we would and would not share about ourselves on social media and reinforcing our online safety rules linked to our school values.
Our digital leaders will also be supporting another WHF school where they will be taking some fun online identity activities based around a book. Our digital leaders will be reinforcing the strong message of this year's Safer Internet Day theme: 'free to be me: exploring identity online'.
Our Principal, Claire Palser, said: "This will be a fun packed day where the children of all ages will become more aware of their online profile and equip them with the skills to stay safe online".
Although Tuesday is Safer Internet Day, our efforts to ensure the online safety of our pupils continue throughout the year. All members of staff are involved in encouraging safe online practices, and we are determined to prevent any of our pupils from being at risk.