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Teaching Pupils the Dangers of the Internet

5 February 2019
Teaching Pupils the Dangers of the Internet

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 School, we believe that education is crucial to making sure our pupils are able to use the internet safely. On Safer Internet Day, we will continue to teach students 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.

On Safer Internet Day, our digital leaders (DLs) will host a KS1 and KS2 assembly, before each class takes part in a set of activities in our DLs' hub. The digital leaders will then visit Gagle Brook Primary School to read an online safety story to the EYFS class and complete an online safety class with them.

Back at Southwold, pupils in each class will complete an online safety task, which emphasise how people can act and appear differently online, and a written piece of work that involves creating a ‘fake news’ webpage and a poster depicting a good digital citizen. During break times, pupils can contribute by writing post-it notes answering a range of online safety questions related to “Together for a better internet” — the slogan for this year’s Safer Internet Day campaign.

Additionally, one of our parents, Matt Buckley, has used his graphic design expertise to create an activity on the topic of copyright that teaches children how to avoid using online graphics without receiving permission.

Claire Palser, our Computing Lead, said: “Our online safety activities last for a week, which will be packed full of fun. Southwold School will come together to create a strong message about being good digital citizens. This is already reflected in our weekly curriculum, but this week, we will create some whole-school collages as a reminder.”

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 students from being at risk.

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