During our computing lessons (throughout March 2022), we have had lots of 'real-world' scenario discussions about online relationships which we may encounter ourselves or shared experiences of someone we know who has had a bad experience online.
To help us understand the seriousness of the dangers and the relationships we may form online, we discussed, in detail, how to stay safe as much as possible. As a class we came up with 8 ways to protect ourselves and the people we love from online 'baddies':
Try to think of your online world as an extension of your offline friendships. Include friends in your activities. It can feel just as hurtful to be left out of online games or chat as offline ones. Be careful how you word things, as sometimes the written word can be misinterpreted. Consider whether important conversations, like resolving conflicts, might be better done face to face.
Respect your friends on social media. Don’t post photos of them that they might find embarrassing without asking first – and take them down straight away if someone asks you to. Try to be mindful of how your posts will make people feel before you put them up. You’ll care about what other people post about you – so be courteous to others too.
Every time you go online you leave a digital 'footprint' which shows others where you are and what you have been doing. While posting pictures and videos is great for sharing with friends and being creative, always remember that once an image or file is online it’s likely to stay there forever. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
Social media and some websites can be great for airing your opinions. However, you risk saying or writing things on the spur of the moment that you may later regret. Try to put your point across in a positive or neutral way. It will have more impact and shouldn’t cause offence. When you respond to something someone has said, remember there’s a person at the other end who has feelings, just like you do.
Lots of people only play or chat with people they know in person, and that’s a sensible approach. But if you do meet people you don’t know, use the same caution that you would offline. People may not be who they say they are, so be mindful about what you say about yourself. Keep chat general and if you are concerned that someone’s asking for personal details, stop contact and tell a trusted adult. Never arrange to meet someone you only know online.
When using the internet never give out personal information, such as your number, where you live or what school you go to – it’s a big no-no. If you are using social media check your privacy settings and make sure only friends can see your posts.
Photos and posts can exaggerate real life. Think about it - we usually select our prettiest, happiest pictures (you rarely see posts about going to the supermarket with your mum, or photos of a massive spot). Images of other people’s (carefully chosen) perfect lives can leave you feeling low, but they rarely tell the whole story.
The internet is a fantastic resource for playing, sharing, and learning. But if you find yourself spending a lot of time online, or thinking about it when you could be doing fun 'real world' things, maybe it’s time to back off a bit. There’s a whole world out there. It’s about striking a balance.
We also used scenarios to help us discuss the various types of dangers (from strangers to fraud) we may come across as we get older and have more freedom online. We posted some examples of these below... what would you do?
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, and to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.
This year Safer Internet Day 2022 was on 8th February: Navigators 6 celebrated with the theme ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online'.
From gaming and chat, to streaming and video, we discussed how young people (like us) are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces we are a part of. Safer Internet Day 2022 helped us explore our role in creating a safer internet, whether that is whilst gaming and creating content, or interacting with our friends and peers.
One of our 'Safer Internet' activities involved designing new posters which were then used to update out ICT display in our school computer suite. We have shared some of these below, so you too can be a part of what we learned!
Click the link to see the latest advice to stay safer online over the winter break.
Anti-Bullying Week 2021
Anti-Bullying Week is an annual UK event which aims to raise awareness of bullying and to highlight ways of preventing and responding to it.
This year the theme is ‘One Kind Word’, emphasising the positive impact a small gesture or comment can have on someone else’s day: the focus is on hope and the positive and kind things we can do to combat bullying and spread more kindness.
Odd Socks Day is held on 15th November to kick off Anti-Bullying Week. This day will help us to recognise that everyone is unique and different, and that we all need kindness and respect.
Navigators 6 will be getting involved in Anti-Bullying Week, this year, by completing a range of activities from the PDF pack attached below, over the course of this week.
You can also complete these activities at home and help spread the message of hope and kindness, which is ever more important now due to what may have been a very challenging year for so many people, young and old alike.
We hope you find these activities as useful and as enlightening as we will in Navigators 6.
At North Crescent, we believe that online safety is an essential part of safeguarding and that it is our duty to ensure that all learners and staff are protected from potential harm online. We understand the responsibility to educate our pupils in online safety issues; teaching them appropriate behaviours, helping them to build resilience, developing strategies to manage and respond to risk online and the critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom. We acknowledge that the internet and associated devices, such as computers, tablets, mobile phones and games consoles, are an important part of everyday life.
In light of this, Navigators 6 agreed to and signed a user agreement to ensure we are safe and doing the right thing at all times, in our ICT lessons. The children have shown respect for the school values and continue to be excellent learners and teachers in when using all forms of technology available to them in school.
Below is a copy of the user agreement Navigators 6 signed in September 2021, which we have upheld in line with our school policy and expectations.
North Crescent Primary School
KS2 Acceptable Use Agreement
This is how we stay safe when we use computers: