Recent changes to the National Curriculum here in the UK have meant that teachers and school leaders are having to rethink many aspects of their curriculum provision. I have already begun my look at computing and how teachers can bring the new elements into the classroom.
E-safety is one aspect that is definitely due an overhaul!
There is lots of information for e-safety around, and many higher-level courses are on offer to fulfil recent requirements that Ofsted are making. These requirements change regularly, and I must mention here the ‘e-safety adviser’ website : http://www.esafety-adviser.com/ which has been a valuable source of these ever-changing recommendations. (@esafetyadviser on twitter!)
I have been working towards making changes as easy as possible for staff – it seems to me pretty crazy that all elements of the curriculum change at once and can make some staff feel incrediby overwhelmed.
Linking to the Key Stage 1 curriculum requirements we have this:
- recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
- use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
and by Key Stage 2 – this:
- use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
I began by thinking of key skills that we may not always cover but which pupils use from an early age – for example children will regularly play online and may be familiar with websites that you are not. Key questions and discussion around this can help, often within PSHE or Circle Time. Why not discuss their online play at the same time? Why not spend some time creating avatars and ‘toys’ in such websites such as the Lego one and then discuss what sort of expectations would come from controlling an avatar.
Large companies such as Sony, Moshi Monsters and Microsoft all produce their own content and guidelines, so if you find a particular website that your pupils are using do tap into that. Share this information with parents as well!
I also thought about how pupils are expected to select and use content, and be responsible for their choices. This led me to think about the use of photographs and the ‘cutting and pasting’ content that can come from researching and using websites such as wikipedia.
I then thought that for each year group a few key questions could be discussed – questions that could prompt a discussion about e-safety – and begin to introduce the correct language.
My plan for internet safety year by year are below – I would love to know what other schools are doing – please feel free to share resources and thoughts.
Thanks for reading!