‘Safer Internet Day 2018 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 6th February 2018 with the slogan “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”. More than a thousand organisations across the UK got involved to help inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. ‘  source:www.saferinternet.org.uk

So how did this look at Ermine?

It’s important to remember that E-safety awareness is not purely a week’s focus in the school year, but is a continual development of skills and awareness for all pupils throughout their school lives with us. The children in schools today have been born and brought up with technology surrounding them constantly – they are starting nursery and reception classes already confident using ipads, iphones and the internet. What schools need to do is provide them with the skills and understanding of how to use these responsibly and to be aware of the far reaching consequences of inappropriate use.

At Ermine we already have a team of Junior Online Safety Officers, made up of key stage 2 pupils who have undergone specific training to help them support their peers and spread

the message of how to use the internet safely and responsibly. They are able to advise how to report something which appears inappropriate.

During the week the whole school were involved in additional activities to raise awareness of how to use the internet safely – great lessons took place with some fantastic conversations from all ages. We all learnt how to improve our safety and who could help us if we were worried , either at home or at school. The week concluded with a whole school assembly for all the year groups to share what they had discovered.

We also enjoyed learning a song which all the children learned a section of and then put together as a final performance, including some of the staff. It passed on simple yet important messages about using the internet safely and echoed the rest of the focused learning that week.

Ermine have created a great series of internet safety videos which explain the age restrictions and potential risks attached to particular games and so cial media platforms – these are highlighted regularly with the children during assemblies and lessons, as well as being shared on facebook, twitter, You Tube and our own website for parents to see and become familiar with themselves. The E-Safety YouTube Playlist can be found by clicking the link here – EPA YouTube Channel – E-Safety

Technology is here to stay and it can’t be ignored. It can be an amazing tool and is part of our lives. Recent media stories have highlighted  risks attached when it is not used positively and it is everyone’s responsibility, both at home and at school, to ensure that all children have the necessary knowledge and skills.

The Safer Internet Day 2018 press release revealed:

  • Two in five 8-17-year-olds say they have felt worried or anxious on the internet in the last week, with one in ten (11%) reporting they have often felt this
  • 68% of young people said that chatting to their friends online cheers them up
  • When a friend was feeling sad or upset, 88% of young people said they sent them a kind message
  • Almost half (49%) of young people said that in the last year someone had been mean to them online, with 1 in 12 experiencing this all or most of the time
  • In comparison, more than four in five young people (83%) have experienced people being kind to them online in the last year.

The full report can be read here SaferInternet.org.uk and highlights the positives and negatives linked to using the internet. It also shows that there is still a long way to go and we all need to continue playing our parts #SID2018