Safer Internet Day 2018: Putting the spotlight on online safety in your school

31 Jan 2018 Becca Cawthorne

With Safer Internet Day coming up on the 6th February, now is the perfect time to reflect on how your school is promoting online safety.

Online safety is a crucial part of every school’s curriculum, but finding ways to keep key online safety messages fresh and inspiring can be a real challenge. Here are our top tips on how to use Safer Internet Day to promote online safety, alongside some of the amazing ideas we’ve been hearing from the schools already registered as supporters of Safer Internet Day 2018.

Pupil powered online safety

Young people are often incredibly knowledgeable about technology and the online world, so why not use that expertise to your advantage? Peer-to-peer and youth-led activities run by pupils are a fantastic and popular way to spread online safety messages. For Safer Internet Day at Brooke School their digital leaders will be ‘organising a range of differentiated and interactive activities for students throughout school’ whilst at Dunbar Grammar School pupil ambassadors will be visiting local primary schools to ‘teach mini lessons’.

Get Parents Involved

Make sure online safety messages are making it home by getting parents involved. You might want to consider holding a session specifically for parents or have activities that children and parents can do together. At Eastfield Infants and Nursery School they’re holding a drop-in session for parents, whilst Hendre Infants School are giving pupils the opportunity to ‘demonstrate to their parents how they keep themselves safe online’.

Creative activities

Get young people really thinking about online safety, whilst keeping the activities fun and exciting by encouraging them to get creative. At Firs Primary School, KS1 will be rewriting online safety stories and KS2 will be ‘making their own board games’. Every year we also hear about schools writing their own songs, raps and poems or, like Turning Tides Triple T’s youth clubs, ‘creating their own TV adverts.’ In Wales, thousands of schoolchildren participated in a special creative competition to express how being online makes them feel.

Use Safer Internet Day to reinforce Online Safety Messages

Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to really put a spotlight on online safety in your school. But remember, anything you choose to do on the 6th February should form part of ongoing coverage of online safety issues. Make sure pupils understand the importance of staying safe online throughout the whole year by returning to the topic regularly. You could also think about having a dedicated online safety display, a school charter or online safety rules which everyone agrees to follow or an online safety tip of the week in your school newsletter. At Little Aston Primary they’re using Safer Internet Day as an opportunity to ‘create a new school internet safety poster’, whilst at Feniscowles Primary their priority is to ‘reinforce the messages frequently given out in school’.

Free resources from the UK Safer Internet Centre

For a range of engaging and up-to-date ideas for your class, then the UK Safer Internet Centre have specially designed a selection of free-to-download education packs. These packs are available for ages 3-7s, 7-11s, 11-14s and 14-18s. Each pack includes lesson plans, posters, presentations, quick activities and more. There’s even a pack for parents and carers to do at home! You can also take a look at the SIDTV films produced to complement the Education Packs and focussing on this year’s theme of healthy online relationships and digital wellbeing.

Whatever you’re doing to put a spotlight on online safety this Safer Internet Day, we’d love to hear about it. Register as a supporter, like all the schools mentioned in this blog or join the #SID2018 social media campaign by creating your #ItStartsWithUs pledge.

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