Safer Internet Day 2019: Putting the spotlight on online safety in your school

29 Jan 2019 Becca Cawthorne

With just one week to go until Safer Internet Day on the 5th 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 2019.

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 St John Bosco RC Primary School the Digital Leaders are conducting a questionnaire of pupils and will present the finding to parents in a session about online safety. At King’s Ely Junior School the Digital Leaders are running a whole school assembly which will encourage safer digital use to all pupils.

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 Royal Cross School for Deaf Children they will be running online safety activities for the whole school, as well as having workshops for parents. At Eastover Primary School parents and cares have been asked to make a ‘gameplan’ with their children.

Creative activities

Get young people really thinking about online safety, whilst keeping the activities fun and exciting by encouraging them to get creative. At Langold Dyscarr Community School Students will be taking part in a range of creative activities including creating posters and role-playing online safety situations. Manor Court Community Primary School are also running a school wide online safety poster competition.

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 5th 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. 

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, 14-18s as well as an extra pack with guidance for educators. 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 permission and consent online.

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