The internet is becoming an increasingly significant part of young people’s lives, and although it is undeniably a great resource for learning, unsafe use can pose risks. At Bowerhill Primary School, we believe that education is crucial to making sure that our pupils are able to use the internet safely. On Safer Internet Day, we will continue to teach children about the threats and dangers they may experience while online.
Every year, new statistics demonstrate the risks that unsupervised and unrestricted children face online. Here are some of the most alarming:
- Almost 1 in 4 young people has come across racist or hate messages online.
- Around 1 in 8 has been bullied on social media.
- 1 in 4 children has experienced something upsetting on a social networking site.
- There were more than 12,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about online issues in 2017.
Safer Internet Day is a global event that is coordinated in the UK by the UK Internet Safety Centre, a partnership whose mission is “to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people”. This year’s campaign is being run with the slogan “Together for a better internet”, a call to action for people to work together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, especially younger users.
Bowerhill Primary School will be celebrating safer internet day by holding a whole school assembly discussing the theme ‘Free to be’ – looking at identity online. We will be exploring whether young people feel free to be themselves online, how they manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others. We want Safer Internet Day 2020 to celebrate difference and help us work towards creating a truly inclusive internet.
During the week, the children will be partaking in related activities during their computing sessions with their class teacher, looking at multiple ways the children can stay safe online, including what makes up their online identity and how we can keep our personal information safe. All members of staff are involved in encouraging safe online practices, and we are determined to prevent any of our pupils from being at risk.
Throughout the week, there will be a poster competition, where the children will be encouraged to complete a poster finishing the sentence 'Free to be...'. The children will be completing the posters with words that express who or what someone should be #freetobe online (e.g. themselves, creative, supportive). The winners will be announced on Friday 14th February and they will be able to claim their prize.
Although Tuesday is Safer Internet Day, our efforts to ensure the online safety of our pupils continue throughout the year. All members of staff are involved in encouraging safe online practices, and we are determined to prevent any of our pupils from being at risk.