Developing E-Safety Knowledge
E-Safety is found in the 'Digital Literacy' strand of Computing and it covers children learning how use digital devices safely and responsibly, as detailed in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for primary Computing:
KS1 - "Pupils should be taught how to 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."
KS2 - "Pupils should be taught how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact."
At Parkfield, we ensure that pupil's wide-ranging and expanding e-safety knowledge builds over time. This is detailed in our Computing attainment expectations progression document and the knowledge organisers, which show the expected knowledge (and linked vocabulary) that children should know by the end of each year group or primary phase.
Whilst children regularly interact with digital devices and the web at home, it is still essential that they are discretely taught in school how to behave responsibly online and how to best react if they were to encounter possibly unsafe/upsetting suggestions - these behaviours can't be presumed to already be secure.
Through delivering several specific e-safety Computing lessons each year - at least one per term - followed by the inclusion of lots of e-safety questions in the retrieval quiz that children must answer at the start of every Computing lesson, children's e-safety knowledge is frequently built upon and their ability to recall it improved, so it is secured in their long-term memory.
Pupil's e-safety learning journey - or 'path' - begins in Reception, where they have discussions about their own online life experiences and listen to stories about silly mistakes made by characters from which basic rules can be learnt.
Our bespoke e-safety lessons in Years 1 to 6 are then planned to cover a wide range of age-appropriate e-safety topics, inspired by and using material created by: National Online Safety, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, Now>Press Play, BBC Bitesize and Project Evolve, along with custom-made activities/resources to meet our pupil's needs and to ensure work produced is both varied and interesting to make. This makes the content more engaging and memorable for our pupils - not just always making a rules poster, for example; instead: creating keyrings with slogans on, taking part in an audio adventure drama, having discussions about a scenario shown in a video clip, making pop-up leaflets, designing a paper smart watch/wristband with rules inside etc. Plans are also regularly reviewed so they can be adapted or supplemented with additional material to cover the latest trends and issues.
It is our aim that all children will be able to enjoy and use the Internet to enhance and support their lives both inside and outside of school, without risk of harm. They should be well-prepared for safely and responsibly accessing and contributing to online platforms outside of school and as they progress to secondary education.
Examples of e-safety knowledge retrieval quiz questions.
Rules for Responsible Internet Use
Pupils are expected to follow these clear rules for responsible Internet use. They are: discussed in Computing lessons, displayed prominently on various walls in school and shown on the iPad lock screens to constantly remind children of our expectations.
Hyperlink buttons to the Childline and CEOP websites are provided in the sidebar of our main school website for children to click on if they need to.
Showbie Online Learning Platform
Children in Years 1 to 6 have individual login accounts for the Showbie online virtual learning environment for schools that Parkfield subscribes to, where a variety of multimedia content can be shared (text, images, hyperlinks, videos, PDFs etc.). This gives them access to assigned folders containing all of the resources needed for each Computing lesson such as template documents, as well as a 'class discussion' area in which they can chat with others in their year group. Children enjoy pre-reading forthcoming lesson content (with those who answer a multiple-choice question beforehand linked to retrieval/common misconceptions being rewarded with a sticker), being able to easily scroll back through their past work they've saved onto Showbie each lesson and having the opportunity to communicate with their friends in a safe, school-moderated area.
In Computing lessons, children are specifically taught the expected good behaviours they should follow when using Showbie. Any incidents of children misbehaving can easily be seen and are dealt with in accordance with the school's Behaviour and Anit-Bullying policies. Showbie provides the children with a safe, monitored platform on which any errors of judgement or wrong choices they make can be immediately addressed by the school and consequences given. Issues like cyberbullying or hacking can be quickly responded to with discussions with the children involved and e-safety teaching interventions given to them.
Children who positively engage with Showbie at home - such as by sharing work/achievements onto the class discussion - are rewarded in the weekly Achievement Assembly with an 'Internet Star of the Week' certificate.
Showbie has been used successfully for many years in Computing lessons and, following its inclusion in our home learning offer during the Covid pandemic, is now regularly used by other teachers in other subjects too when they wish to integrate technology.
The DfE have produced Statutory Guidance for Teaching Relationships Education (Primary). The document alongside reviews the aspects relevant to e-safety (around having respectful relationships and keeping safe online) by illustrating a variety of examples of work produced by pupils at Parkfield for each requirement.
Arrangements for Monitoring and Filtering Internet Usage in School
All users of the school’s computer network have clearly defined access rights, enforced using a username/password login system. Account privileges are achieved through the Rochdale School's Network Active Directory Group Policy and file/folder permissions, and are based upon each user’s particular requirements – children have much more limitations in place through a standard key stage login than individual staff members do with their personal logins, for example. This helps to protect the network from accidental or malicious attempts to threaten the security of it or the data accessible using it. Guests are requested to login using either the standard Key Stage login or given supervised access to a staff account.
A permanently-enabled filtering system is provided by Network Connect , which is designed to filter out material found to be inappropriate for use in the education environment. As an additional safety measure, each individual web page is also dynamically scanned for inappropriate content as it is requested, categorised by its content and then access prevented to it if necessary. Access to make changes to over-right the base-default setting to allow or deny access to a particular website URL can be achieved by using the Network Connect filtering console (logged in by the headteacher our IT technician). All changes made to Internet filtering are listed to help prevent abuse of the system. The Network Connect console also offers the ability to monitor the history of devices accessing the Internet - the name of the user, their device IP address, the sites they have visited and when. A weekly summary report of this is also emailed to the headteacher.
All Parkfield staff are expected to be aware of issues children might encounter online and receive regular training on a variety of e-safety topics that to ensure their knowledge is kept updated. This includes knowing how to respond correctly to incidents, in line with the school's Behaviour and Safeguarding policy documents. Examples of training include undertaken by our staff include:
attending an annual staff meeting sharing updates to the DfE's Keeping Children Safe in Education delivered by our designated safeguarding lead, followed by a quiz to check for understanding;
completing an annual Certificate in Online Safety for Education Settings on The National College platform, followed by a quiz to check for understanding;
watching the National Cyber Security Centre's training video for school staff;
completing an annual Certificate in the Prevent Duty on The National College platform, followed by a quiz to check for understanding;
having Mental Health First Aid training delivered by MHFA England;
reading any online safety updates shared on the staff room TV noticeboard slide.
E-Safety Enrichment Across School
Children in Year 6 visit the 'Crucial Crew' workshop where they learn e-safety advice from local professionals and practitioners.
Whole school assemblies focusing on British Values are delivered by the Head teacher or Deputy headteacher - the aspect of 'mutual respect' has clear links with e-safety, for example.
Each year on Internet Safety Day, our Technology Team pupils deliver a whole school assembly focusing on topics such as: screen addition, online gaming safety and how to live a balanced online life that promotes positive mental health.
The NSPCC have visited classes to promote their 'full stop' campaign, talk about Childline and teach children the importance of speaking out when things worry or upset them.