Be aware and be safe online – that was the important message that children at Newington Community Primary School have been learning.
As part of its support for the annual worldwide Safer Internet Day on February 9 the school promoted a range of activities based around the theme ‘an internet we can trust’.
Organised by the school’s IT Lead Chris Bing and Assistant Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy, the idea was to encourage children to think about the sources of information that is available online and if it is reliable.
They were able to try to find the lie among the truths and thought about fake news. They also investigated what the motives are for online content and how to make good judgements on what sites they can trust.
Throughout the day Mr Bing ensured the profile of Safer Internet Day was high by ‘tweeting’ and ‘posting’ on the school’s social media accounts what the children have been up to as well as listing helpful and reliable resources.
The school’s efforts were retweeted on Twitter by the author of ‘Digi Duck’, Lindsay Buck, as well as the official team at Safer Internet UK.
Mrs Kennedy said: “The children really enjoyed the tasks and more importantly are now better equipped to make good choices when accessing the internet.
“This is so important – especially with the amount of time children are spending online over the lockdown.”
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes believes it is “vital to get the right message across to our young children in their primary school years and ensure they utilise all of the valuable strategies to keep them safe online.”
He added: “The benefits of using the Internet are many and varied whether it is learning and education, fun and hobby activities, and being able to keep in touch with family and friends.
“However, parents and carers are reminded that social media is not advised for children below age 13, and age restrictions apply to these online accounts in the interests of safety.
“Families have a major role to play and can help their children before they use the Internet under supervision by discussing key issues like staying safe, special safety settings and critical thinking.
“We reinforce Internet safety regularly at Newington and we are very happy to support the annual safety awareness day which gives us the chance to focus right in to the best practices when online.”
Safer Internet Day:
Over the years, Safer Internet Day has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in approximately 170 countries worldwide.
From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.
To find out more, go online to www.saferinternetday.org.