Ramsgate Arts Primary pupils explore online safety and kindness

Safer Internet Day

A kinder and safer Internet experience is what children at Ramsgate Arts Primary School want to see developed.

The youngsters explored a series of learning and discussion activities as part of the nationwide annual Safer Internet Day.

All pupils from Reception to Year 6 took part in the whole-school event that focused on giving children a voice about how they want the Internet to be safer for them to use.

Coordinated in this country by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the special day on February 7 saw thousands of organisations involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

RAPS response to the national event was co-ordinated by teacher Nancy Okai who is the school’s Computing Lead.

She said: “It was an important opportunity to hear from our pupils about the things they enjoy doing online, as well as the improvements they would like to see to enable the space to feel kinder, more protected and inclusive.”

It reinforces RAPS existing stringent safeguards that include a charter for safe Internet use drawn up by children that is a simple and effective set of guidelines when using smartphones, tablets and computers to link into the World Wide Web.

Head of School Nick Budge said: “Children’s safety is a priority and we continually build upon the secure practices and messages we have in place, particularly when it involves internet safety.

“Technology plays a significant role in their young lives and it is vital they know how to act safely when using it, including how to identify and report a concern.”

In recent years the school has contacted families appealing to them to support its stance on unrestricted use and to make sure that children do not go online to any site that is not age appropriate.

RAPS regularly reminds parents and carers that social media is not advised for children below age 13, and age restrictions apply to social media accounts for good reason.

They are asked to reflect on the access their children have to social media and consider carefully monitoring the use of mobile phones, tablets and computers

Mr Budge added: “There are very real concerns nationwide about the use of social media by under age children and the threat it can pose – for example, contact with strangers, social conflict, hacking of personal information and data, exposure to inappropriate content, and significant emotional risk.

Further information about keeping children safe online is available via the school’s website and concerned families are invited into school for a chat about specific issues they face.

* 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 180 countries and territories 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. Find out more online from www.saferinternetday.org