Online Safety at St. Ignatius
Online safety forms a very important part of both our curriculum and safeguarding procedures at St. Ignatius. We think it is vital for children to be digitally literate and safe when online and therefore have a wide curriculum offer for our children to ensure they are as safe as possible.
St. Ignatius Online Safety Policy – coming soon!
The Importance of Online Safety
Digital technologies have become integral to the lives of children, both within and outside school. These technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. They can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and kindle awareness of contexts to promote effective learning.
All children are entitled to be safe whenever they access the Internet. We take active steps to embed online safety in our curriculum and children’s learning (please see our curriculum page). We also want to help parents and carers improve their own understanding of online safety, so that they can support their children to use the Internet and digital media in a safe and responsible way.
Please see our online safety safeguarding page for more guidance and information.
Online Safety at St. Ignatius
We encourage children at St. Ignatius to ‘Be SMART with a heart’ online. Find out more on what this means here.
Access to the internet is provided during adult-supervised lessons. At St. Ignatius, we view access to and use of the web and email as hugely worthwhile and an essential tool for children as they grow up in the modern world. We have taken active steps to reduce the risks associated with use of the internet but the first, and arguably the most important, step is educating our children.
We do lots of work with children in school on how to keep safe while using computers and in particular, the internet. We talk to them about keeping themselves safe from harm as well as keeping each other safe. Our work around online safety is done through our Online Safety Curriculum (please see curriculum page), which is linked to the principles in the government’s document – Education for a Connect World (2020).
As well as this, we also deliver key messages to children during national focus days, e.g. Internet Safety Day, Anti-bullying Week, and annually invite Tim Pinto into our school who runs workshops for each year group in our school, which includes up-to-date and appropriate messages for children about Online Safety. He also delivers workshops to parents, staff and governors so that everyone within our school community can keep themselves and others safe whilst online and keep up to date with key messages. We also use a variety of regularly updated resources from Childnet during such themed weeks or days and also to deal with any issues promptly, safely and appropriately.
You can find a calendar here of all other themed days we take part in: Online Safety Calendar 2022 – 23
Filtering & Monitoring (KCSIE 2023)
In order to further safeguard pupils, our internet access provider operates a filtering system that ‘blocks harmful and inappropriate content without unreasonably impacting teaching and learning’ (KCSIE 2023). ‘SmoothWall’ is the system adopted by our Trust, which is a proactive monitoring system which helps schools detect online risks before they become real-life incidents, and is regularly reviewed. All of our staff have received training in online safety and how to teach this and deal with any online safety/monitoring issues and know who to speak to if there is an issue. They are fully aware of how these systems work, and this always forms part of our start-of-year safeguarding training in September, alongside regular updates.
We have clear responsibilities in our school in relation to filtering and monitoring which is led by the DSL Team, but ultimately the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will receive concerns raised by the filtering and monitoring system (smoothwall) – alongside all other DSL’s. Our governors are alsoactively involved with the safeguarding provision within our school, including online safety standards.
St. Ignatius Digital Leaders – Leaders of the Future!
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is a youth leadership training programme empowering young people to educate their peers about online safety. At St. Ignatius, we have recently begun to support, train and develop a group of children called our ‘Digital Leaders’. These children were selected from a group of applicants who showed their passion for making sure all children are safe when using technology in our school and at home and are completing training on an interactive, informative and fun platform with Childnet. They work through online modules, equipping them with the skills they need to go on to educate and support their peers!
They also deliver important and up-to-date messages in our celebration assemblies and across classrooms and set an example to the rest of our school. Each week, they are on the look-out for ‘Digital Champions’: this is where a class in our school has the opportunity to earn a whole class reward for being seen to be SMART (with a heart) users of technology!
Childnet Digital Leaders is…
- Youth-led: Young people educate their peers, making online safety learning relevant, fun and effective
- Empowering: Championing youth voice and giving young people opportunities to be role models
- Practical: Digital Leaders gain key skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork
- Impactful: Digital Leaders embed safer online behaviours and spread online safety knowledge
- Engaging: Involving young people, parents and staff by harnessing young people’s expertise and experiences
- Relevant: With new modules each term, the programme reflects the latest issues in young people’s online lives
- Collaborative: Connect with other Digital Leader schools across the UK and wider
- Evidence led: Showcase how your school’s online safety practice is youth-led, useful for Ofsted inspections
Acceptable Use Agreements
Each child signs an ‘Acceptable Use Agreement’ at the start of every academic year and they receive reminders about this regularly from our ‘Digital Leaders’ and also their class teachers. This is that we know they have read and discussed rules the school has to help them stay safe when working and communicating electronically.
We also work in close partnership with outside agencies and are well-supported by the BKCAT (our Trust) and the Local Authority.
We share the #WakeUpWednesday guides from National Online Safety on our twitter feed every week – please read these helpful guides!
Twitter Feed – St. Ignatius Twitter
They can also be found here – National Online Safety Guides #WakeUpWednesday