Blog

Online Safety at Newington Green Primary School

Donna Shah is a computing specialist at Newington Green Primary School and Rotherfield Primary School in Islington. She has been using now>press>play as part of the school’s curriculum enrichment for the last two years.

The Experience: KS2 Online Safety

Watching the class as they progressed through the Online Safety Experience was eye opening. Although I have taught them about online safety for several years, I have never seen them ‘live’ through a situation like this. A wide range of emotions were visible including from those pupils who may be ‘hard to reach’ in a regular lesson. Fear, shock, alarm and relief were just a few that I felt myself.

Now that the pupils have experienced the now>press>play Online Safety session I am more confident in their ability to identify potential pitfalls when they are online. They came out of the session sharing their thoughts and feelings about the speed with which personal information had the potential to go viral.

The experience provided a springboard to discussion in many areas, for example on the type and amount of personal information which we may already have about our friends and how we behave with that information when we are online. Because, as the experience demonstrates, friendships may turn sour without notice. Respect is key!

“When we did the Online Safety Experience it really made me think. I hadn’t been put in that situation before and I know now that if I was, I’d make the right choices.” Y6 girl, Newington Green Primary Islington

Possible follow-on uses

This is THE perfect activity to tie in with Safer Internet Week, the experience can be accessed at any point throughout the year and can be linked to a number of subject areas other than the obvious computing and PSHE.

For example, we hold a social skills week at the start of the Autumn Term, and we have used the Online Safety experience to explore friendships including the oversharing of personal information. In classroom the learning opportunities can be linked to the creation of friendship posters e.g. top ten tips for keeping personal information to yourself, and to exploring family dynamics.

This activity is ideal to share with parents as they can participate with their children. The end of the immersive experience is the perfect opportunity to open a discussion with parents and children about their online activity.

“I went home and told my family all about it. My big brother said he wishes he’d been taught like me, he doesn’t always listen to grown-ups.” Y5 boy, Rotherfield Primary, Islington

Next Steps

Next steps may include creating similar scenarios which pupils may have been a part of or witnessed. These could be ‘worked through’ in ‘Conscience Alley’ where pupils try to make the correct or most appropriate choice. Similarly, the experience may be used to stimulate a piece of ‘adventure’ writing where the reader makes the choices as to how the story progresses. This requires imaginative writing whilst addressing complex scenarios in a secure environment.

The now>press>play Online Safety Experience is the tool we have been looking for to address such an important topic in a meaningful and memorable way.

We enjoy using this immersive resource across all year groups, from EYFS to KS1 and KS2. In particular we love how they cover all subjects and topics in such an inclusive and engaging way.