Year 8 have started the new term at Lansdowne School looking at the importance of staying safe online. With the students increasingly using the internet both at school and at home, online safety is a subject that we are keen to address. We want all pupils to be able to gain from the benefits of the internet, yet be able to use this tool in a safe and responsible manner.
We have started off our work by asking the question: what do we mean by online bullying? All pupils can recognise the signs of the more traditional types of bullying. We won’t tolerate this at Lansdowne, and likewise we are helping the students to identify any possible online bullying.
Year 8 have watched a video looking at some of the ways in which online bullying might take place. This can range from receiving abusive text messages, or unpleasant comments being posted on social media sites.
The Year 8 pupils were able to contribute to a detailed discussion about the effects of online bullying. We wanted the pupils to recognise that although this may not be a physical form of harm, it can still be incredibly distressing if you find yourself being bullied online.
Our work has taken a practical approach to seeing how we can stay safe online. We have looked at the importance of passwords and protecting our online identity. Another crucial theme that we spoke about in class is the need to know exactly whom we are talking with when we use the internet. Our video showed examples of how simply seeing a name on a screen doesn’t mean that this is the person that you are communicating with.
We concluded our work by thinking about whom we can turn to if we feel that we are being bullied online. Talking to family members, teachers or even the police if we feel under threat were all suggested.
The next stage for this topic will be for the pupils to put in practice the skills that they have learnt in the Lansdowne ICT suite. We will be accessing various websites, and then helping each pupil to develop a personal strategy to stay safe. The pupils will also be designing their own online safety poster to display.