Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

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Primary education: listening and observing

4.2 E-safety in school

By better understanding what children do online outside of school, teachers are better positioned to support both children and their parents and manage the risks appropriately.

Activity 5 Thinking about e-safety

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Watch this video of Luke Crickwood, a teacher, e-safety and IT coordinator at All Saints Inter-Church Academy in Cambridgeshire, England. Every year he leads an audit to find out how their pupils use the internet, as part of the school’s e-safety review.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2
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Transcript: Video 2

LUKE CRICKWOOD
So every year we do an audit of children's uses of the internet as part of our e-safety review. We look into things like how long the children use the internet for, what their concept of the internet are, whether or not they use social media, and looking at what social media they're using, what sort of games they're playing, whether they know they're playing games that are deemed as being above the age rating, and whether they have a mobile phone, and the safety rules behind that along with their understanding of how they stay safe, who they can go to if there's a problem both at home and at school. It's done anonymously. So the children don't feel pressured that if I put down I'm using Facebook, then Mr. Crickwood is going to shut it down. By having it anonymous, we can tell you that 78% of the children in Year Six have some form of social media. Only 68% of the parents know about it. So it's a good way of then using the information so that when we have a parent consultation evening, we can share this sort of thing. And we can also target specific newsletters for a year group. So say, a year five class, a lot of them were using Whatsapp, for example. We can send out information on Whatsapp for parents. I believe the Children's Commissioner has done some updated terms and conditions. So it's more parents and child-friendly. We send out these sorts of things. So from the audit, we can see that when it comes to children's perception of cyberbullying, that sort of thing, we have a tendency that the girls more than the boys tend to say that they have seen some sort of behaviour. Definitely as you go up the school, the tendency of it increases. But for the boys, they tend to spend more of their time playing either their XBoxes or the video consoles by themselves or online with the voice settings turned off so that they don't pick up on it. Where the girls tend to use more social media. All social media has an age rating of 13-plus. That's due to the American COPA Rule. Whatsapp recently, as of the 1st of May, is now 16-plus. So that means any child at primary school should not be using things like Facebook, or Whatsapp, or Snapchat, or even YouTube. To have an account on YouTube, you should technically be 13. We do have our own social media sites that we buy into, which is called Stars Online, which is a safe, school-based system where teachers can monitor what's going on, and children can learn these social media, like the rules of how to use it, in a safe way. So that when they go to secondary school or even at primary school when they end up getting a social media account on some app or website, they know the rules behind it and they know the behaviours that will keep them safe.
End transcript: Video 2
Video 2
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Notice the difference Luke highlights between the girls’ and boys’ perception of cyberbullying, as well as how it seems to be more prevalent the older the children get.

According to Ofcom (2017) just 12% of 8–11 year olds say they have been bullied, with this more likely to have been face to face (6%) than on social media (1%). These numbers do rise to 12% respectively for children aged 12–15. There are clearly more risks in being online than just cyberbullying, but it is worth noting that nearly all internet users (97%) aged 8–15 report having been taught how to use the internet safely by a teacher, parent or both (Ofcom, 2017).

Next, you will read about a research study of children and how they play and learn online in ‘virtual worlds’.

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