Schools are being urged to get involved in the 11th global Safer Internet Day, which takes place next month on Tuesday, February 11.
Safer Internet Day is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, which is a partnership of three charitable organisations, Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning, and the Internet Watch Foundation.
This year’s theme – “Let’s create a better internet together” – provides an opportunity for schools to highlight the positive and creative uses of technology while empowering pupils, families and staff to stay safe online.
Each year, the UK Safer Internet Centre produces educational resources to help schools plan their activities for Safer Internet Day. Last year, the schools packs were downloaded more than 137,385 times by primary and secondary schools across the country.
As we approach this year’s event, we would like to inspire even more teachers, students and parents to get involved. Our educational resources are available to download for free from the official website (see further information). You can also submit your logo to join the supporters list and show that your school is getting involved.
Below we list some ideas to help get you thinking about how your school and school community might get involved.
Ideas for getting involved
In the classroom, teachers can use the UK Safer Internet Centre’s lesson plan to get pupils developing a pitch for an app that would help to create a better internet. Or why not use the drama activities (link below) for a fun and interactive way to get pupils thinking about online safety?
Form tutors can use our Safer Internet Day quick activities for secondary to get young people thinking about what makes a better internet. Or they can quiz young people on their knowledge of safe social networking using our five-minute “Friendbook” activity.
Assemblies in the week of February 11 could focus on the theme of internet safety. Use our ready-to-go assembly and script for secondary schools – or why not support pupils to deliver their own assemblies about creating a better internet?
For the staffroom, print out our information sheet for secondary teachers to raise awareness about resources available, as well as the availability of the UK Safer Internet Centre’s helpline for teachers.
Elsewhere, you can also display the Safer Internet Day poster around school and you can reach out to parents using the Safer Internet Day parent pack, which includes a template letter, resources and a ready-to-use presentation. Display the Safer Internet Day banner or logo on your school website as well, and link to the UK Safer Internet Centre online as well (link below).
On Safer Internet Day itself, you can tune into our TV channel – SIDtv – which will be streamed live online for eight hours. SIDtv will include an hour-long show for secondary schools, with loads of content that we hope will prove exciting.
Ideas from schools across the UK
Many schools are already planning their activities for Safer Internet Day 2014 and we have included a few below.
Phil Jones, IT manager at Pool Academy in Cornwall, said: “This Safer Internet Day, we will be unfiltering Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat in school, to give our pupils the opportunity to learn about safety features on these sites.”
Ballyclare High School in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, will be launching a pupil e-safety committee, while Clacton Coastal Academy in Essex will be running activities for the whole week in tutor and curriculum time, as well as holding Facebook clinics, a parent drop-in and a student stall. Meanwhile, St John Fisher School in Oxford is holding a peer-led assembly and pupils will contribute to the “how to make the internet at SJF better” blog.
These are just a few examples of how schools across the UK are getting involved in Safer Internet Day and we hope that you will be inspired to get involved too. Will Gardner, director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, said: “Schools play a crucial role in Safer Internet Day and we are excited to see so many schools pledging their support for the day.”
Let’s make Safer Internet Day 2014 a time to celebrate the great work that schools across the UK are doing to create the next generation of digital citizens – and let’s inspire an even greater focus over the next year as we work together to create a better internet.
Hannah Broadbent who is director of policy and strategy at Childnet.