Safer Internet Day is celebrated around the world in February every year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and to inspire conversations about using technology responsibility, respectfully and safely.
Safer Internet Day is being celebrated this year on 8th February and the theme this year is ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online.
To celebrate this important day at Herschel and to further embed our work on online safety, we invited Alan Mackenzie, an Online Safety Specialist, to deliver talks to pupils in years 7-11 the week leading up to Safer Internet Day.
Alan is familiar to the pupils, as he delivers online safety related videos which are shared with all pupils on a regular basis through their tutors. These videos are accompanied by relevant and thought-provoking questions, along with a range of helpful websites and resources to support the pupils. Online safety is a key theme for us at Herschel and we understand the important role that we all play in trying to help educate children to stay safe online.
You may also recognise him from the series of online safety videos that we shared with you all earlier in the year, to support you as parents/carers in understanding the vast topic of online safety.
His sessions to years were suitably differentiated and covered a vast range of topics which the pupils found extremely useful.
Here is an account from two of our Year 9 pupils, Yusuf Faisal and Udisha Suryavanshi:
“Alan Mackenzie delivered a lecture to Year 9 students on many aspects of online safety, including the history of the Internet. We learned about double phishing and how scammers are getting cleverer and slyer. People must be cautious because scams can sometimes be well hidden, causing bank accounts to be completely wiped out. During the lecture, Alan Mackenzie also taught us about s320 and web 2.0, and how your brain cannot properly assess things when looking at a screen rather than a person, which I found fascinating. We all found the lecture valuable and eye-opening.”
“This assembly took place to help celebrate and promote Safer Internet Day. The assembly provided a further insight on the Internet and how it affects our daily lives, along with details such as how certain apps function. We were also informed on the dangers present when using the Internet. This included information about scamming as well as identity theft. In addition, this assembly included key information on s230 which is essentially a State Code that enables free speech and provides immunity from liability for website platforms. What really stood out to me and maybe a few others is that without s230, the games and platforms that we take for granted would look a lot different. This is because s230 doesn’t censor everything, meaning that people are able to express their opinions online until it is classified as hate speech, which is considered illegal here in the UK. Another interesting thing that I learnt from the assembly was that the data you provide companies with, such as Instagram, can be sold to major advertisers who try and target you to make platform or in-game purchases. I think that the assembly proved extremely useful and made us more aware when using the internet.”
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind to you about our Online Safety section of the school website (Online Safety) which is regularly updated with useful guides and support, as well as Mr Devereux’s monthly HOSTed newsletter. Should you have any requests as to what support is offered in these newsletters, please email email@example.com
Designated Safeguarding Lead