Ark Boulton Academy are well aware of the fundamental role that technology has to play in young people's lives today.
With the school catering for students aged 11-16, they recognised the prevalence of social media and online activity for those in this age bracket and wanted to educate themselves accordingly.
To initiate this, Ark Boulton acquired our Annual Designated Safeguarding Lead Membership; opening up a wealth of doors for their DSLs to learn about everything from the new ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance to the role of a DSL as a whole.
A tech-focused world
Picking up on the aforementioned subject of young people and their relationship with the internet, Ark Boulton, as well as educating staff on any potential risks, wanted to make the their students aware too.
Rosie Higgins, Designated Safeguarding Lead & Director of Welfare at Ark Boulton Academy said: “The use of devices to access and use social media is an important, integral part of teenage life in today’s technological world. It has become their number one method for keeping in touch – they text rather than talk in person.
“As teachers, we know the use of social media is fraught with risks/hidden dangers which our students need to understand so they can keep themselves and others safe. We also understand that the world of technology changes at an alarming rate – it is difficult for the school staff, parents and students to keep up.
“Chalk-face demands are many – staff appreciate/take up opportunities to learn online at a time that is convenient (i.e at home/during non-teaching time).”
Implementation of eSafety resources
The process of administering our training resources has been a smooth and fruitful one, with Mrs Higgins revealing that a whole school approach has very much been taken.
“The information updates we get from National Online Safety help us ensure the whole school community is updated with information, advice and guidance on good practice,” Mrs Higgins said.
“We do regular Online Safety sessions with all year groups during the academic year and also run sessions for parents. National Online Safety’s resources help us to ensure the content of these sessions is updated.
“We absolutely love them (#WakeUpWednesday guides) – they are well produced and very informative. We have been saving the guides so we have enough to launch a regular post on the school website/provide students with a weekly update in PSHE sessions.”
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Posted by Pete Badh