Just a reminder that once again the importance of online safety will be reinforced on Tuesday 9th February 2021, when as a school, we will be taking part in ‘Safer Internet Day 2021’. During the day, or at some point next week, each year group, both in school and at home, will be encouraged to spend some time carrying out activities dedicated to promoting safe, responsible and positive use of the digital technology that our children encounter in their everyday lives. This topic is particularly important this year as many of our children are spending more time indoors due to lockdown. In some cases, this has meant that children are spending a greater amount of time online. Therefore, it is important now more than ever, to be talking to our children about online safety and what they are accessing online.
The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day is ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world’. The aim of the day is to explore reliability online and celebrate how the internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, and its potential to inform, connect, and inspire us, whilst looking at how young people can separate fact from fiction.
As ‘Fake News’ is becoming an integral part of the internet, the campaign focuses on how we can decide what to trust online, supporting young people to question, challenge and change the online world for the better. It will explore how influence, persuasion and manipulation can impact young people’s decisions, opinions and what they share online. It will also look at the emotional impact navigating a misleading online world can have on young people and why it is important to create a supportive, critical and questioning culture online that encourages debate and discussion, teaching young people the skills to support one another, and the strategies to spot and speak out against harmful and misleading content online.
Safer internet day is an opportunity to rethink how we use the internet and consider some of the dangers that young people come across when using it. At some point next week, teachers will be promoting the positive aspects of the internet and reinforcing how our children can avoid online risks. Teachers will be sharing some of the prepared resources, assemblies and activities available from the UK Safer Internet Centre next week, via home learning platforms and also in school.
Below is a reminder of the link, that will take you to this year’s guidance for parents, so that you can also get involved at home. This link will take you to lots of free resources to talk to your child about online safety and includes more detail about the content of the day, videos, activities, conversation starters and information. This information is aimed to help parents talk to their children about what to trust online and how to navigate the issue of reliability of information online in a safe, responsible and engaging way.