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Please click here to read a parent and carer guide to online safety resources

Online Safety is considered to be very important at Monkspath School. We believe our role is twofold:

  • To teach children to be safe and make informed choices, to recognise and live with the risks, know how to keep themselves safe, understand, respond to and calculate risk safely. Our focus must be to empower children to stay safe whenever, wherever they go online.
  • To support our families in ‘keeping up’ with rapid technological change and enable them to develop their ‘digital parenting’.

Teaching of online safety is built into the school curriculum from Nursery through to Year 6.  All year groups work on age appropriate activities. These lessons take place half termly throughout the year.

By the start of Year 1 all children will have personal ‘logons’ and passwords which they are taught to keep secret.  This is the beginning of them learning to keep their digital information safe.

We hold a whole school Online Safety week every year to coincide with Safer Internet Day During this week the whole school focuses on online safety in a variety of cross curricular ways including Literacy, Numeracy PHSE, Art and Music.  We send home resources and information for parents and carers to support them.

Online Safety information is visible around school as a reminder to our whole community, this includes the ‘SMART’ rules from CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Within school we have children who are our Digital Leaders.  They work alongside the adult members of the school online safety team to develop policy, seek opinions from and inform their peers and act as role models.   All Year groups from Years 1 – 6 have their own Digital Leaders.

All children are encouraged to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable in their digital life, whether inside or outside school.   We have a variety of ways that children, parents or carers can report; including the ‘Whisper’ button on our website which enables anyone to make anonymous reports, worry boxes, or directly speaking to a member of staff.   All members of our school community can be assured that any reports are taken seriously and reported to the Senior Leadership Team using our reporting system. 

All staff are trained to ensure a rigorous approach to this. Parent and carer workshops are held to inform and support.  These workshops can be viewed on our YouTube channel (Monkspath School).   We recommend the South West Grid for Learning E-safety Family Tool Kit for parents of younger children and Vodafone Digital Parenting website and magazine to all parents as a way of keeping up to date with the challenges faced by children in the ever changing digital landscape;

Acceptable user agreements are in place for staff, pupils and parents to ensure a constantly safe approach to the use of technology at our school. We monitor our reputation online using an online and social media alerting tool.

Appropriate filtering and monitoring

Monkspath Junior and Infant School will do all we reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to online risks through our IT systems and will ensure that appropriate filtering and monitoring systems are in place. The Governing body ensures our school has appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place and will regularly review their effectiveness.

At Monkspath School we use Smoothwall to provide our internet filter. Alerts are provided daily to the Head Teacher who monitors this closely and escalates concerns in line with this and other relevant policies. The technical aspects of this service are provided by Solihull Education ICT Services who Monkspath School liaise regularly with to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of its filtering and monitoring arrangements; the decisions will be informed in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty and will depend on the age range/ability of children, the number of children, how often they access IT systems and the proportionality of costs vs risks.

If learners or staff discover unsuitable sites or material, they are required to:

 Turn off monitor/screen, report the concern immediately to a member of staff (pupil) senior leader (staff), report the URL of the site to technical staff/services.

All users will be informed that use of our systems can be monitored, and that monitoring will be in line with data protection, human rights, and privacy legislation.

Filtering breaches or concerns identified through our monitoring approaches will be recorded and reported to the safeguarding lead who will respond as appropriate.

Any access to material believed to be illegal will be reported immediately to the appropriate agencies, such as the Internet Watch Foundation and the police.

When implementing appropriate filtering and monitoring, we ensure that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.

We acknowledge that whilst filtering and monitoring is an important part of our online safety responsibilities, it is only one part of our approach to online safety.

 Learners will use appropriate search tools, apps and online resources as identified following an informed risk assessment.

 Learners' internet use will be supervised by staff according to their age and ability.

 Learners will be directed to use age-appropriate online resources and tools by staff.