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How do you know that young people have an improved resilience to online risk both in and out of school? Do you have evidence that staff not only feel empowered to teach this curriculum area but feel confident that they can identify, ameliorate or escalate issues on behalf of students or their families? Can parents be confident that the schools response to issues they have raised fulfills their expectations?
Measuring impact can be achieved in a number of ways through canvassing opinion, survey or pupil voice but it’s how those judgements are used to inform or improve practice that proves critical in driving a school forward. UK Safer Internet Centre has developed Online Compass a free self review tool for children’s settings that contains an impact assessment tool to assist settings with making those judgements. It produces surveys on-the-fly for students staff or parents that feed back into the tool to inform progress. These results can be tracked over time, date stamped and reported graphically.
What does it look like when it goes right?
The following paragraphs are taken from commentaries on successful E-Safety Mark assessments in a variety of settings:
Hamworthy Middle School, Poole, Dorset: For the pupils at the school e-safety is embedded in their curriculum. A variety of resources are used and there are opportunities for the children to use critical thinking skills to analyse risk and benefit of their use of the internet. The school is part of the Rights Respecting Schools agenda, which puts the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of its planning and ethos. This is reflected in the way that the e-safety committee and all the pupils engage with the responsible use of technology; both the schools’ technology and their own. The school feels that this agenda allows children to learn about having a sense of responsibility towards each other in terms of digital communications.
Everton Nursery School, Liverpool: Staff responsible for developing curriculum provision have given careful thought to the way e-safety education can be embedded in the early years curriculum. The school has considerable expertise in leading early years pedagogy and were able to give detailed examples of day to day contexts in continuous provision, where skilled staff intervention and development guidance with pupils, helped them to begin to develop safer behaviours and choices in the wider social and emotional agenda with which the school works each day. Evidence of feedback to the school from primary schools, indicates that ‘Everton pupils’ are characterised by their levels of self confidence, independence and by their skills in conflict resolution; all essential elements of positive e-safety attitudes.
Walton Priory Middle School, Staffordshire: The education provided for the pupils on e-safety is of a high standard. As well as making good use of internet safety week each year, the school has a well-structured scheme of work that ensures pupils are regularly taught about e-safety and digital literacy in general. The team of esafety ambassadors I met with were very keen and knowledgeable and it was clear that pupil voice is important to the school, listened to, and acted upon. The school is planning to increase the involvement of the e-safety ambassadors in parent’s evenings to try to reach more parents/carers. Links with the local first school are strong and there are further plans to develop the use of mentors from the school to work with the younger pupils. In my opinion, the education of the pupils in this school is of a high quality and continually evolving to take into account changes and developments in technology.