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Digital Leaders develop alternative online safety education facility in school

Published: 6th April 2018

Childnet Digital Leaders from Sarah Bonnell School in London educate their peers using outstanding alternative education strategies and demonstrate how the Digital Leaders Programme can transform online safety provision in schools.

Childnet Digital Leaders from Sarah Bonnell School in London invited some of Childnet’s Digital Leaders staff team to visit their school in order to showcase how they have used the programme to make a difference to their peers.

The Digital Leaders have created a series of interactive workshops known as “Alternative Education Facility” designed to educate students who have been reprimanded for poor online behaviour as well as students who have been affected by something which has happened online.

Students commit to attend three separate online safety workshops to learn about Social Media, Digital Footprints and Cyberbullying. Each session is led by the Digital Leaders and begins with some ground rules, aims and learning objectives for the students, followed by a presentation containing videos, quizzes and scenario-based tasks.

What happens in the sessions?

The social media session

The social media session contains information and advice on age restrictions and privacy settings, whilst the Digital Footprint session features a “Dragon’s Den” style activity, where students pretend to be members of a college admissions department and judge which students could be accepted in college based on their social media profiles.

The Cyber-bullying session

Within the Cyber-bullying session students are taught about the impact of bullying on others, as well as laws and consequences for online offences.

Learning about digital footprints

The Digital Leaders feel very strongly about educating their peers about how behaviour in the online world can also have a significant impact on the real world, therefore all of their sessions explore the legislation and criminal offences in relation to poor online behaviour.

The Digital Leaders also set a number of reflective tasks for the students so they can think more deeply about their own online behaviour, and then at the end of the sessions the students make a pledge about what they will do improve their behaviour, both on and offline.

Workshops with parents and carers

In addition to their work with their peers, the Digital Leaders have also held workshops with parents and carers to update them on what their children have been taught in school. The team felt that it was important to involve parents in online safety education to ensure that important messages about age restrictions, online behaviour and inappropriate content were also being reinforced in the student’s homes.

Parent workshops also include information and advice on parental controls for various devices and how to talk to young people about inappropriate online content.

Digital Leaders and Safer Internet Day

On Safer Internet Day 2018 the Sarah Bonnell School Digital Leaders spent the day delivering their online safety workshops for Year 7 students and their efforts were recognised by visiting OFSTED inspectors who mentioned the Digital Leaders in the school’s OFSTED report:

“The school’s work to keep pupils safe is exemplified by the ‘digital leaders’, pupils who are well prepared to train their peers on internet safety. During the inspection ‘digital leaders’ were teaching Year 7 pupils about the dangers of social media. Year 7 pupils then carried out research and presented projects with enthusiasm and deep understanding.”

The Digital Leaders Team from Sarah Bonnell School have demonstrated how the Digital Leaders Programme online training empowers young people to educate and support their peers, and also to make amazing contributions towards online safety curriculum in schools.

If you would like to learn more about the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme then register your interest and we will send you a registration pack with more information.


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