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Running the programme during COVID-19 school closures

Looking to sign up?

It is a fantastic time to sign up to the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme! The programme is a great way to engage your pupils in online safety education and to build a whole school approach to online safety even while most pupils are learning from home.

It is worth noting that we have separate Primary and Secondary training platforms. Secondary aged pupils can access the secondary platform independently of their teacher, so they can begin the programme while learning from home. Primary aged pupils are only able to access the primary platform with their teacher present. Therefore, for primary pupils, we currently recommend recruiting a group of Digital Leaders who are still attending school, so that they can work through the online training together. We usually recommend recruiting a group of 8-10 Digital Leaders, however you could have a larger or smaller team. There are also a number of other ways for your pupils to engage in the programme and online safety education while they are learning from home, and we have detailed some of these below.

Register your interest in the programme here to receive more information and access to a free trial of our online training platform. If you have any questions about running the programme in your educational setting get in touch at [email protected].

Currently subscribed to the programme?

We wanted to update you on the ways that the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme can support your pupils and be a useful learning tool during the COVID-19 school closures. During this period, we want to make it as easy as we can for Digital Leader schools to make the most of the programme.

We are also sharing resources and guidance for keeping young people happy and safe while they are spending more time online at home. With that in mind here are some things you can do to stay engaged:

• Secondary Digital Leaders are able to access the training platform and continue progressing through their training from home. They can use the additional features on the platform such as the ‘Community’ to connect with other Digital Leaders.

• Your Digital Leaders could plan how they will share their knowledge online through campaigns, surveys, videos and more. Educating family members at home is a great way to demonstrate the peer-to-peer training aspect of the programme.

• Primary Digital Leaders cannot access the training without their teacher present. However, whether your team have completed their training or not, this is a great opportunity for them to put what they have learnt into practice. Activities could include:
o Creating posters for the school newsletter.
o Writing articles for the school website or newsletter.
o Recording a top tips video or online safety news report.
o Collaborating on an online survey for classmates, to find out which online safety topics to focus on.
o Writing an online safety poem or song.
o Drawing their vision of the future of the internet. This could be a large collaborative piece to share on the school website.

We have also added 13 downloadable activities to the Resources page of the Primary training platform, which can still be accessed by teachers. We recommend sending these activities out to your Primary Digital Leaders weekly to keep online safety at the forefront of their minds while they are spending more time online.

• We are happy to add key workers’ children on to the platform for both primary and secondary subscriptions. This could be a great opportunity for those pupils who are still attending school to qualify as Digital Leaders and plan how they can impact their communities. We require consent forms from these pupils’ parents or carers, which can be emailed over to them instead of paper copies being taken home. We can accept photographs of signed consent forms, provided they are of good quality. Previous Digital Leaders can still remain in their role and continue to have access to the platform. Up to three teachers from each school can also have access to the platform, so do let us know at [email protected] if you would like us to swap over or add more teaching staff.

Other resources to keep your Digital Leaders and their peers engaged in online safety education while many will be learning from home:

• Register your school’s support for Safer Internet Day 2021. You can also find educational resources for Safer Internet Day which will be celebrated in the UK on 9th February with the theme “An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world”.
• Check out our blog posts on keeping children happy and safe during COVID-19 and advice from our Digital Champions on how to keep well during school closures.
• We would love to hear how your Digital Leaders are fulfilling the responsibilities of their role and the creative ways that they impact their school community; send their work into us at [email protected] and we will feature it in our blog!
• As young people will be spending more time at home with their families and on devices, Childnet have prepared a list of resources to use at home with children, to explore online safety in a fun, engaging and educational way. The resources are split by age group and we recommend sharing this page with parents and carers. Find the resources on the Childnet website here.
• SWGfL, our partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, have created a resource to assist teachers in planning safe remote learning including advice pages and the Safe Remote Learning resource, which could be useful if you find yourself organising remote learning for your pupils.

Finally, make sure to keep an eye on the Childnet blog and Digital Leaders Programme blog as well as our Twitter accounts, @childnet and @ChildnetDL, where we will continue to share resources that could be useful for teachers as well as parents and carers.

Get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions about running the programme.


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