As schools prepare for statutory RSHE this September, where and how does online safety fit in and what can you do to prepare?
Whilst traditionally a topic reserved for the computing curriculum, it’s worth noting that the new RSHE curriculum guidance has 66 mentions of staying safe online threaded through all the key topics included in this new statutory subject. With young people spending increasing amounts of time online and on devices, particularly during Covid-19, it’s reassuring that this new curriculum advocates a whole school, cross-curricular approach, ensuring pupils are taught consistently and in an age-appropriate way about:
- what positive, healthy and respectful online relationships look like
- effects of their online actions
- how to recognise and display respectful behaviour online
- how to respond and seek help
What exactly do staff need to know?
As you are aware, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ has just been updated – paragraph 92 has an addition about keeping children safe online “including when they are online at home”. Much of this is about education and support for parents – see parentsafe.lgfl.net for resources, presentations, letter templates, and how-to-guides. Schools must also keep ALL other staff up to date with developments around safeguarding, including:
- ‘Teaching online safety in school’ (DfE, June 2019) – guidance to consider what schools already deliver through the curriculum, and building in additional teaching as required by identifying online risks/harms with examples, descriptions and areas in the curriculum where these can be covered
- ‘Education for a Connected World’ (updated July 2020) – an ideal framework for teachers to address online safety in an age appropriate way, relevant to pupils. Listen to our audio update to find out more about how this ties in with the new RSHE curriculum as well as recent updates including social influencers and deepfakes, the use of banter, digital consent, sexting and more.
Resources and support to help you get started:
- Why not use our RSHE online safety quiz to assess pupils and promote helpful class discussions?
- Attend our ONLINE training covering the above guidance and legislation, introducing age-appropriate resources with time to map these to your existing curriculum. FREE for LGfL schools, find out more at safetraining.lgfl.net
- Visit coronavirus.lgfl.net/safeguarding for targeted support during Covid for parents, pupils, DSLs and all staff, including guidance and support related to remote learning.