Date: Tuesday 21 September 2010
Internet Safety is a concern for all parents with children, teenagers in particular. In the digital world we now live in, young people use the internet and mobile phones for chatting, taking photographs, playing games and even doing homework - all without a second thought. However, the internet presents many challenges and it is essential that children understand know how to be in control of it and stay safe.
With constant stories in the media, St Edmund’s School Canterbury decided to be pro-active on this subject and wanted to give guidance and reassurance to their pupils, staff and parents.
Assistant Deputy Head, Leigh Millard, said “We wanted to help our whole school community to feel that they had the most up to date knowledge of the internet, allowing them to make informed judgements and appropriate decisions”.
A programme of talks by Mr Karl Hopwood was organised for 17 September 'E-Safety Day'. Mr Hopwood, an e-safety expert and former Head teacher, is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and sits on the working groups for better education and public awareness.
His talks are tailored to be appropriate for the different age groups and during the day he spoke to all St Edmund’s pupils aged 5 to 18 and then to all staff. Parents were then invited for a presentation in the evening to hear how to help their children to stay in control.
Karl Hopwood said “I want to give guidance and reassurance to young people in the same way we teach our children how to cross the road safely we must also teach them how to use the internet safely. All the pupils I have spoken to today were very attentive and engaged and I hope they are now better informed and understand the importance of their ‘online’ reputation, a particular issue for university or job applications.”
It was a most successful day with a very positive outcome. Sixth form pupil, Megan Laverick-Smith, found the presentation very useful and said “It was really interesting and very thought-provoking. Mr Hopwood was not judgemental and did not lecture us but told us real-life stories to illustrate the dangers and gave us tips on how to stay safe.”