Bournside School takes its responsibility for safeguarding pupils from harmful and inappropriate online material very seriously. This includes material accessed through devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, as well as platforms such as social media and online games whilst in school.
Our school filtering prevents students accessing websites and apps online through our school network, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, iMessage/FaceTime and various online game providers. For students who have an iPad through the school scheme, parents have an app that allows them to control their child’s iPad including access to apps.
Whilst regulation and technical solutions are very important, their use should be balanced by educating students to take a responsible approach as recommended by Ofsted. The education of students in e-safety is therefore an essential part of the curriculum. We recognise that children and young people need the help and support of the school to recognise and avoid e-safety risks and build their resilience.
The school has a planned e-safety curriculum including:
- A 10 week project in Year 7 focussed on cyber-bullying.
- Year 8 PSHE lessons on e-safety.
- A 10 week project in Year 9 focussed on protecting their digital identity and footprint.
- Year 10 PSHE lessons on e-safety.
- Key e-safety messages are reinforced in assemblies to all year groups.
- Students are taught in all relevant lessons to be critically aware of the materials/content they access on-line and be guided to validate the accuracy of information as appropriate.
- In lessons where internet use is pre-planned and students are guided to sites, these are checked as suitable for their use.
- Where students are allowed to freely search the internet, staff are vigilant in monitoring the content of the websites the young people visit; reporting any inappropriate sites found to IT Services.
It is accepted that from time to time, for good educational reasons, students may need to research topics (eg racism, drugs, discrimination) that would normally result in internet searches being blocked. In such a situation, staff can request that IT Services can temporarily remove those sites from the filtered list for the period of study.