Computing in the 21st Century is seen as an essential area of learning. It plays an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults. Consequently, schools need to build in the use of new technologies in order to equip young people with the skills they will need to access life-long learning and employment.
At Kings Copse, we use a wide range of resources, including web-based and mobile technologies, to deliver our Computing, IT and other curriculum areas. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of IT within our society as a whole. Currently, the Internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much IT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed. All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these Internet technologies.
At Kings Copse, we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils on eSafety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the Internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom.
Schools hold personal data on learners, staff and other people to help them conduct their day-to-day activities. Some of this information is sensitive and could be used by another person or criminal organisation to cause harm or distress to an individual. The loss of sensitive information can result in media coverage, and damage the reputation of the school. This can make it more difficult for our school to use technology to benefit learners.
Everybody in the school has a shared responsibility to secure any sensitive information used in their day to day professional duties and even staff not directly involved in data handling should be made aware of the risks and threats and how to minimise them.
Our eSafety policy and the Acceptable Use Policy (for all staff, governors, visitors and pupils) are inclusive of both fixed and mobile internet; technologies provided by the school (such as PCs, laptops, iPads, iPods, webcams, whiteboards, voting systems, digital video equipment, etc); and technologies owned by pupils and staff, but brought onto school premises (such as laptops, mobile phones, camera phones, PDAs and portable media players, etc).
The web has changed all of our lives, for good and for ill. For parents and carers a whole new world dangers and opportunities has opened up. Parents can sometimes struggle to keep up with the things their children are doing online while others – who may be quite used to using the technology themselves – perhaps don’t realise that children need to be supervised while accessing the internet. At the school, we teach eSafety at an age-appropriate level to each year group each year. Due to the ever-changing nature of the Internet, our firewall (the technology that blocks unpleasant aspects of the internet) is only almost 100% effective. However, we teach children what to do if they ever see or read anything that isn’t appropriate – an important skill as firewalls and filters will certainly be less effective in the real world!