Schoolchildren were logged on to the joys and dangers of the internet when they were given lessons explaining how to stay safe online.
With the help of PC Chris Pearce, Crawley’s neighbourhood schools officer, youngsters at Our Lady Queen of Heaven School, in Langley Green, took part in Safer Internet Day last Tuesday (February 9).
Working under the theme ‘celebrating differences’ pupils spoke about the importance of understanding ‘it is OK to be different’ when speaking, working or playing with others online.
Activities included sorting statements into what they felt was good online behaviour and what might be potentially negative.
They explored which online programs or applications might pose a potential danger – such as the limitless material which could be found via Google.
The positive side of the world wide web was also covered, with the children cutting out pictures relating to apps and programs they loved and pasting them on to cut-out pictures of a heart.
Michael Watson, the school’s computing co-ordinator, said: “Many children said they liked different online activities and I feel the day was successful in helping them understand that differences are a good thing.
“The children responded well to the lessons – some were sorting statements making them more aware of online dangers and others loved cutting out favourite apps for their online heart. Higher up the school, children used drama to show ‘ how difference is healthy’ and acted out scenarios linking to this.”
Safer Internet Day followed hot on the heels of guidance issued by the Department for Education for schools to closely monitor pupils’ internet usage.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “As a parent, I’ve seen just what an important role the internet can play in children’s education.
“But it can also bring risks, which is why we must do everything we can to help children stay safe online – at school and at home.”
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