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14 December 2021

Developing a Whole School Online Safety Curriculum at Russell Scott Primary School

Amy Kingsley-Smith profile image
Written by

Amy Kingsley-Smith

Over recent years, the IT team at Russell Scott Primary School have been working to develop a comprehensive computing curriculum which ensures coverage of the curriculum skills and appropriate lesson pitch. We developed a skills document, so that teachers are clear on what to teach across the three strands of computing.

As a school which teaches the IT curriculum through Apple technology, we also developed the ‘App Progression Document’, which teachers use to ensure they teach the relevant IT skills rather than simply using the iPads as a lesson tool to support other subjects.

Whilst confident that coverage of Computer Science and IT was thorough and well-pitched, we felt that the teaching of online safety was inconsistent across school, and, due to the ever-changing nature of the technology available to our young people, many teachers did not feel secure in their online safety subject knowledge.

Lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to research the schemes, programmes and resources available for teaching online safety in primary schools. As a school, we decided on two programmes. In KS2, we settled on ‘Project Evolve’, which follows the online safety strands laid out in ‘Education for a Connected World’. 

Project Evolve is a comprehensive and free bank of lesson plans and resources. It is regularly updated (for example, it now offers ‘Knowledge mats’ to support assessment and subsequent planning) and is definitely worth looking into if you’re not already using it in your schools.

As a school we also decided to subscribe to National Online Safety both for the lesson plans and resources, but also for the wealth of CPD, webinars and parent information guides it provides on the latest technology. National Online Safety provides engaging lesson videos which we found to be more appropriate for use in EYFS and KS1, but the lesson plans follow the same strands as Project Evolve, so we now have consistency across school.

Since signing up to National Online Safety, all staff have benefited from the annual online safety CPD it provides and I have updated our E Safety Blog with an ‘E Safety Knowledge’ tab providing information on the latest tech available to children, using National Online Safety’s parent guides.

I also send out weekly ‘Tech Tuesday’ updates to parents via ParentMail on the latest tech trends and potential risks they pose to young people.

The Russell Scott online safety curriculum is currently very much a work in progress. I am interested to learn about what online safety looks like in your school.

  • Do you use a scheme or teach e-safety thematically?
  • What sites/resources would you recommend?
  • Has your school created any resources that you’d be willing/able to share?
  • How do you engage the wider school community in a discussion about online safety?

Since qualifying as a primary school teacher in 2009, I have taught across KS1 and KS2 at three schools in the Manchester area. In 2014, I was very fortunate to join Russell Scott Primary School where I continue to work as a Year 2 teacher and IT Lead. Russell Scott is ahead of the game in terms of technology, with 1:1 iPads in Years 5 and 6, and 1:2 across the rest of the school. During my time at Russell Scott, I have organised and delivered edtech-themed events, presented at other schools and events and written articles on my use of technology in the classroom. In 2017, I was thrilled to be selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator and I have since supported my colleagues to become ‘Apple Teachers’ and continue to develop the computing curriculum at Russell Scott.

You can follow me on Twitter @MissKingsley85 and my class @ClassMissK. Follow Russell Scott on Facebook, or Twitter, @RScottPrimary