February saw The Friary School mark Safer Internet Day with a whole week’s worth of activities focusing on E-Safety and an important driver in our E-Safety Mark Award that sets apart the work we do on keeping our students safe online.

Of course the opportunities created by the Internet and social media can present fantastic opportunities. But sadly not everyone’s experiences are so positive. Technology and new approaches can also come with real threats and dangers. It is really important that everyone knows how to stay safe online and on social media.

Students at The Friary have helped to create a guide to E-Safety: Ten Easy Steps to Stay Safe Online. The Friary School Council was keen to share this advice in the wider community and a delegation of students visited Chadsmead Primary School to drop off these leaflets. An electronic copy has been made available via the Friary School website, where more information can also be found.

There were fantastic form-led assemblies throughout week, with Mr Neale also contributing. He emphasised that the school places crucial importance on E-Safety and this is reflected in us holding the prestigious E-Safety Mark, part of the award-winning 360 Degrees Safe scheme. He reminded students that, whilst in school, they have a further level of protection through our high-quality firewalls and monitoring by a dedicated Network Team. Outside of school, without this safeguard, of course young people and their parents and carers must take sensible and appropriate steps to make sure their use of the internet and social media remains safe and productive. He illustrated his points with a series of fascinating case studies, which provoked thoughtful discussion among students.

Mark Drury, Assistant Headteacher, said: “The national theme this year is ‘Together for a Better Internet’ and it was brilliant to see Friary students guiding their peers – including much younger students in primary school – towards safe, positive use of online and social media opportunities. With E-Safety there is a danger of only emphasising the possible negatives, when actually technology can be a massive benefit – though it requires thoughtful use.”