As a school we hold the top-rated award from 360 Online Safety Award after successfully passing their rigorous criteria on curriculum provision in terms of educating our students on how to stay safe online.

Our Focus Week is based around Safer Internet Day – Tuesday 6 February – and as well as reminding students of key messages, holding competitions and quizzes, and dedicating tutor time and PSHE teaching sessions to related topics, we placed a great emphasis on raising awareness of deep fakes being created by AI.

This has included fake images and videos which are designed to hook our students in and fool them – before telling them the truth later. This is all to ensure they are wary of news and check their sources to ensure things are accurate. This can apply to situations as varied as peer group gossip to national elections.

Throughout the school year our students benefit from dedicated sessions to improve online awareness and personal safety and this links into wider topics including sexual images, County Lines and cyberbullying.

Steve Neale, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and Online Safety Lead, said: “AI is going to affect our students lives immeasurably but it is exciting and is going to change the way we do things. Within this, we need our students to grow into adults who do not react to one bit of news but rather check their facts and get the full picture. AI fake imagery and news is already rife and discernment is needed to see the wood for the trees. We are determined that our students will be ahead of the curve and this Focus Week is about making the strides to be just there.”