Pupils from Archbishop Blanch School in Wavertree have become Digital Leaders after joining an innovative new internet safety programme from UK charity, Childnet International.
Launched in September 2015, the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme aims to empower young people to champion digital citizenship and digital creativity within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online.
By signing up to the programme, Archbishop Blanch will join an exciting online community, where they will access training and support from Childnet’s expert team, record achievements, and collaborate and share inspiration with schools across the UK.
Supported by Facebook and the European Union, the programme will also give young people opportunities to engage with leading technology companies and have a say in creating a better internet for the future.
To coincide with Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 8 February, the school’s Year 9 Digital Leaders will be leading an assembly for Year 7 and taking responsibility for starting a Safety Awareness board in the school.
Headteacher Heather Duggan, says: “We have signed up to the programme to put our pupils at the heart of our school’s approach to e-safety. The internet is now a central part of a child’s life, both at home and at school, so we feel teaching and empowering pupils about online safety is a fundamental part of 21st century education.
“Our new Digital Leaders will lead this ethos at Archbishop Blanch and take responsibility of the safety awareness at the school. As we continue the programme, we will be looking to make links with local primary schools and inform younger students about e-safety.”
By harnessing the power of youth voice, Childnet’s new programme will help Archbishop Blanch strengthen its e-safety provision.
In 2014 school inspectors in the UK set out that outstanding e-safety practice in schools involves the active involvement and leadership of young people, but evaluation data from the school self-assessment tool 360 Degree Safe found that while this is improving year on year, it is still one of the weakest areas of e-safety provision in schools.
As CEO of Childnet, Will Gardner, explains how the programme will help schools work towards an outstanding whole school community approach to e-safety.
He says: “This year Childnet turns twenty and we’re excited to be launching a new youth programme, which will help build a new approach to e-safety, putting young people at the heart of the solution. We have been piloting this programme over the last year, with support from Facebook, and the impact of the programme is clear – from safer online behaviours of pupils to the involvement of young people in developing e-safety policies and wider.”