At Whitworth Community High School we recognise that the appropriate use of new technologies, both in the classroom and at home, provides our pupils with richer learning experiences. However, whilst we recognise the advantages of new technologies, as a school we are also acutely aware of its possible dangers.
New technologies are central to modern life and they enable us to have instant communication with one another. They allow for the rapid retrieval and collation of information from a wide range of sources, and provide a powerful stimulus for creativity. However, these technologies are also potentially damaging. They offer access to harmful and inappropriate materials and, because of the anonymity offered, they make young people vulnerable for harm and exploitation.
At Whitworth Community High School we have a managed system of filtering. We recognise both the benefits and potential dangers of new technologies, and we provide an age related online safety curriculum which encourages our pupils to become polite online citizens. This is delivered both directly in assembly and tutor time and discretely in all subjects and it aims to equip our pupils with the skills needed to assess the risk of accessing sites, recognise the potential dangers of the information they are viewing, and adopt safe practices both in school and during unsupervised contact at home.
Whitworth Community High School asks families to sign an ‘acceptable use’ policy on entry to the school, which details what our pupils are allowed and not allowed to do when using new technologies and which makes explicit the consequences of breaching this agreement. We have a school working party for online safety that includes members of teaching staff, associate staff, governors and SLT. Students and parents will soon be invited to make up this group. Online safety is a key part of our safeguarding training, and we actively involve other agencies where necessary to back up this message in order to keep our students safe.
We take online safety very seriously, and would recommend the following websites to provide parents with resources and advice about online safety at home.
To view a copy of the school's online safety policy click on the following link.
There are also various links to useful websites that will allow parents to learn more about some other the issues around online safety.