S. P.H.E. and the Internet

Rationale for Policy

We have adopted this policy in order that our pupils can develop safe online skills and a sense of responsibility around the use of the internet, the use of computers and phones etc.

Cyberbullying can become an issue and it is our hope that through teaching the Webwise programme we can prevent cyberbullying.  Where appropriate and warranted we will deal with cases of cyberbullying with our anti bullying policy.

Classroom Content

The classroom content will be that set out in the Webwise programme as set out by the National Centre for Technology in Education.

Access to Lessons

Teachers can gain access to the Webwise programme through the web address www.webwise.ie   We aslo have a hard copy of Webwise in the Principal’s Office to be borrowed if necessary.

Making The Links and Webwise

In Saint Rynagh’s N.S. we use the Making The Links system to deliver the Stay Safe, Walk Tall and R.S.E. curriculum.  We are adding Webwise to our S.P.H.E. programme.  Chapters 2,3 and 4 are designed with 1st and 2nd class in mind and focus on the skills needed for surfing the web, effective safe searching, downloading images and determining what online content can be trusted.  Chapters 6, 7 and 8 follow on from these for older classes.   We will begin our Webwise programme in 2nd class.  The lessons can be revisited as determined by the class teacher in older classes.  Teachers can look at the Cúntas Míosuíl from the previous year to see at what level they need to begin the lessons or they can judge themselves through working with the class.

Supervision of Internet Access

In Saint Rynagh’s N.S. we believe that all access of primary school children to the internet should be supervised.  In the school the access is filtered by the N.C.T.E. at level A.   It is presumed that any homework given by a teacher to a pupil involving computer use would be supervised by a parent or guardian.  While we are teaching webwise skills we are also presuming that the children’s internet access is supervised.  The webwise skills are not designed to replace parental supervision, teacher supervision or content filtering.

Cyberbullying

There is a module as part of the webwise programme that specifically deals with online harassment and text message harassment.  If appropriate our own code of behaviour will be used to deal with cyberbullying.  The webwise module also gives guidelines to children on cyberbullying out of school hours.

Netiquette and Cyber bullying

The following Netiquette guidelines will be taught to children from third class.  These guidelines inform children on how to behave online or on the phone.

Some tips …

  • Do trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look or ‘feel right’, it probably isn’t.  If you find something online or on your phone that you don’t like or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn off the machine/device and tell an adult.
  • Do tell an adult you know and trust. You are not alone.
  • Do keep the messages that are sent from the cyberbully. You don’t have to read it, but keep it.  It is your evidence.
  • Don’t send messages when you are angry. Wait until you have had time to calm down and think.  You will regret sending a ‘Flame’ (angry message) to someone else.  Once you have sent a message it is VERY hard to undo the damage.
  • Don’t open messages from people you don’t know.
  • Don’t reply to messages from cyberbullies. Even though you may really want to, this is exactly what cyberbullies want.  They want to know that they’ve got you worried and upset.  They are trying to mess with you and control you and put fear into you – don’t give into that.
       The immediate strategy for dealing with Cyberbullying is Stop! Block! Tell!

             STOP!          Don’t do anything.  Take 5!  to calm down.

BLOCK!      Block the cyberbully or limit all communications.  Do not reply.

And TELL!  Tell a trusted adult.  You don’t have to face this alone.

Warning  – These webwise skills are not designed to replace parental, guardian or school supervision of internet access.