We’re all familiar with the old proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”, but in a hyperconnected digital age that philosophy is truer - and more necessary - than ever.
Take the issue of digital literacy. In September of this year, the government will make it compulsory for schools to teach a new curriculum of Relationships and Health Education, which includes a far stronger emphasis on online safety. However, while curriculum changes are welcome, they are not sufficient on their own. Instead, schools should be thinking about how they can implement a ‘whole school approach’ to these issues.
What does a ‘whole school’ approach look like?
Put simply, a ‘whole school’ approach is one that involves every member of the school community, from the headteacher down to the lunchtime volunteers, as well as both pupils and their parents. This approach can be used for every facet of school life, from behaviour to physical wellbeing, but we at Natterhub believe that it can be applied just as strongly to discussing issues of online safety.
As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, the line between ‘digital’ citizenship
and ‘real citizenship’ is getting blurrier by the day. We use digital tools in nearly every aspect of our lives, from work to socialising with friends, which is why it’s crucial to make sure that both teachers and parents have the confidence and tools they need to discuss online safety with children.
How does Natterhub encourage a whole school approach?
We designed Natterhub to mimic the natural rhythms of posting on social media, making it easy to adopt a holistic approach to the teaching of the new Relationships and Health Education curriculum as a whole and online safety in particular. Our interactive lessons range from Year 1 right through to Year 6, so that they can be built around a child’s entire time at primary school, and teachers can easily share ideas for supplementary activities with each other just as they would on Facebook or Twitter. In addition, by introducing parents to our eight unique Badges of Honour, we give them the foundation for having frank and open discussions about online safety with their children at home.
In the age of the internet, it takes a global village to raise a child. A whole school approach allows pupils, staff and parents to provide valuable input into each child’s learning journey, and give everyone the skills and confidence to explore the wider world independently.