NKH's ICT Blog

Just a girl from Manchester trying to get a good career :)


Filed under: Uncategorized — Nicola-Kate at 2:26 pm on Monday, November 19, 2012

‘Who Lives Under The Sea?’ Resource for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Could be used as a cross-curricular link with Science topic ‘Habitats’

Learn more about this project

Here is a power-point presentation to show how the game is played and some curriculum ideas

How to play ‘Who lives under the sea’

I think this is a good video to use to show children what QR codes are and how they are used. It is a fun and entertaining way to describe the use of QR codes as it is nice and short but informative.

QR Codes for Kids

Vision Statement

Filed under: Vision Statement — Nicola-Kate at 12:13 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers” (Pablo Picasso)…lets prove Picasso wrong!

Information Communication Technology in the primary school is a topic of fast-developing discussion and practice in many countries (Loveless, 2002), however its future is uncertain due to the development of technology. There has been much debate into whether ICT should be replaced by computer Science (Burns, 2012).

Children are exposed to ICT on a daily basis and often work and play through ICT (Downes, 2002). The world, in which we live in, is heavily dependent on ICT technology, both in school and out of school. In 1988, ICT was made compulsory for all children from the ages 5-16, in mainstream schools. In Key Stage One, it was made statutory that the use of ICT was also taught in English, Maths and Science. Whereas, in Key Stage Two it was made statutory that ICT was taught in all areas of the National Curriculum (Ofsted, 2008-2011). It is vital that ICT is taught effectively in schools as it prepares children to participate in an ever changing world in which work and activities are increasingly transformed by access and provision to varied and developing technologies (DfEE, 1999).

ICT includes: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science (Naace, 2012). It is important that teachers, and to some extent children, are aware of these terms and what the terms entail, as they are being used more frequently in primary schools. Digital Literacy focuses on the ability to access, use and express oneself using digital technology (Naace, 2012). Information Technology covers the use and application of digital systems to develop solutions creatively (Naace, 2012). Computer Science is the subject discipline that explains how computer systems work (Naace, 2012). In order for children to use, and learn from, computers effectively they will need to have awareness and understanding of what ICT includes. However, although there is evidence to suggest that using computers in teaching can be engaging and motivational; there is little evidence to suggest it having an impact on pupils’ attainment (Gillespie, 2006).

Children’s access and attitudes towards ICT is fast-moving and teachers need to be aware of the changes in the social and cultural contexts in which children engage with new technologies (Loveless, 2002). The range of technologies available to schools and children is phenomenal. Technologies available in most schools include; Interactive whiteboards, iPad’s, laptops, beebots, digital cameras for pictures and video recording and digital blue movie cameras. Interactive whiteboards are used in almost every school now, due to government endorsement and support. The impact interactive whiteboards have in schools show the advantages of using them, both for the teacher and children. They allow children to engage in the lesson and understand abstract concepts through concrete examples and graphical images.

More recently, mobile technology is being introduced to schools. Many schools’ I have visited have access to laptops and iPad’s which are accessible for the children to use. I have always seen laptop and iPad’s being used positively and the children have engaged with the lesson interactively when using them. However, according to Condrie et al (2007), laptops have been less enthusiastically used by children as they prefer to use smaller technology devices.

ICT suite at Wellingborough pre-prep primary school.

There has been much debate into whether ICT should be taught as a separate subject, or whether it should be embedded into other curriculum subjects. Personally, I can see the benefits of both sides of the debate. I think that children need to develop the basic skills of using different technologies, to allow them to use ICT to access other areas of the curriculum (Condie et al, 2007). From experience, some schools’ have a timetabled slot for ICT but others’ don’t; and I think this is where the issue of ICT as a whole subject or embedded into the curriculum lies.

On a placement in a year two class, ICT was taught as an individual subject, but also embedded into other areas of the curriculum: this showed that ICT was accessible throughout all areas of the curriculum. In the individual ICT lesson, the children would learn skills such as; how to save work, how to drag and drop items, how to use the control key, how to use the return key and how to use the space key. They then displayed their skills through other aspects of the curriculum: by creating instructions using an online resource called “How to make a cup of tea?” they then printed their instructions off independently. By teaching ICT this way shows that the children have incorporated ICT into other areas of learning, meaning teachers’ can then assess their understanding of ICT.

Here is a screen shot of the How to make a cup of tea programme (accessible through Primary resources).

However, on a year six placement ICT was not timetabled into the school day. They did use ICT on a regular basis. They used a programme called ‘Pearson Bug Club’. Luckily, the school had bought the programme and it was used throughout the school: from reception to year six. The children knew how to login using their school ID, and unique password and username. When using Bug Club, they would practice their comprehension skills (cross curricular link to English). When teaching the class, I tried to incorporate ICT into my lessons as much as I could. They used laptops in pairs, as there was not enough for one laptop per child. This did create an issue as some children did not use the laptops fairly, some laptops ran out of battery and there were no other laptops left (we allowed the children to use teachers’ laptops).

The main issue when teaching ICT is E-Safety: as a teacher it is your responsibility to ensure the children are aware of E-Safety and what procedures need to be taken into account. As mentioned in a previous blog post, E-Safety was something I re capped on a recent placement when the children were researching on the internet. The school used the Hector’s world safety scheme to ensure E-Safety was promoted throughout their school. The children were aware of how to use the button and what to do afterwards: which shows E-Safety had been taught successfully.

E-Safety display at Wellingborough pre-prep school

Here is a screen shot of Bug Club:

Children need to be given the opportunity to explore the technologies if they are expected to use them effectively. Some children will probably already have some of the technology devices mentioned (a few of my year two children had iPad’s!!!) therefore, they may already be quite knowledgeable and experienced in using them. Teachers’ could then challenge the children to show other children in the class, who may never have seen technology devices before, how to use them (Allen et al, 2007).

To conclude, luckily I have had a positive experience of ICT in schools. I will continue to use many aspects of ICT when teaching such as; iPad’s (if available), interactive whiteboards, digital blue cameras and video recorders. Not only do these technologies engage the children; they are vital to their learning experiences. As well as this ICT may be crucial for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) therefore, teachers’ need to ensure that ICT is accessible to all children (Allen et al, 2007).

Technology for children with SEN may differ slightly to other technologies in the classroom.

Technologies available include:
•A concept keyboard which allows touch-sensitive access to be created on a flat board.
•A touch window- a device which attaches to the front of a monitior allowing the children to touch areas of the screen instead of using a mouse.
•Bigger keys
•Track balls
•Smaller mice.

So…where does the future of ICT in schools lie?


Allen, J., Potter, J., Sharp, J. and Turvey, K. (2007) Primary ICT Knowledge, Understanding and Practice. 3rd ed. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.

Condie, R., Munroe, B., Seagraves, L. and Kenesson, S. (2007) The Impact of ICT in Schools: A landscape review. Coventry: Becta.

DfEE (1999) The National Curriculum for England Information Communication Technology. London: DfEE.

Downes, T. (2002) Perceptions of how ICT has the potential to influence children beyond the curriculum: home/school/community links. In: Loveless, A. and Dore, B. (2002) ICT in the primary school. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Gillespie, H (2006) Unlocking Learning and Teaching with ICT: Identifying and overcoming barriers. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Loveless, A. (2002) ICT in the primary curriculum. In: Loveless, A. and Dore, B. (2002) ICT in the primary school. Berkshire: Open University Press

Naace (2012) Draft ICT Programme of Study. Nottingham: NAACE

Ofsted (2008-2011) ICT in schools.

Mobile Technology: iPad’s and iMovie…

Filed under: Mobile Technologies — Nicola-Kate at 8:05 pm on Tuesday, November 6, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

Well, although I have seen many people using iPad’s before, (and used them myself in schools) I never actually got to use them in the lessons, apart from a quick go on Morfo! After watching peoples’ videos I was gutted I missed the lessons as the videos created using iMovie were fantastic ( I particularly liked Kirstie, Ben and Toni’s re telling of Little Red Riding Hood). Unfortunately, I do not have a resource to share with you, as I didn’t use iMovie!

Using iPad’s and iMovie in schools would be highly engaging and fun for all children and teachers involved. Although I didn’t actually produce a resource from using iMovie, I can see from other people’s videos just how beneficial they are in the classroom. iMovie could be used to re tell stories (like some people from the group did), this would be a fantastic aspect to promoting: group work, talk, assessment and understanding of ICT skills. The only negative about the app is that it is not free (and we all know teachers’ love free resources) but it is only £2.99, so it isn’t really breaking the bank balances guys! The benefits the iMovie app has on enhancing the children’s learning is definitely worth paying the small fee of £2.99…although buying it on a lot of iPad’s could be costly!!

Most Key Stage 2 children would be able to use the app independently and produce a high quality movie, a little modelling and guidance may be needed at first. Key Stage 1 children could explore the app in groups, but would need adult guidance throughout (useful to use TA’s) , and focus on improving their Speaking and Listening skills rather than ICT.

Aspects of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 that could be achieved through using iMovie could be:
• Take turns in speaking
• Create and sustain roles individually and when working with others
• Re telling stories
• Listening to adults giving instructions
• Presenting drama and stories for other people
Aspects of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 that could be achieved through using iMovie could be:
• To speak with confidence in a range of purposes
• Gain and maintain interest of audiences
• Make contributions relevant to the topic
• Create, adapt and sustain different roles, individually and in groups
• Use dramatic techniques to explore characters and feelings

Obviously there are more aspects that using iMovie can achieve but these are just a few I felt were important!

Mobile Technology: Morfo…joke or serious??

Filed under: Mobile Technologies — Nicola-Kate at 12:28 pm on Tuesday, November 6, 2012  Tagged , ,

I have never laughed so much in a uni lecture before!! Me and Kirstie decided to check out the program called ‘Morfo’. Morfo is a program for the iPad (or a smart phone) that allows you to turn a normal picture into a crazy 3D character! Of course we used my face for the picture!! We just took a normal picture (well as normal as it can be), and we uploaded it into the Morfo program! Then the fun began…

Well, we did not have a clue what we were doing, so we pressed a few buttons and played around with the program and we made a VERY short 3 second video. Once we got the hang of what we were doing we decided to make another video as we explored the program a little more. We uploaded the picture again onto the Morfo program and turned me into a crazy rockstar!! Which was very creepy, especially my eyes, as the picture was zoomed right in! We did show the video to many class members who thought it was hilarious :).

Now for the serious stuff…how could this app be used in schools? After discussion, me and Kirstie found it very difficult to find ways in which we could in corporate it into a classroom??? We could not think of anything- great creative teachers huh? After much discussion, we thought it could be used in Literacy lessons, especially drama and story time. Using Morfo booth in story time can engage the children in the story and make the characters more realistic through animation. In drama, the children can act as the characters to explore emotions and expressions of how the characters are feeling.

When first using the program I never thought this would be something I would use in school…but my opinion on this has definitely changed! I can now see the educational benefits of using Morfo and will try to incorporate it into my own teaching.

A website I used to help me understand Morfo was called Morfo App; take a look at it and see if it helps you 🙂

Here is the first video:

Here is the second video where I was a crazy rockstar!!

ICT within PE

Filed under: ICT in PE — Nicola-Kate at 11:24 am on Monday, November 5, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

As a PE specialist I know we have focused on the use of ICT as a tool for assessment a lot! Have other specialisms? Some people may disagree, some may agree but I think using ICT for assessment (formative) in PE is fantastic! Especially for those teachers who do not feel very confident in teaching PE let alone assessing it!

Imagine having to assess a class of 30 children in PE just from memory, lengthy process (Giles et al, 2003)?? Pretty daunting! But, with the use of ICT all your worries can be put aside! There are many ways in which teachers can use ICT to assess PE: the main aspect being video recording. Teachers’ can record children carrying out skills and techniques in any aspect of PE; they can then watch the video’s back as many times as they need to, to make their final assessment. You may be thinking “but wouldn’t this take a lot of time?” Well, yes…it would, that’s why you can get the children to work in partners and record each other, then give feedback! So as well as using ICT for assessment, it promotes TALK, constructive feedback, evaluations and recognising areas for development (Tearle & Golder, 2008). As well as, peer assessment and self assessment :). The benefits are endless!! More importantly, it promotes inclusion in the classroom! If you have a child in your class that cannot participate in the day’s PE lesson; they can act as a teacher for the lesson and record children and give constructive feedback.

I have used ICT to assess PE lessons in school and it makes assessment so much easier, and fun for the children as they can see themselves performing skills! Using technology offers the children new opportunities for the learning and development of understanding and making a valuable contribution to understanding the range and purpose of the activities (Bailey, 2001).

Not only does ICT offer advantages for assessment but it can also be imperative for modelling and demonstrating! Some teachers’ may not feel comfortable modelling or demonstrating a skill they are unfamiliar with. With the use of ICT they can access the internet and search for videos online to demonstrate what they expect of the children. Obviously, it can not be used as an alternative to teaching, but can be used as an aid (Bailey, 2001)!

I remember in our PE specialism lessons we were shown a video of Jonathan Edwards executing the triple jump! I tried to find the video we used but I couldn’t! I did find one though that I thought could be used in schools’ as it is in slow motion 🙂

Swimming is an area that is very difficult to show children the techniques of strokes so I have included some links to videos that I found useful when researching for an assignment. I like the videos as it has commentary of how to execute the stroke (even though it is American) and then he demonstrates the strokes as well.




Hopefully you found this blog useful 🙂


Bailey, R (2001). Teaching physical education. A handbook for primary and secondary school teachers. London. Kogan Page Limited.

Giles, E., Pitre, S., Womack, S. (2003).[Online] Multiple intelligences and learning styles. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/ [Accessed on 26/02/12]

Tearle, P and Goldeer, G (2008). ‘The use of ICT in the teaching and learning of physical education in compulsory education: how do we prepare the workforce of the future?, ‘European journal of Teacher Education, 31: 1, pg 57.

Mobile Technology: QR codes…what are they??

Filed under: Mobile Technologies — Nicola-Kate at 12:42 pm on Saturday, November 3, 2012  Tagged , ,

During this weeks session Helen introduced us to QR codes. Mobile technology is increasingly popular in this day and age, children are constantly surrounded by mobile phones and iPads. Integrating mobile technology into school classroom seems like a clever idea then doesn’t it?…

So what is a QR code??? Well, QR stands for ‘Quick Response’ and it is a readable bar code that is very popular in Japan, and more recently in Europe! I had only ever seen a QR code on my BlackBerry before this lesson, so it was very new to me.

I did not really understand the use of QR codes until this session, so I found it very beneficial. Little did I know, how simple they actually are to use in a classroom. A big challenge teachers face when when teaching is engaging the children at all times and keeping them on task. QR codes will instantly engage children as they will be introduced to using iPads, iPods and other devices!

In the session, I used one of the code games already set up, as I wanted to have a go at scanning codes and seeing what happens before I made my own! I chose the Maths code game; which made Maths fun for me (as I don’t normally find it fun!) and I thought it was a fantastic cross curricular link to engage children as it will give them a sense of excitement for when the calculations appear.

An idea I had for using the codes would be to lead children to an area of the school/classroom by using codes to give clues and the children have to work out the clues as it will lead them to the next clue. Also, in Maths it can be done as a competition as to who can work out the clues the quickest; but obviously ability etc. would need to be considered. Once I felt confident in using the QR codes I decided to make one myself…

I decided to Google how QR codes could be used in a classroom and came across this website ‘Planet Science’ and I came across a Youtube video called ‘QR Codes- Periodic Table; which I thought was a fantastic resource to make in a classroom (although it would be secondary school) , that is easily adaptable throughout the curriculum areas.
Take a look…

I used a website called QR Stuff which was very helpful as it was numbered in steps to help you create your code! I created a code which SHOULD link to our group 2 blog page 🙂

Another website in which I found very helpful was: What is a QR Code? it has various sub headings such as; How can I scan a QR code? , How can I make a QR code? and What is a QR code? So, if you are unsure about anything relate with QR codes I recommend this website!

Finally, I am very glad we had the session on QR codes; as I will definitely try out using them on our next placement as I want to experience the benefits the session had on me, in my own lessons! They are an excellent use of ICT for cross curricular links and can make lessons fun and engaging. I think when I use them in my lessons I would use them as a starter to engage the children in the activity by making it fun and interactive.

Some ideas on how to use QR codes in the classroom:

– Treasure hunts
– Maths problem solving
– Instructions
– Research purposes
– Starter activities
– To create displays in the classroom
– Inclusion!! They are much more accessible to children who may have reading or writing difficulties

All of which can be incorporated into any subject within the National Curriculum.

Computer Programming: Phoebe don’t scratch!…part 2

Filed under: Scratch 2 — Nicola-Kate at 6:39 pm on Saturday, October 20, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

So, we focused on Scratch again in this session! But, with a twist! We were put into groups last session using TRIPTICO (but my partner wasn’t in!) So, in this session I worked with Kirstie and Megan! Our task was to design a game to use in the classroom; sounds easy? How wrong were we! However, we designed a fun, creative and interactive game called “Who lives under the sea?” (Idea from spongebob squarepants!!). We chose this theme as it is an excellent cross curricular link to Science and Life Processes (What we had just studied in Science the lesson before). The aim of the game was to identify which animals lived in the habitat (under the sea) and which animals lived in different habitats. The animals we selected were dog, lion, lobster, crab, fish, starfish, elephant and a duck! So, when you click on an animal that does not live under the sea it disappears…and makes a nice bubble sound  (although you couldn’t hear it when we presented our game to the class!!), if an animal that does live in the habitat is clicked on…it stays there! We did want to make our game have a score on it; we trialled using a score but could only do it for each individual script; which would then mean each script clicked on (that didn’t live under the sea) would all have a score of one! This is something we would have looked into more if we had, had time to.

Click here to view our game

How would we use this program in a classroom?
Key Stage 1
• Whole class activity
• Starter or plenary to assess learning
• Create a simplified version
Key Stage 2
• Use the game as a template to making their own
• Work in groups to create an animated game
• Create a game for other children to play-opportunities for constructive feedback
Cross-curricular links
• Gain a deeper understanding of different animals and the habitats they live in (scratch is adaptable and could be used throughout all aspects of Science, i.e. food chains, electricity, forces)
• Interact with the subject effectively
• Increase knowledge of Scientific vocabulary
• identify similarities and differences between local environments and ways in which these affect animals and plants that are found there
• Become familiar with using Scratch for computer programming
• Create a Scratch animation using computer programming
• Scratch could be used to create a ‘storyboard’ effect of a story.
• Enhance speaking and listening skills

Well…that’s it for now. Bring on the iPad’s!!!

MY ICT Experiences…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nicola-Kate at 6:32 pm on Saturday, October 20, 2012

ICT has always been an area of the curriculum I have been interested in! Mainly because it meant we didn’t have to write in books or copy from textbooks!

I don’t really remember using much ICT whilst in primary school; but I do remember the small ICT suite, that always had the shutters down at the windows, to make it a very dark room! One thing that I do remember was creating instructions using ICT to guide other children to an area of the school; which was quite fun as I sent somebody to the ‘dark room’ in the school! 🙂

Most of my ICT experience came from secondary school! Well, it did in year 7, 8 and 9 anyway! MY ICT teacher was very enthusiastic about the subject and made it a fun lesson to be in; with obvious learning intentions as well. I remember when I first made a power point! We could chose anything we wanted to make a power point on…so for anyone who knows me obviously I chose Manchester United players! 😀 As it is obviously something I am VERY interested in. I have to say my power point was quite fantastic! Well, I thought it was fantastic anyway; even though primary school children now-a-days could probably produce a better power point from me now!

How stressful were GCSE’s!!!!! I don’t think I would have got through them without the help of revision websites! Some websites I found very useful (which admittedly I still use now some times when I am unsure about a subject I am teaching on placements ha ha!) which I would like to share with you are:

BBC Bitesize (which everyone probably already knows about) but it was my saviour throughout my GCSE’s, and can be used for primary school children as well)

SAM Learning I am not sure if anyone has heard of SAM Learning before?? It was a program called Self-Assessment Material (SAM) that my secondary school bought to help us with our GCSE’s. We all had individual log in usernames and passwords and could take practice tests; which the teachers had access to; so they could check our progress! Which at the time I did not like, but can definitely see the benefits to both children and teachers now.

Thank you for reading my blog 🙂

Computer Programming: Phoebe don’t scraaaatch! :)

Filed under: Scratch — Nicola-Kate at 10:46 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2012  Tagged , ,

So last week we looked at Internet safety, this week’s ICT session was completely different and focused on exploring skills and techniques in programming within the primary school. This is a completely new concept to me as I have never experienced programming before within a school setting or at home.  I didn’t have the chance to use the apps on the iPad; but I would love to have a go at using them at some point.

We were introduced to a cat animation, lots of confusing boxes and a grey background!! Daunting? I had never even heard of the program before; let alone going to be using it in the lesson! However, it wasn’t as daunting as it seemed. It is very child-friendly and allows the user to create an animated story or game. There were step-to-step guides on how to use the program and how to create different games, which would be useful to the children. I used one of the step-to-step guides in the lesson called- Magic Animation, which was an intermediate project. I found it very enjoyable to use but found it quite difficult; I did npt really understand what I was doing with it! However, after a play around with it I finally got the hang of it and created an animation. I did try to create a game but ran out of time! The step by step guides were fantastic in helping me use Scratch! Children would definitely need to learn the basics of programming before even being introduced to the Scratch program. They would need to learn each stage of the program step-by-step and ensure that they could complete a game using Scratch.

Scripts (characters/objects etc), backgrounds, sounds etc. are all loaded onto the program to use; however, if you are feeling creative you can make your own and use it in your game. A fantastic aspect of this program is it allows the children to be creative and express their excitement through ICT. Through using their imagination and creating animated games and stories the children are learning and applying skills they have learnt through using Scratch. Scratch is a free downloadable programme, meaning schools do not need to worry about costs. Therefore, there is no excuse why schools would not use it! Although, teacher confidence is always going to be an issue; I certainly would not feel confident in teaching children how to use Scratch! Furthermore, if I spent a sufficient amount of time using the program and getting used to the tools within it, I think my confidence would grow.

After writing the 1st part of my blog I decided to download Scratch so I could spend a little more time using it and familiarising myself with it. This was a great idea, as I could definitely see the benefits of using the program in schools with children. The benefits of the program are endless and it would provide children with computing skills that would help them throughout their school lives and further into their adult lives. I would definitely use the program with a class of children, however, a lot of teacher modelling and input would be needed. I would also maybe put the children in small groups or pairs to begin with as they can share ideas, discuss the program and help each other create a useful game. I would also allow the children to play around with the program and use their imagination and creativity before setting them off on a game task; just so they know the basics of the program!

Here is a screen shot of my ‘game’ that I attempted to create!! I only managed to make the fish follow the curser and the other animals move side to side 🙂

As you can see from the game and screen shot; I made lots of different scripts (animals!) and gave them instructions on what to do! This was a very basic ‘game’ I made.

One thing I did love from the lesson was triptico I think it is a great program to use for selecting groups and partners. However, it does have its disadvantages if children are selected with other children they do not get on with or work well with. We all know what it is like to be grouped/paired with people we don’t necessarily want to work with don’t we? There is no way of hiding our dismay using this program!

Useful links:


E-safety in the primary school

Filed under: E-Safety — Nicola-Kate at 5:06 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

As I was absent from the first lesson due to a PE specialism trip, I decided to look up internet safety and the issues surrounding it. There are so many issues surrounding using the internet! From copyright issues, inappropriate websites and  to using social networking websites. Social networking sites have become increasingly popular over the last few years with many more children signing up to use them. Why is this a problem? Well, many people who use social networking sites lie about their personal details and are not always who they seem to be! However, a major issue that occurs in primary school aged children is cyber bullying. From since when I was in primary school (I left in 2001) cyber bullying has happened, and there is not really a procedure to ensure it does not happen. Cyber bullying can happen through a variety of ways: text messaging, emailing, instant messaging, chat rooms and mainly social networking websites. As a teacher, it is our responsibility to ensure that cyber bullying does not happen, or if it does the children feel comfortable about telling us, or another adult. This is often a daunting experience for children, and it happened during a placement I was teaching on. To help overcome this issue, as the child was too scared to approach an adult, (the teachers’ knew about the cyber bullying) I used circle time to discuss cyber bullying and why it is not acceptable behaviour. This helped the child feel comfortable about talking to an adult about it and the issue was resolved quickly. It most probably helped other children in the class to be aware of how cyber bullying can hurt other people’s feelings.

Therefore, as a teacher ensuring internet safety is imperative. It is vital that children are aware of how to access the Internet safely. Principles should be embedded into the school curriculum to ensure Internet safety is taught and used within the school. Principals such as; keeping personal details confidential, avoiding posting inappropriate messages or pictures on any website and reading website terms of conditions of use- especially those with age restrictions.  In Key Stage 2 children will learn how to share and explore information using email; where they will take into account the principals of Internet safety.

Many schools facilitate for Internet safety by using a filtering system to remove unsuitable websites and advertising for search results and most web browsers allow the schools to customise their settings for security and privacy purposes. On a recent school placement in a year 5/6 class the children were very aware of Internet safety. They used Hector’s World Safety button, if they thought they were on a website that displayed anything inappropriate or made them feel uncomfortable they would click on the dolphin on the right hand side to cover the screen and ask for a teacher to come and have a look. They were very mature about using the Hector’s World Safety button and clicked on it immediately. However, depending on the class you teach this could be an issue if they are not instructed how to use it properly and are informed of the importance of using it.

Having filtered websites in schools and discussing e-safety is imperative for the children, therefore continuing to promote e-safety at home is a must. Some parents may not have filtered computers or laptops to promote e-safety for their children; however, there are many help websites for parents regarding e-safety. Parents should be aware of any websites that their children are visiting, protect any passwords on computers, websites or emails and prevent viruses. Even more so, parents should make their children aware of the dangers of social networking websites, especially as some people who they speak to may not be whom they think they are.

There are many websites available to help promote Internet Safety in and out of school. A website that I was recommended to introduce to the children was http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk. The website is aimed at 5-10 year olds and is a very good website to be used in school to teach children about e-safety but also a good website for parents to use at home with their children to make them understand and be aware of the dangers of using the Internet and how to stay safe when using the Internet.

Useful websites:

Kidsmart offers lots of advice about various aspects of using the internet such as; social networking sites, safe searching, net nasties, being smart rules, chat and many more.

Think you know – aimed at 5-10 year olds and offers advice on how to be careful when using the internet, how to use Hectors world and knowing who to talk to.




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