Celebrating Safer Internet Week at Belvedere

The Belvedere Academy celebrated the international Safer Internet Day. The school decided that because online safety is so important to Belvedere, that they would celebrate it for the whole week, rather than just one day. 

The week started with an assembly focusing on gaming and managing online relationships. Students were taught about the term ‘online disinhibition’ and how often when online, you lose your inhibitions and say whatever you like, which can sometimes be hurtful and disrespectful to others. They also learnt about how students can protect themselves when gaming by turning off their headset, disabling the chat feature and blocking and reporting any inappropriate comments or users. 

On the day itself, Year 12 student leaders created a giant eight-foot iPhone. Students were invited to come and write online safety tips all over the phone. The phone is now displayed in its outer hall, acting as a constant reminder of how to stay safe and be kind online. 

Speaking of kindness, a brand new display named ‘10 ways to spread kindness online’ has been created in one of the academy’s busy corridors with lots of ideas on how we can all spread some love and kindness when using social media. Tips ranged from sharing inspirational content and liking a friend’s photo or commenting on something really positive on a photo or post. 

Thursday saw the whole school involved in online safety workshops led by an online safety specialist. Alan MacKenzie spoke to each year group in turn about a range of issues related to online safety. Students were particularly interested in the increase in online scams and just how difficult it is to spot cybercrime online. They all felt better informed and educated at the end of their workshop. 

Peter Dykeaylen, graphics teacher said: “Fun was to be had in lower school computing lessons where students were challenged to make a short jingle warning others of some of the dangers of being online – many of the creations were hard hitting, some humorous, but all very informative! 

“Parents got involved in our safer internet week activities too. Each evening they received a different ‘infogram’, a top tips sheet with inside information on how to best support their child online. With information about ‘trolling’ and how to navigate social media sites such as TikTok. 

“Finally, we couldn’t forget Instagram during safer internet week. Year 12 student leaders shared their top tips to stay safe online via the platform, with a reminder that we shouldn’t be scared of social media and that it can be so much fun, if we use it safely.” 

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