As part of this new approach to teaching schools might offer:
This is an exceptional time which is placing families under extreme pressure. It is important not to add to the stress. Therefore, activities should be:
These are some basic points to follow:
Parents need to know when online meetings are scheduled and who will be appearing, name, role in the school etc. They need to know what to expect and should be invited to meet the teacher initially on line.
A conversation should be had with parents and children highlighting that this is a specific activity and they should not be talking to anyone else in this way, unless it is with parental consent.
This conversation can be used as an opportunity to remind parents about radicalisation (Prevent), cyberbullying, grooming, ICT based sexual exploitation, pornography etc. and what the signs of harm may be and who may be contacted. Parents should be asked to reinforce safe on line procedures at home. It could be suggested that they interact with what the children are viewing on line.
As part of the supplementary school’s safeguarding guidance teachers should be made aware of what should be reported and to whom. A clear message should be sent out that it is better to say something than not to.
If teachers are signposting to websites they must make sure they have checked them out and are sure they are appropriate. Children should not be researching randomly on line as this may lead them to dangerous sites.
An online risk assessment should be developed for the supplementary school.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command of the National Crime Agency has excellent resources to help you and your pupils think more about online safety. They are also providing weekly activities https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/resources and have lots of helpful information for parents https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
What to Do If There Are Concerns
Children may want to express their feelings at this very difficult time. Issues may emerge which cause concern. If a teacher does have concerns about child protection or the family as a whole there should be a designated person from the organisation whom they can contact.
If you have any concerns about online activity that your pupils have been accessing or about people contacting your children online through platforms that you are using, report it to CEOP, National Crime Agency.
There are various training courses on line regarding on line safety e.eg NSPCC ‘on line safety’ for which there is a charge of £35. NSPCC also have plenty of free downloadable resources to help you keep children safe. The Young People’s Foundation in your local borough and other local infrastructure organisations are also offering guidance on online safety.
Holding live classes via Zoom or on an other video conferencing platform is one method of communicating, but in some situations it might not be the most effective.
It may be relevant to set some homework activities as a follow up or as an alternative. If so, the parent should know what that involves. Activities could be posted on websites or emailed to parents as attachments. Any sites recommended should be researched for relevance and suitability. Sometimes the language or the methods used might be different from the English system e.g. there are a great many American websites with good ideas which teachers could use, but would not be suitable for children to visit.