Pupils at Marden Lodge School in Caterham have found themselves having to welcome some unlikely yet strangely familiar-looking new students into the class room recently – their own parents.
The joint lessons for parents and pupils are part of the school’s teaching programme dedicated to online safety. Pupils already cover this both as part of their computing studies and also in specific classes – but as it is a topic where children’s knowledge can often outstrip that of the parents, the school decided it would be a good idea to encourage parents to come and learn as well.
“For children of this age, in this era, internet safety is a hugely important issue, so by definition it’s an issue for their families too, which is why we took this step,” said head teacher Kate Denby. “There have been lessons for parents in every age group across the
school, dealing with topics such as identifying technology in the home which has web access or can put us in touch with people outside the home, the dangers of online chat and simple safety rules.
“The school has strict guidelines which are for the children’s benefit, and so that they know what sort of things they should bring to the attention of teachers or parents,” Mrs Denby added. “These guidelines can be found on the school website, which is important as it means parents can access them too. It’s not about taking the fun out of using the internet, it’s about taking out the potential dangers, and in that sense we have a duty of care to the children’s families as well as to them, to make sure that everyone knows what is and what is not acceptable behaviour, and how to stay safe.”
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