Friday, 14th June 2024

Friday, 14th June 2024

Keeping kids safe online – a community effort

16 Jan 2023

(Photo by: Woodlands Primary School)
(Photo by: Woodlands Primary School)

To raise students’ awareness of cyber safety, schools like Woodlands Primary and Tampines North Primary are complementing their cyber wellness curriculum through partnerships with agencies like Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. Students are engaged in learning to be safe online through skits, dance challenges, and other interactive activities. 

By Neo Wen Tong

Hands up if you’ve taught your child how to be safe in a public space, such as crossing the road, or responding to strangers. Hands up again if you’ve taught your child how to be safe online.

Most parents would have done the former, but the latter might not be so intuitive – yet! The next time your child goes online, take the chance to talk to them about cyber safety. 

Our schools are already doing this from as early as Primary 1. Woodlands Primary School and Tampines North Primary School collaborated with Cyber Security Agency (CSA) to help their students develop deeper knowledge of topics like digital footprints, using strong passwords, and identifying phishing emails. This was part of CSA’s SG Cyber Safe Students Programme.

Partnering external agencies to complement the curriculum

“Partnerships with external agencies like CSA bring in unique ideas that complement our cyber wellness education aims,” says Ms Low Hui Yi, Woodlands Primary School’s cyber wellness coordinator.

The school invited CSA to perform their Go Safe Online Awareness Skit, and display their Cybersecurity Roving Booth, so students from all levels could interact with the exhibits during recess.

CSA skit at Woodlands Primary School
(Photo by: Woodlands Primary School)

“The skit is very interactive. The performers pause at various checkpoints to ask the students to make decisions on the spot, then they act out the corresponding consequences. Students can immediately see the impact of their decisions,” says Ms Low.

The exhibition booths were on topics like setting strong passwords and spotting phishing scams. “When the students saw the hands-on elements, such as the iPads, they were very excited to try the activities,” Ms Low adds.

CSA exhibition booth at Woodlands Primary School
(Photo by: Woodlands Primary School)

The school complemented the cyber wellness activities in school with a Family Weekend worksheet.

Together with their parents or family members, students completed exercises on how to set strong passwords and what to look out for when surfing websites, Ms Low explains.

Tampines North Primary School also partnered with CSA, and participated in CSA’s dance challenge with cyber wellness messages set to music.

“With its catchy tune, lyrics, and dance moves, our peer support leaders who participated in the challenge could remember the cyber wellness messages well, and share these messages with their peers,” says Ms Jasmine Yap, Subject Head (Internal) of Student Well-being.

Tampines Primary School peer support leaders participating in CSA's dance challenge
(Photo by: Tampines North Primary School)

Ms Yap adds that students have been applying what they have learned both in school and at home. “For instance, they understand online etiquette and are quick to inform the teacher if they come across negative online behaviour. Our upper primary students have also shared that they do come across instances of phishing and are even able to advise their family members at home not to fall prey to these scams!”

More on cyber wellness:
Helping your child navigate the online world
Fight a cyber bully or…? Why managing students’ cyber well-being matters
Teaching students to make sense of what they read online
13 and ready for social media… or not?

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