Siena College is committed to supporting our students and parents navigate online safety. Social media platforms provide great opportunities for adolescents to connect and socialise and played a significant role in nurturing relationships and friendships during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
eSafety refers to the notion of being safe online: acting responsibly, treating others with dignity and respect, having an awareness of risks to private information and self-protection from unwanted content.
One of the best preventative approaches to managing online safety is education across the curriculum. At Siena, we are proud to offer a subject to each of our Year 7 students that eases their transition into secondary school. Skills for Learning is completed in Semester 1 and covers a range of issues that often present in the first year of secondary school. Each class completes lessons surrounding eSafety; the prevention, identification and response to cyberbullying, managing time spent online, online gaming, pressures from social media, consent for sharing information and keeping data secure.
This learning is further embedded by content from the Victorian Government personal and social capability; Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships curriculum which is designed to develop students’ social, emotional and positive relationship skills. Content from this curriculum is delivered in both the weekly Wellness lessons and throughout faculty lessons year round. Further enrichment opportunities have been provided to students this year that include a drama presentation from ‘Verbal Combat’ in early Term 2 and an opportunity to hear from Susan McLean, an expert in the area of cyber safety in Term 3.
When an incident that causes distress happens online, it is important that parents know there are processes in place so that it is managed appropriately. We encourage students to report incidents of misuse of social media to their Head of House, and to retain any relevant documentation. Parents might like to review the eSafety Commissioner’s support for parents and carers after an online safety incident, which can be found here:
If you or your daughter/s have any questions regarding the management of eSafety at Siena College, please get in touch with our Director of Students, Minna Jewell at firstname.lastname@example.org