Case study: Cyber Action Team
Lalor East Primary School’s Cyber Action Team (CAT) is made up of 13 Grade 5 and 6 students and two staff facilitators. Each year, students self-nominate by completing an application and then attend a whole day training for their role. Students are part of the CAT for a two year term, with the Grade 6 students mentoring the Grade 5 students.
The CAT teaches students about the safety skills they need online and how to address cyber bullying and has been running since 2011.
Each year, the CAT plans and runs two cyber safety lessons per term for each year level. The CAT believe that everyone should understand simple netiquette and how to stay safe online, which is why they teach prep all the way to grade 5 and 6, matching activities with the year levels so it is age appropriate.
The CAT meets for an hour every Friday to discuss how to be cyber safe and teach others about behaving online. They look at a range of different resources including newspaper articles, online articles, videos, picture story books, Behind the News clips and Brainstorm Production performances to plan lessons for all grade levels across the school. There is normally a school wide topic focus for each term of the year, and topics are spread across two years to ensure they are able to cover a wide range of topics, including:
Netiquette (online manners)
General online behaviour
After the lesson planning is done, the CAT practice running lessons and discuss classroom management strategies to help keep their classmates engaged so they can get the most out of the lessons. They discuss who is taking the activities and who will deliver which part of each lesson to the class they are assigned. The CAT have also written scripts and filmed videos with the assistance of school staff to create video resources for lessons and educate the school community.
During remote learning, CAT lessons focused on technology balance and the importance of taking a break from screens and doing physical activity to help with mental wellbeing.
The CAT also use the school newsletter, Jumbunna, to publish articles that provide information for families and the broader school community to spread the message about how to stay safe online.
Lalor East Primary School was the first primary school in Victoria to achieve eSmart status. The CAT teach every single student about how to be safe online by not leaking personal information to anyone online or just in general.
This case study is drawn from VicSRC's Student Voice Awards, an annual celebration of best practice student voice, amplifying the important contribution of students to Victorian education and acting as a catalyst for change within Victorian schools.