Inspiring young people to use the internet positively and safely

Posted on 22 July 2016

Last academic year, from September 2015 – July 2016, our education team spoke to 26,141 young people across 181 primary and secondary schools.

At Childnet, we try to include the voice of young people into every aspect of our work. Our education sessions allow us to directly hear from young people about the issues they are facing online, as well as aiming to inspire people to use the internet in a positive and safe way. It is vital for us that our presentations remain current and engaging, which is why we look to young people’s feedback on our sessions to see what they have learned and what we can improve on.

It was reassuring to note that from evaluation of approximately 320 primary students and 385 secondary school students, 83% of primary aged students felt more confident about what to do if something worries them online and 72% of secondary aged students said they would be more careful about the things they share online as a result of the session. 

What primary school children said about our education sesssions

Our KS2 sessions mostly focus on the SMART rules, 5 important rules to follow to stay safe online. At this age, feedback shows that they especially like how Childnet make learning about internet safety fun and how they were able to ask questions and speak in groups about the internet.  One 10 year old boy said he liked the session as “it was relaxed and we could ask questions at any point and we got to discuss with our friends about what we would do in certain situations.”

A very important part of our sessions is empowering young people with the practical knowledge of what to do if things worry or upset them online.  Encouragingly 75% of primary aged students said they are now more confident about who to tell if something worries or upsets them online.

As of September 2016, we will be rolling out our new year 6 presentation which although mentions many of the SMART rules, takes on a different look. This presentation allows students more time to discuss and to engage with different scenarios online. 

What secondary school children said about our education sessions

It was also great to hear that secondary school students enjoyed our newly revamped presentations that were launched at the start of last academic year. 63% said they enjoyed the session with one 14 year old girl saying “it was full of interesting facts and wasn’t boring.”

These secondary sessions now tackle different issues at different age groups, and each year group has its own designated presentation. Feedback indicates that students appreciate the increase in interactivity and discussion these new presentations offer, as well as the extra time given for questions following the session. “I really like the interaction between students and speaker. They were really friendly and answered all our questions. They also seemed interested in what our thoughts, ideas and opinions were.” 13 year old girl

Looking ahead...

Over the course of the summer, the Childnet team will be busy updating our presentations to respond to the feedback given to us from young people. We will be devising new examples, new activities and researching new videos to include in our presentations to make sure our internet safety messages are delivered in a way that is fresh and engaging.

To speak to our education team about booking a session, email [email protected]

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