Being Smart with Your Smartphone – New resource to use with 8-11 year olds

Posted on 27 March 2018

Childnet International and the Phone Paid Services Authority (PSA) have worked together to create a lesson called Being Smart with Your Smartphone, this resource is designed for teachers to use with 8-11 year olds. The lesson highlights that it is possible to spend real money through your smartphone and gives key strategies to avoid any mishaps.

 Why is the lesson needed and what is it about?

Almost 40% of 8-11 year olds have their own smartphones (Ofcom, 2017) but many of them do not realise it is possible to spend real money when using them. From buying extra lives in a game or voting online, it is easy to get caught out with extra costs.

This lesson uses the combined expertise of the PSA and Childnet International to make young people aware of what can cost them money and how to avoid getting caught out.

Introducing Bill Shock 

To help you and your class to navigate the lesson we are introducing the character Bill Shock, an expert on phone paid services.

He will be on hand to give advice throughout the lessons like looking to see if apps contain in-app purchases and checking to see if there is a free way to enter a quiz or competition.

Being Smart with Your Smartphone

The lesson is split into 3 parts;

The Teacher Pack

The Teacher Pack is your starting point and will help you to deliver the lesson and contains the detailed lesson plan and extension activities. The lesson looks at the different ways that young people can spend money through their phones (such as in-app purchases or voting on a TV talent show) and gives them practical strategies to help them recognise them and know what to do.

Whilst you do have Bill Shock to help you during the lesson, the pack has an overview and useful links for you to familiarise yourself with the topic beforehand too.  

The Presentation

The PowerPoint presentation takes you through the whole lesson and features lots of mocked up examples to highlight in-app purchases and those tricky terms and conditions. If you are worried that you do not know everything about this topic Bill Shock pops up regularly to give out key advice and guidance.


In the presentation there are activities looking at which games or series can cost real money when you download them or later.

The Student Pack

The Student Pack has all the worksheets and information that pupils will need. We know that the terms and conditions can be difficult to understand so the pack features a special ‘Words you need to know’ sheet to help with those.

You can download all the resources for the lesson here.

For further help and information on this topic:

Our hot topic on premium rate content;

Information on how to restrict in-app purchases;

If you are ever unsure about a number;

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