This morning at 8.50am I arrived at Blakehill Primary School, Idle, Bradford with memory stick and PowerPoint controller in hand to deliver an E-Safety session for the whole school of over 400 children aged between 5 and 11 years old.
Talking to young children has been a learning curve over a few years, it is so different to teenagers and adults. The nice bits are when very young children put their hand up to answer a question and then forget what they wanted to say or think that the population of the UK is 1050, hehehe.
I’d put together a slideshow of images that best demonstrated the main points on E-Safety. It’s really good to be interactive with children and ask questions and get them to help you.
Mr Patterson, Headteacher introduced me to the children and I kicked off explaining why E-Safety was important to them. I added that we didn’t want to ban children from using the internet we just wanted to ensure they use it as safely as possible.
Nearly all the children use the internet including the five year olds, and of those that put their hands up most of them stayed up when admitting to using Facebook, twitter and snapchat.
The point of my talk is about helping to protect them from the dangers that lurk on the internet and to help them protect themselves and seek help if they are worried or unsure.
When I pointed out how many people used Facebook and twitter in the world and that the average age of the users at 22 and 37 respectively, I sought the assistance of a 5 year old boy and a 20-something teacher, Mr Lowe and then demonstrated that Mr Lowe, myself and the young child would not be associating with each other in real life so why is it acceptable to do it online – it’s NOT!
Imagine having a playground with 1.5 billion people playing in it -would it be right for the children to be playing there without their parents?
I talked about reliable websites of superstars like Justin Bieber and boy band, One Direction and how unofficial sites can easily pose as fan sites and ask you to join for free. Then before you know it you have given them your name, address, phone number age etc and once submitted that information has gone, there’s no turning back.
I showed them a chat on screen between a boy and girl aged 11 and 10 years old respectively and they arrange to meet in real life ‘offline’ and I then switch to the next slide that shows a convicted paedophile who had groomed a young boy online and met the boy in the park.
I asked if anyone could tell me the difference between talking to stranger in the street and talking to stranger online and some of the older children were able to explain that strangers in real life you can see that they are people you don’t know and shouldn’t trust but online they are invisible.
Then using some government and research stats I asked year 5 to stand up (roughly 60 children) and then broke down the stats in a simple way to demonstrate that those 60 children represented how many children in our school will be contacted by strangers online if not already. This bit was a real eye-opener even to the staff. It clearly showed the reality of online safety and how important it is.
I ended by reminding everyone that we must ensure that those 60 children come back to school tomorrow and the day after and the week after and not be harmed by a stranger. To use SMART rules when using the internet and remember to tell their parents, teachers, or other staff if they are not sure or need help.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Philip Cavalier-Lumley