Five Prep V pupils spent the day at the Barney and Echo Internet Safety Roadshow at the AJ Bell Stadium. For those who don’t know, the Barney and Echo books follow the adventures of Barney Eagle, Echo Squirrel and their friends who live in tree top forest. Each book has a story relating to a PSHE subject area with activities and support materials to reinforce the learning goals. Of particular interest to us was Caught in the Web, where Barney helps Echo and his friends to face the potential dangers of going online. With the help of Tom Stoat the Woodland Wizard, Barney shows his friends how to stay safe on the internet and social networking sites and also the effect cyberbullying has on others.
The message of internet safety was constantly reinforced: a presentation by ChatFOSS introduced us to the dangers and merits of being online and offline, and brought particular attention to social media sites which, of course, our children should not be using (see our Internet Safety for Parents guide on this blog for links to help and advice on social media sites). The benefits of ChatFOSS is that it is specifically targeted at younger children, giving them opportunities to use social media in a carefully controlled environment. Their website is worth a browse.
We were given a further presentation on using online games, and some of the educational games that we could use. What’s more, we then worked as a team to develop our own game: our concept included travelling from outer space, green gases, disease and a sense of environmental responsibility that included collecting discarded rubbish from Mount Everest and would surely have given the game developers a challenge had we won.
More design skills were needed as designed our own E-safety posters, and from the statistics we heard they certainly are needed:
- 59% of children have used social media by the age of 10
- 40% of 7-11 year olds know someone who has been cyberbullied
- 27% of 7-11 year olds have seen something on the internet that has upset or worried them
Our final session of the day was an interactive acting session to reinforce the importance of staying safe online and protecting our passwords, and also what to do if we are on a site or using a game when we are uncomfortable with how someone is interacting with us. We particularly liked the advice: Stop – Get Out and Tell
It was a very productive day, reinforcing the messages that the children are already receiving in their computer lessons in a fun and engaging way. As ever, our children engaged with the presenters intelligently, and needless to say, being Bridgewater children, their behaviour was exemplary…