Childnet Digital Leaders and Digital Champions helped Safer Internet Day 2022 reached more than half (54%) of young people in the UK aged 8-17.
This year’s event, which took place on February 8th and focused on online games, saw more than 3,000 organisations across the UK register as supporters – helping to make it the most successful Safer Internet Day ever.
Co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day has grown to become a fixture in the calendar of schools and many other organisations, spanning the internet industry, charities, government and police services.
Childnet Digital Leaders and Digital Champions were at the heart of Safer Internet Day – appearing in live events at BT Tower and Westminster on the day, speaking to the media, and contributing to the research and Young People’s Charter.
More confidence online
As a result of this year’s Safer Internet Day, 80% of young people reached now feel more confident about what to do if they are worried about something online, with 84% having a better understanding of how to stay safe playing online games, and 42% talking to a friend about using the internet safely.
Additionally, Safer Internet Day is generating conversations between children and young people, and their parents, carers, and teachers. 67% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds reached reported that they have spoken to their children about playing online safely, and 69% said they understand more about how to keep their child safe online.
Overall, 32% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds heard about Safer Internet Day in 2022, a 6% increase when compared to 2020. Furthermore, 41% of teachers reported that the day led to disclosures about potential safeguarding issues online.
Will Gardner,OBE, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, commented:
“We know that the amazing work across the UK for Safer Internet Day has a measurable impact on our young people and, after reaching more than ever this year, it’s a pivotal time to reflect on how we take this support beyond the day itself.
“Internet safety is more important than ever, and last week’s Ofcom research reinforces what we know – there are challenges for young people to overcome online, but if we give them the tools it can have a positive impact on their lives.
“It’s crucial that we continue pushing the internet industry to play its part, but also to reach out and engage others to help support and empower our nation’s young people.
“We’re calling on the government, policymakers, and the industry to take the conversation beyond just a day and come together for a better internet.”
Media requests: For more information and to arrange interviews, please get in touch with the Safer Internet Day team at [email protected]
The theme of Safer Internet Day in the UK this year looked at identity online and how young people manage, curate and navigate their online identity. Digital Leaders from five schools, a mixture of primary and secondary, attended the Safer Internet Day event at the BT Centre in London on 11th February.
Guests from the internet industry as well as services which support young people, government and policy attended the event which was organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre and hosted by Homyra, a Digital Leader from Mayfield School.
Digital Leader teams from Coopers School, Harris Academy Tottenham, Leigh Academy Blackheath, Stanburn Primary School and Woodcote Primary School attended and prepared and led activities around the theme of identity online for the guests, to encourage them to think about what this means to young people and whether everyone is free to be themselves online.
Digital Champions, Aimee and Cosima, were also in attendance to talk to guests about the Young People’s Charter. Take a look at our blog post about the Young People’s Charter and Digital Leaders’ involvement in the development of the charter here.
Young people give their thoughts on online safety
Homyra kicked off the event in the auditorium by welcoming everybody and introducing speeches from Marc Allera, CEO of Consumer Goods at BT, who spoke about how proud he was to host the event at the BT Centre as well as Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet and Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre. Will spoke about how important Safer Internet Day is, and how it can be used to to start conversations around young peoples’ lives online and talked about the breadth of activities that young people across the UK were doing to celebrate the day.
Will presented the Safer Internet Day research report, ‘Free To Be Me: piecing together identity online’ which looks at how young people manage, curate and navigate their online identity and highlighted the key findings from the research to the guests.
Aimee then delivered the youth keynote speech. She spoke about why she wanted to become a Digital Leader, what her new role as a Digital Champion involved as well as the importance of the theme of exploring online identity.
After the speeches, the guests were invited to take part in the Digital Leader led activities. Activities included drawing your own avatar to display your online persona, thinking about which scenarios are more likely to happen offline or online and looking at the things you do online that make up your online identity.
Guests received stickers for visiting each activity station. Aimee and Cosima also ran an activity which involved explaining the Young People’s Charter and asking the guests to make pledges in how they are going to champion the charter. Take a look at our blog post about the Young People’s Charter here.
Everyone then returned to the auditorium again for the final part of the event. This session involved a panel hosted by Natasha Devon MBE with panellists from a variety of organisations which support young people, such as The Mix, Girlguiding and Glitch. The Digital Leaders in attendance had prepared questions for the panel around the theme of how young people manage their online identities and what support there is for young people in managing their online lives. This created some great discussions among the panel.
The day was a huge success and we were so pleased to have so many Digital Leaders in attendance to lead the event and represent the entire Digital Leaders community. Thank you to the Digital Leaders who attended as well as their teachers and chaperones who supported their pupils on the day. Thank you also to the Digital Champions, Aimee and Cosima, for attending and speaking passionately about the Young People’s Charter, and to Aimee for her impressive key note speech. Thank you also to Homyra for being an excellent youth host, welcoming guests to the event and introducing speakers to the stage. All of the Digital Leaders in attendance were fantastic in their roles on the day.
Take a look at the Safer Internet Day research report here. And the Young People’s Charter here.
Make sure to let us know what you did to celebrate Safer Internet Day in your school by emailing [email protected], so that we can include your activities in a Safer Internet Day roundup blog post!
Tuesday 11th February saw the celebration of Safer Internet Day across the world in over 170 countries. The theme of this year’s campaign in the UK was ‘Free to be me: Exploring identity online’, encouraging young people to explore how they manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others.
We asked Bella, one of our Digital Champions, a few questions around the theme and she provided some enlightening and insightful responses which you can find below.
1) Why is it important for all young people to be free to be themselves online?
“For many young people, particularly as the generational divide between our and our parents’ generations widens, access to the internet can equal a person’s access to certain safe spaces that they would not be able to access ‘in real life’. This means something, and whether or not a person feels comfortable in a certain community online should be the qualifier for it allowing young people to ‘be themselves’. These spaces should be commended for accommodating people regardless of race, sexuality etc.”
2) Why is it important to have different groups represented online? Why is online representation important?
“The intense diversity of some sites, such as Tumblr and Instagram, really helps to confront and challenge people’s opinions and understandings of the world where in their current situation offline they may not be. Issues that do not pertain to certain people are still raised by others online, and therefore those people learn something valuable about the struggles and the successes of other communities – and therefore the importance for diversity and the concept of ‘free and equal’ online. Representation online is so critical in my own experience because LGBTQ+ folks in my area are not so common publicly – to be presented with people that are ‘like you’ online, regardless of what that means to an individual, provides a critically important sense of validation and strips away the isolation many feel in their offline situations. This is why visible and healthy representation must be paramount.”
3) What is the best thing about diversity online? What is the worst thing about diversity online?
“The best thing (for me personally): the communities that form around aspects of diversity, particularly when those aspects are not universally or widely celebrated offline. The internet is so critical for providing (particularly) young people with a set of others like them whom they can communicate with and share their experiences with, and anonymously, if need be. These communities build up a validating sense of self worth for those who might otherwise be lacking it.
The worst thing (for me personally): In the quest for diversity, which, today, particularly with regard to sexuality, tends to produce more views/clicks, things like ‘queer-baiting’ have come into existence, whereby shows etc. falsely advertise inclusion and tolerance in order to draw in a subset of the population interested by this. The use of diversity as a weak and commercial factor in media is increasingly becoming a problem; I believe distinctions should be made for showwriters and media executives between healthy and unhealthy representation in order to bate this problem in the future.”
4) What is your one wish for the future of the internet?
“I hope we are able to overcome this idea that hate speech is a quality that should not be dismantled online because of the policy of freedom of speech. I’m aware that a number of social media sites (i.e. Twitter) have removed a considerable amount of ‘hate speech’ content under cyber-laws and legislation, and have received criticism from radical communities which resent the idea of restriction of certain materials – and while freedom of speech in a political sense is incredibly important, I believe that comfortable diversity for the large majority cannot be achieved until hate speech and free speech are separated properly by legislation and social media policy.”
5) If you could tell parents, teachers, and the internet industry one thing about online identity, what would it be?
“It is so important to encourage children and young people to develop a healthy online presence early, and, perhaps even more so, to put forward a level of trust in letting them do this. ‘Watcher’ apps are increasingly popular and they should not be underestimated in the sense that they do make online identity a more restricted concept if people feel as though they cannot express themselves, and in some cases, this is damaging to a person’s ability to socialise. Children and young people might misrepresent themselves a little bit online, but it is critical that ‘healthy identity’ is promoted and taught; that is, cultivating an image that you feel comfortable with, while also understanding there are limits.”
Thank you, Bella, for your passion for this topic and for being so open with your thoughts. Find out more about our Digital Champions here and take a look at their plans for the year ahead as well as more information about their role within the programme here.
Welcome to the February post of our monthly achievements and updates blog. Here we congratulate schools who have completed their training over the past month and share good news stories from Digital Leader schools.
Well done to the Digital Leader teams from the following schools who have recently completed their online training!
Anderton Park Primary
Caldershaw Primary School
Christ Church CE (VC) Primary – 2nd cohort!
Christ the King RC Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Foxhills Junior School
Frogmore Junior School – 3rd cohort!
Kinsley Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Over the past month the Childnet Digital Leaders team visited St. Martins School in Derby and Penwortham Primary School in London to talk to their Digital Leader teams and find out more about what they are doing in in their roles at school.
St. Martin’s School
We visited St Martin’s School along with Phoebe and Kate from the Childnet Education team and were very happy to be involved in the assembly where the team were announced to the whole school! Siobhán was able to present the school with two certificates in the assembly and they received their Digital Leaders badges also. Well done to the team for completing the training, we are impressed with what they have already accomplished such as making a game with internet safety messages as well as a leaflet for all parents/carers. Thank you to the Digital Leaders and their teacher, Sam, for welcoming us to their school. Take a look at our blog post to find out more about our visit and see the fantastic leaflet that the St. Martins’ Digital Leaders created.
Penwortham Primary School
We visited Penwortham Primary School Digital Leaders last month and really enjoyed hearing about their exciting plans for the future. They shared their ideas for the year with Charlotte, including their plan to have a ‘Digital Leaders Day,’ which would be a day to allow pupils to try out the role of being a Digital Leader before applying. What a brilliant idea! One of the Digital Leaders had also created a wonderful poster for Safer Internet Day which included a poem they had written:
Not someone else.’
Take a look at our blog post to read the fantastic article that the Penwortham Primary School Digital Leaders wrote for their school newsletter. Thank you to the Digital Leaders for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us and Ms Berner and Ms Shipsey for hosting us.
We love visiting Digital Leader teams in action, if your team would like a visit then please get in touch at [email protected].
We are looking forward to working with Digital Leader teams throughout 2020 and really excited to see what Digital Leaders achieve this year! Please share with us what your Digital Leaders team have been up to. Email [email protected] or tweet us @ChildnetDL#ChildnetDL to be included in the next update!
These pages contain tips, advice and resources to help young people and their families enjoy technology and the internet together in a safe and positive way. We encourage Digital Leaders to share these top tips for Safer Internet Day 2020.
Top Tips for children and young people
These pages include top tips about staying safe as well as the ways young people can express their identity online and help create an internet where everyone is free to be themselves.
The advice pages for young people are split into three age appropriate sections:
These tips are a great way to ensure that parents and carers are supporting their children and giving them the tools to stay safe and positive online. They highlight ways to have a conversation, take a balanced approach and to make use of the tools available.
There are also accompanying films and resources that parents can use to explore online safety this Safer Internet Day.
Further resources you can use
We have created Education Packs, which are tailored made for 3-7s, 7-11s, 11-14s, 14-18s and parents and carers, along with some guidance for educators. Available in English and Welsh these free packs include lesson plans, posters, presentations, activities and more!
Our Safer Internet Day films have been produced to complement the Safer Internet Day Education Packs. The films act as an extension of the packs and as such aim to be conversation starters around the topic of identity online.
To keep up to date with the latest Safer Internet Day news you can:
Join the UK wide conversation with the #SaferInternetDay and #freetobe hashtags
We can’t wait to see what Digital Leaders get up to on Safer Internet Day and the creative ways that they celebrate. Let us know what your Digital Leader team get up to for Safer Internet Day 2020 on twitter @ChildnetDL#ChildnetDL.
Safer Internet Day 2020 is on the 11th February and there are many ways to get involved! As partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre we have created a load of resources to help you get involved and start planning how you will celebrate now.
We want to make sure that Safer Internet Day 2020 is the biggest yet and reaches more people than ever before with messages of awareness and importance of online safety. There are many ways for Digital Leaders to take the lead in getting involved in the lead up to Safer Internet Day 2020 and on the day.
What is Safer Internet Day?
Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
In the UK, we choose an annual theme that we think best suits the current landscape of online safety and the issues that young people may face online. This year, we are encouraging young people to explore how they manage their online identity and think about how the internet shapes their view of themselves and others.
We will look at whether the internet allows young people to experiment and express themselves, or if they feel limited in who they can be online, and how offline stereotypes and discrimination are challenged or reinforced online. By opening up conversations around online identity, we aim to inspire young people to support each other in being who they want to be, to celebrate difference, and help work towards creating a truly inclusive internet.
Have you started planning what you will do to celebrate Safer Internet Day 2020?
There are less than three months to go until Safer Internet Day 2020 and it’s the perfect time to start planning what you will do to celebrate and spread awareness of the day in your education setting!
These educational resources include lesson plans, assemblies and more and all focus on the theme of online identity, asking young people to consider whether they and their peers are truly free to be themselves online. These resources are split into age groups and there are many opportunities for Digital Leaders to support in running sessions using these resources.
Make sure your school registers as a supporter for Safer Internet Day 2020 and says what you will be doing to celebrate! Together we can make sure that Safer Internet Day 2020 is the biggest yet and reaches more people than ever before!
You can help Safer Internet Day to reach even more people by sharing your support for the day on Twitter now! The official hashtag to use to show your support is #SaferInternetDay. Follow @UK_SIC for updates and social media templates to share closer to the day.
Safer Internet Day 2020 modules on the Digital Leaders platforms
We will soon be releasing Safer Internet Day modules on both the Primary and Secondary Digital Leader platforms. These modules will support Digital Leaders in thinking about how they can take part on the day and engage the pupils in their schools with the topic of online identity. Keep an eye out for these modules appearing on the platforms in the next few weeks. After Safer Internet Day 2020 we will also be asking Digital Leaders to let us know what they did in school for Safer Internet Day and they will earn points and badges for letting us know!
How some Digital Leaders are already involved in the Safer Internet Day campaign
Some of our Digital Leaders feature in films for Safer Internet Day produced by our partner organisation in the UK Safer Internet Centre, SWGfL. The films are tailor made for use with 5-11s, 11-18s, parents and carers, as well as a film exploring the theme. Thank you to the Digital Leaders involved for your valuable contributions and for sharing your thoughts, thank you for your cooperation in the filming also. You can watch these videos on the UK Safer Internet Centre Website and look out for them being shared on social media.
Examples of how Digital Leaders were involved last Safer Internet Day
We were so impressed with the creative ways that Digital Leaders were involved in Safer Internet Day 2019 and can’t wait to see what Digital Leaders do to go even bigger this time around! Take a look at our round up of how Digital Leaders schools spread awareness about internet safety for Safer Internet Day 2019 to be inspired and start thinking about the ways your Digital Leader team could take part in Safer Internet Day 2020.
Let us know what your Digital Leader team have planned for Safer Internet Day and tweet us @Childnet DL #ChildnetDL as well as using #SaferInternetDay on the day.
Childnet Digital Leaders made a huge splash at this year’s Safer Internet Day event at the BT Centre in central London. Safer Internet Day is organised each year in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre. Digital Leaders from Hoxton Garden Primary, Kaizen Primary School, Mayfield School, Orchard Primary School, Sarah Bonnell School, Southwold Primary School and Titus Salt School all attended the event along with Dr Challoner’s High School and Dundonald Primary School. They facilitated the day, delivered the key note speech, spoke on the youth panel and ran workshops to educate attendees on how to be safe online, while focusing on this year’s theme of ‘Our internet, our choice: understanding consent in a digital world’.
Israa from Sarah Bonnell School was an incredible youth host during the entire afternoon, introducing speakers to the stage including Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Margot James, Department for Education Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, and BT’s CEO of Consumer Brands, Marc Allera. She demonstrated her good humour and bubbly personality all to a highly professional standard – awesome job, Israa!
Will from Titus Salt School was our youth keynote speaker. He had the whole auditorium’s attention and during his speech he was confident, articulate and inspirational! Not only this, but he was also interviewed by BBC Own It and BBC News and must have come away feeling like a true celebrity – you were absolutely fantastic; well done, Will!
Mayfield School look at permission online
Kaizen Primary School explore how we give consent online
Kaizen Primary School’s workshop asked guests to respond to a series of statements about online consent, and then to explore different ways that we can ask for, give and receive consent. They also asked guests to record on a Padlet why consent is important to them and where they would expect to give consent. You can see the range of responses at the following link: https://padlet.com/admin413/SID2019
Sarah Bonnell School discuss different types of consent
Sarah Bonnell School ran a workshop to discuss the different types of consent we might encounter online, and then used an online interactive platform to submit how you could best respond to different scenarios.
Viridis Schools Federation get the guests thinking about gaming
The Viridis Schools Federation is made up of Hoxton Garden Primary, Orchard Primary School and Southwold Primary School.
These three schools used a gaming scenario to ask guests to decide how issues of consent online can make them feel and the emotions it can cause. They were then asked to consider what they could do to make sure consent is asked for. They also ran a great quiz on online issues!
We also saw a youth panel consisting of six young people, four of whom were Digital Leaders. These were Harriet from Kaizen Primary, Homyra from Mayfield School, Zahra from Sarah Bonnell and Morgan from Southwold Primary. They all did a brilliant job talking about consent and answering questions from Kate Russell, a BBC journalist – a great effort and confidence shown by all!
Digital Leaders interview the UK’s Chief Medical Officer
Israa and Maariyah, Digital Leaders from Sarah Bonnell School, were invited by BBC News to interview Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK Chief Medical Officer, about the official guidance released about children’s screen time. They did a great job – well done to both of you!
With Safer Internet Day coming up on 5th February, the Digital Leader’s preparations are in full swing!
It’s that time of year again and Childnet Digital Leaders from all over the UK are currently preparing activities to run in their schools to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day and educate their peers about how to build a better internet. The theme this year is ‘Safer Internet Day: Together for a better internet’. Children and young people, schools, parents and carers, and organisations all across the UK are invited to make a pledge to do something great and positive online this Safer Internet Day using the hashtag #OurInternetOurChoice.
Delivered by Childnet, as part of its work as one of three charities in the UK Safer Internet Centre, the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme trains young people to be online safety peer educators. Below you will see a few examples of what our wonderful Digital Leader teams are doing in order to raise awareness this year.
The Digital Leaders at Cathays High in Cardiff have been working hard last term completing their online training modules. They have trained in topics such as ‘Fake News’ and ‘Creating a Kinder Internet’, and have all earned their Digital Leader badge and certificate. A great achievement! The team have been very busy in the lead up to Safer Internet Day and the Digital Leaders have planned a whole school assembly to run throughout the week. They have also designed flyers to hand out to their peers, educating them on how to stay safe not only on Safer Internet Day, but every time they go online.
St John Bosco RC Primary
The Childnet team had the pleasure of visiting the Digital Leaders at St John Bosco RC Primary in Manchester on the 19th October last year. Prior to the visit, the Digital Leaders had prepared their own internet safety posters based around the SMART rules. We were super impressed by all their hard work and it is no wonder that the team are now incredibly busy getting themselves ready for Safer Internet Day. The Digital Leaders are conducting a questionnaire for pupils to complete and each class is going to make a permission pledge. Not only this, but the Digital Leaders are even going to be presenting to the parents about internet safety! We are sure this will be highly valuable for all involved. Well done yet again to the dedicated team at St John Bosco RC Primary!
Selston High School
One of our brilliant Digital Champions, Jess, attends Selston High and is helping lead activities this Safer Internet Day. They are planning to have some great and engaging assemblies for each year group in the school, and their Digital Leaders are helping staff to deliver a lesson on consent to students in Years 8&9. They are also pledging, as a whole school, to take positive action to make the internet a kinder place – fantastic stuff!
King’s Ely Junior School
King’s Ely Junior School are running a whole school assembly which will encourage safer digital use. Their Year 5-7 Digital Leaders are also running individual class assemblies on safer use of the internet and have been busy creating a video for a special assembly!
Reigate St Mary’s Preparatory and Choir School
The Digital Leaders at Reigate St Mary’s Preparatory and Choir School have been busy putting up posters in order to raise awareness of and promote Safer Internet Day. Great work Digital Leaders!
Harnessing the power of youth
Young people across the UK are delivering activities in support of Safer Internet Day and we’ve been very inspired to hear about all the creative ways our Digital Leaders are raising awareness of Safer Internet Day 2019.
If your school is a part of the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme and you are planning activities for Safer Internet Day be sure to tell us what they are doing using the ‘Run Activities for Safer Internet Day 2019’ module. We’ll put the most creative ones in our newsletter!
If you’re interested in enrolling your school on to the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme you can find more information here on the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme website.