We recently caught up with our current Digital Champions to find out more about the role, what they have done, and to get their advice for any Digital Leaders thinking of applying.
What has been your favourite moment as a Digital Champion?
Cosima: Over the years there have been so many moments where I’ve been like ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this’ – but for me I think my biggest highlight as a Digital Champion has been interviewing Paul Scully (who used to be Minister for the Digital Economy) for Safer Internet Day in February 2023. As an A-level politics student, it was incredibly cool to get to research the Online Safety Bill and visit such an iconic place within politics. However, more importantly as a Digital Champion, it was so interesting to hear the government’s plans for improving online safety and rewarding to be able to hold them to account on protecting young people as they have such significant power available for change in the space.
What sorts of things have you done as a Digital Champion?
Dominik: As a Digital Champion we have gone out to many places such as the BT Tower in London and the Meta offices for some of our monthly catch ups. We take part in Safer Internet Day to promote safety online and we travel to the BT Tower to broadcast our message of online safety, we also do some community work such as surveys and other things such as blogs and talks with MPs.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying to be a Digital Champion?
Jayden: I’d say that if you have a passion for helping people and representing a safe internet for all young people, then I’d absolutely go for it. Be resilient and know that if you’ve applied before and not gotten the role, you can still apply! I got in the 2nd year I applied, so I’ve learnt this from experience. Finally, be yourself and be happy! The most important thing when applying for anything is to be positive and answer all the questions formally, as if you were speaking to a teacher.
We are thrilled to announce the exciting news that the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has been shortlisted for the Teach Primary Awards.
This remarkable achievement is proof of the hard work and dedication of our team, as well as the teachers and young people we work with.
At Childnet, we are proud to have developed a programme that has been recognised for its innovation and impact in promoting digital citizenship and online safety among young people.
What is the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme?
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is an innovative educational programme designed to help young people become more confident and responsible digital citizens. The programme provides training and support to young people, empowering them to become leaders in their schools and communities.
Through the programme, young people learn about various important digital issues, including online safety, cyberbullying, digital footprints, and social media. They also develop essential skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and leadership. To find out more about the Digital Leaders Programme, click here.
What are the TeachCo Awards?
The TeachCo Awards are a highly respected achievement that celebrates excellence in educational resources.
Joe Carter, the group editor at The TeachCo, says:
“We run a prestigious programme of awards across the education sector, celebrating the very best resources available to schools and nurseries. Clear criteria and expert judging panels ensure that every winner is truly worthy, which in turn means the results are eagerly anticipated by our audience. All finalists become part of a rolling promotion plan that puts them in front of thousands of teachers via e-marketing, online news stories, and extensive magazine coverage.”
We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of young people and to raise awareness about the importance of online safety knowledge and peer-to-peer leadership.
Why is this Significant
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme being shortlisted for the TeachCo Awards is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it recognises the vital work that the programme is doing to help young people become responsible digital citizens. The programme is helping to address a critical need in today’s society, as more and more young people spend time online.
Secondly, the shortlisting is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Childnet team, who have worked tirelessly to develop and implement the programme and its interactive platform. The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has already positively impacted many young people’s lives, and this recognition is a well-deserved accolade.
We are optimistic regarding the outcome of the awards, and to have made it onto the shortlist. The upcoming awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous efforts of our dedicated team and of all Digital Leaders too.
We remain committed to enhancing our platform’s features and services so that we can continue providing the highest quality of education to students. Furthermore, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners, schools, and educators for their invaluable feedback and for entrusting us with their students’ education. Our success would not have been possible without their support.
As the school year has come to an end and summer holidays have begun, it is a great time for us to look back over the year at the Digital Leaders Programme. Take a look through this second part of a two-part roundup of the year including programme highlights and impact, as well as some of the brilliant achievements of Digital Leaders! Click here to look at part one.
This year we had 7 Digital Champions on the project, and you can read more about them here. The Digital Champions act as ambassadors for the programme and were involved in various additional activities throughout the year. Within their role, they supported the programme in many ways, including representing the Digital Leader community at events (see below), as well as providing feedback on new modules.
Take a look at the upcoming guest blog post by this year’s Digital Champions where they reflect on their role within the programme. If you would like to apply to become a Digital Champion next year then keep your eyes on our blog and newsletter for information on applications opening next term!
We have kept in touch regularly with the Digital Champions as they have continued in their role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to the Champions for continuing to be active in their role and not letting school closures get in the way of their Digital Champion responsibilities! The screenshot below is from our most recent video call with the Champions, when we had a Zoom party to celebrate the end of the year. We also said farewell and best wishes to Bella and Niah who are leaving their Digital Champion roles!
Digital Leader represented the UK at SIF Brussels 2019
One of our brilliant Digital Champions, Jess, was selected to represent the UK at the Safer Internet Forum in Brussels in November. Jess was selected to join the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Panel, made up of around 25 young people from different countries across Europe. In the lead up to the event, the group collaborated on a campaign to spread their message around the forum’s theme of ‘From Online Violence to Digital Respect’. At the forum they held discussions on online safety topics, led a youth session and facilitated roundtables of attendees. Read more about Jess’ experience attending the forum here.
Safer Internet Day 2020
Young people from across the UK came together to celebrate positive use of the internet on Safer Internet Day 2020. The theme for this year was exploring identity online and young people celebrated the theme in incredible and creative ways. Many Digital Leaders took a lead in activities in their school; running assemblies, creating informative videos to share with peers and running surveys are just a few examples of the wonderful ways that Digital Leaders raised awareness of online safety. Take a look at the tweets below for some more examples of how Digital Leaders celebrated the day across the country.
Digital Leaders met government and internet industry for Safer Internet Day 2020
The UK Safer Internet Centre hosted the annual Safer Internet Day event in London which was attended by representatives from the internet industry as well as services which support young people, government and policy. Groups of Digital Leaders from five schools attended the event and ran activities to get the guests thinking about the topic of exploring identity online. The pupils also asked questions to a live panel of representatives from organisations which support young people. The Digital Leaders played a crucial role in the day and ensured that young people’s online lives were the focus of the day. The youth host and key-note speaker were also Digital Leaders, Homyrah and Aimee, who both engaged the audience brilliantly and spoke with passion about the theme. Take a look at our roundup of the Safer Internet Day London event here.
Young People’s Charter for Safer Internet Day 2020
The UK Safer Internet Centre, in consultation with Digital Leaders across the UK, created the Young People’s Charter for Safer Internet Day 2020. The charter outlines four clear demands for the government to protect young people online, and support them to express their online identities. Digital Champions, Aimee and Cosima, presented the charter to MPs at Westminster on Safer Internet Day and spoke to them about the importance of the key demands for young people. Read more about Digital Leaders involvement in the Young People’s Charter here.
Earlier this year the Digital Leaders Programme reached some new milestones! The programme has now had over 1,000 subscriptions and over 4,000 young people have qualified as Digital Leaders! Read more about the journey to reaching these milestones here.
This month we released our 2020 Impact Report. It is really important for us to evaluate the impact of the programme each year so that we can measure it’s efficacy, strive to keep improving and share how vital youth-led online safety education is. Take a look at our annual Impact Report 2020 webpage here or the two-page Impact Report document here.
Digital Leader tweets of the year
We love to see Digital Leaders featuring on their schools’ Twitter. Take a look below at some of our favourite Digital Leader tweets from this year.
There have been lots of programme highlights over the year and many more Digital Leader achievements! Thank you to all of the Digital Leaders who have taken part in the programme this year and to all of the supportive teachers running the programme at their schools. We look forward to continuing to develop the programme over the next academic year and hearing about the fantastic ways that Digital Leaders are impacting their communities!
If you have any questions about running the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme in your school, please do get in touch at [email protected].
As the school year has come to an end and summer holidays have begun, it is a great time for us to look back at the activities that have happened as part of the Digital Leaders Programme over the last year. Take a read through this two-part roundup of the year including the programme’s highlights and impact, as well as some of the brilliant achievements of Digital Leaders!
Adapting the programme through COVID-19 school closures
The end of this school year has been very different to other years due to the COVID–19 school closures. Back in March when the closures were announced, we adapted the programme to ensure that the young people were able to continue their online safety education and feel part of the Digital Leader community whilst learning from home. We have also extended all current subscriptions to cover the period of time that schools were closed and will review this extension again when the new school term begins. Take a look at our blog post about how the programme has continued to run over the last few months, ensuring that online safety stayed fresh in Digital Leaders’ minds while spending more time at home.
End of Term Leaderboard
Congratulations to the Digital Leader teams from Barnfield Primary School and Bellerbys College Cambridge who finished the school year top of the primary and secondary Leaderboards! Well done for your hard work earning points on the training platform this term and making you way to the top of the Leaderboard! We are excited to see which teams make it to the top next term.
New training modules
This year we released nine new training modules across our online platforms! Six of these modules were related to specific events such as Safer Internet Day and Anti Bullying Week, so were available on the platform exclusively for a limited period of time in the lead up to these events. These modules are designed to encourage Digital Leaders to engage with these campaigns. The other three modules are bonus training modules, two of which are for primary aged pupils and one is for secondary pupils and are on the topics of Safer Gaming and Data and Privacy respectively. These modules were developed in response to feedback from Digital Leaders, around what they what like to learn about on the programme. Thank you to JFS, Forest School and Sellincourt Primary, who were involved in creating these modules. The ‘Safer Gaming’ module was developed in collaboration with Roblox.
We’ve got some really exciting developments next year regarding our training modules so do keep your eyes peeled on our newsletter for more information!
Cardiff Regional Event
In November we had our fourth Digital Leaders Regional Event! This time the Childnet team travelled to St John’s College Junior School in Cardiff to host a Digital Leaders Regional Event for pupils from across the area. More than 50 young people were in attendance from several local schools. The event was an opportunity for young people to discuss online safety topics and collaborate on peer learning activities to take back to their own schools. The topic of the day was reporting, and pupils received training from Childnet’s expert team on how and what to report. To read more about the Regional Event look at our Regional Event blog post.
This year we released our first ever Industry Insider Q&A! The first edition of the series featured Laura Higgins, Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility at Roblox. Laura kindly answered some really fantastic questions that Digital Leaders had submitted. The questions covered many topics from reporting and safety in gaming to careers in tech. So many questions were submitted that we had to make the video into three parts! Thank you to all the Digital Leaders who submitted questions for the Q&A and thank you to Laura for taking the time to answer the brilliant questions. Take a look at Laura’s Q&A videos here.
Community Prize Posts
The Community part of our training platforms are an open and monitored space for Digital Leaders to discuss important online safety topics, as well as share peer-learning ideas and experiences. At the beginning of this year we introduced Community Prize Posts for secondary Digital Leaders. By engaging in these Prize Post conversations, secondary pupils are in with the chance of winning a monthly prize. Winning posts are selected from the most thoughtful, relevant and insightful of all of the responses to Prize Posts within that month. Congratulations to all of the winners throughout the year and thank you to all of the Secondary Digital Leaders who have engaged with these posts. We look forward to more thought-provoking online safety conversations on the Community next year!
As part of the Digital Leaders Programme, young people receive online safety training via gamified online training platforms. We have two standalone platforms; one for primary pupils and one for secondary pupils. These platforms differ both in learning content and some functionality. The platforms also provide access to the Digital Leader Community (on the primary platform, teachers have the option whether to activate this feature or not) which allows young people to discuss important online safety topics and collaborate with peers.
Secondary Digital Leaders
The secondary platform can be accessed by pupils remotely, and so during the COVID-19 school closures, we have encouraged Secondary Digital Leader teams to continue working through the training modules. Secondary Digital Leaders can engage with the other aspects of the programme and training platform, from engaging in discussions on the Community to watching our Industry Q&A videos. We have also encouraged Secondary Digital Leaders to take the opportunity to engage with the leadership element of the programme, starting conversations at home about online safety topics.
Primary Digital Leaders
Primary pupils are only able to access the training platform with a teacher present and so to keep online safety on Primary Digital Leader’s minds during the COVID-19 school closures, we introduced a new aspect to the programme – weekly primary activities. At the start of the school closures, we began sharing activities for teachers to in turn share with their Primary Digital Leaders, all of which can be completed independently by the students at home. A new online safety activity has been sent every week and activities have ranged from word searches to writing and drawing tasks, all designed to keep online safety on young people’s minds and to encourage conversations on the subject at home within the family. Take a look below at Oskar from Groveland Primary School’s fantastic poster in response to one of the weekly primary activities.
This year the Childnet Film Competition was adapted to make entering from home easier than ever before and proved to be a great home learning project for young people. We were delighted to see Digital Leaders enter the competition which consisted of Solo, Group and Storyboard categories. One of our Digital Leaders went on to win the Secondary solo category! Take a look at the finalists films here.
The Digital Champions are Digital Leaders from across the country who were successful in applying to be youth ambassadors of the Digital Leaders Programme, representing the Digital Leader community and supporting the Childnet team. Find out more about the Digital Champions and their role within the programme here.
Some of our Digital Champions created videos to share their thoughts on the programme and particularly the youth leadership element.
Below you can watch the videos created by the Digital Champions, where they share their thoughts on the programme.
Thank you to Cosima, Aimee and Jess for creating and sharing these wonderful videos.
If you are interested in the leadership opportunity the programme will provide for your pupils and the impact the programme could have on online safety education throughout your whole school, then take a look at how the programme works and register your interest for more information. Once you have registered your interest, you can request access to a free guest login to our gamified online platform which is training thousands of young people to lead online safety conversations in their schools and beyond.
Welcome to the April 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.
Covid-19 school closures
We are excited to see what Digital Leaders achieve in these different circumstances, while they will be spending more time at home and more time online.
Secondary Digital Leaders are encouraged to continue using the online training platform remotely, completing the modules and engaging in the other areas of the programme like the community and the peer leadership aspect of the programme, sharing what they have learnt with family and friends, either online or offline.
Primary Digital Leaders cannot access the platform without their teacher present however this is a great opportunity for them to be creative in sharing their online safety messages! Every week we will be sending Primary Digital Leader teachers suggested activities that their Digital Leaders can complete at home.
Please keep us up to date at [email protected] with what your Digital Leaders are working on from home and what they achieve! We will feature any work or reports about activities that Digital Leaders have been doing in this blog.
Sabeeka’s fantastic poster with an important message
Sabeeka, one of the brilliant Digital Leaders from Swaffield School created a poster to share important advice about how to keep safe online. Thank you so much Sabeeka for sharing your poster with us, we think it’s brilliant and love the colours as well as the messages! The poster includes really important tips for keeping your private information safe and reminds everyone to ask an adult before sharing any personal information online. Great advice, Sabeeka! We think you should tell an adult if you see anything that you are not sure about online.
You can now find out more about the team behind the Digital Leaders Programme! Take look here, to read up on how each of us found ourselves in the Childnet team, working on the Digital Leaders Programme and what we do.
Well done to the Digital Leader teams from the following schools who have recently completed their online training!
Abbey Primary School, Northampton – 3rd cohort!
Barley Close Community Primary School
Bromley High School Junior – 3rd cohort!
Gayhurst School – 2nd cohort!
Guildford High School- Junior
Holtsmere End Junior School – 4th cohort!
International School of the Hague Primary – 2nd cohort!
Welcome to the March 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!
Brentfield Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Kensington Prep School – 2nd cohort!
Lady Eleanor Holles Junior School
Monkshouse Primary School – 3rd cohort!
Notre Dame Senior School – 2nd cohort!
Penwortham Primary School
Rosebank Primary School
TASIS The American School in England- Secondary
Last month Siobhán and Fabian visited Barnfield Primary School Digital Leaders to learn about what they have been doing to share their online safety knowledge and support their peers when on the internet. We were really impressed with the Digital Leaders’ plans for how they will impact their school community in the coming months. Take a look at the blog post about our visit to Barnfield Primary School including some top tips for online safety that their Digital Leaders shared with us!
Safer Internet Day 2020
Well done to all of the Digital Leaders who took part in Safer Internet Day across the country by running and being involved in activities in their schools. Take a look at our blog post about the Safer Internet Day London event and the important roles that Digital Leaders had at the event, from running activities for the guests from industry and policy, to being the youth host and key note speaker!
Digital Leaders were also involved in developing the Young People’s Charter for Safer Internet Day, which Aimee and Cosima, two of our Digital Champions, presented to government on the day. Read more about the Young People’s Charter here.
Many Digital Leader teams across the UK featured on their schools’ Twitter on Safer Internet Day. Well done to all Digital Leaders involved in celebrating the day, we are so impressed with the breadth of activities that Digital Leaders were involved in at their schools. Safer Internet Day celebrations ranged from assemblies, to videos and lessons around the theme of #freetobe: exploring identity online.
Take a look at some examples of tweets featuring Digital Leaders celebrating Safer Internet Day below.
Make sure to let us know what your Digital Leader team did to celebrate Safer Internet Day to be featured in a blog post round up! Contact us at [email protected]
Welcome to the December 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 Leaders teams from the following schools who have recently completed their online training!
Barnfield Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Bredon School – 2nd cohort!
Bromley High School Juniors – 3rd cohort!
Clayesmore Preparatory School – 2nd cohort!
Cumnor House School for Girls
De Bohun Primary School – 2nd cohort!
Highworth Grammar School
The King’s Ely Secondary School
Northampton High School Junior – 2nd cohort!
Oakington Manor Primary
Reed’s School – 2nd cohort!
Royal Masonic School for Girls – 3rd cohort!
Royal Russell – 2nd cohort!
Sawtry Village Academy – 2nd cohort!
St Martins School
The Belvedere Academy
The King’s Ely Secondary School
The William Henry Smith School
Cardiff Regional Event
Last month we had our fourth Regional Event in Cardiff. The event was an opportunity for young people across the region to collaborate on ways to share their online safety knowledge with the pupils at their schools. The young people also received exclusive training from the Childnet Education Team who present sessions and workshops at schools all over the country.
Thank you to the schools that attended the Digital Leaders Regional Event in Cardiff, thank you to the Digital Leaders in attendance and the teachers who supported throughout the day. Special thank you to St. John’s College Juniors for hosting and Ms Howells for working with us on the event. Your preparations helped to make the day run smoothly!
Digital Leader school visits
Danielle visited Moss Park Junior School last month to see what their Digital Leaders have been doing and to hear about their plans to share their knowledge with the rest of their school. Thank you to the Digital Leaders for spending time talking to Danielle, she was really impressed with your hard work!
Digital Families Hackathon
Thank you to the Digital Leaders from JFS who came to the Facebook Digital Families Hackathon event. Max, Jessica and Eva, your contributions were valuable and we are grateful for your participation and input.
Anti-Bullying Week 2019
Well done to all of the Digital Leaders who celebrated Anti-Bullying Week and Odd Socks Day in their schools. Thank you to all of the Primary and Secondary Digital Leaders who completed the ‘Run activities for Anti-bullying Week 2019’ module on the training platforms and told us about the activities they had done to celebrate. Look out for a blog post featuring a roundup of the activities that Digital Leaders told us they did in school to celebrate Anti-Bullying Week and to help stop bullying in their school.
We particularly liked this tweet from Bromley High School Juniors, showcasing how their Digital Leaders led Odd Socks Day in their school with their funky odd socks!
Congratulations to Grovelands Community Primary School Digital Leaders
Digital Leaders from Grovelands Community Primary School made a video about Screen time and are featured on the ‘social news’ section of their school website, well done team! https://grovelands-school.co.uk/
We love to see Digital Leader groups getting creative with how they can share their online safety knowledge and Grovelands Digital Leaders clearly learnt a lot from the Screen Time and Healthy Balance module!
We challenge your team to make a video to share what you learn in the next training module you complete! Let us know what your Digital Leader team have achieved to be featured in this blog or our community newsletter!
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.