Myth vs Reality - New toolkit from Childnet

Childnet launches new resources to support young people as only 15% of 11-14s say they know where to go to find reliable information about sex and relationships.

Children’s charity Childnet launch new resources to address online pornography, healthy relationships and body image online.

Brand new resources have been launched by children’s charity Childnet, as part of its work in the UK Safer Internet Centre. The ‘Myth vs Reality’ toolkit covers the issues of pornography, healthy relationships and body image and is designed to be used with young people aged 11-14.

Whilst 80% of 11-14s surveyed by Childnet said it was important or extremely important for young people to discuss the issues related to online pornography, only 15% said they knew where to go to find reliable information about sex and relationships. After taking part in the activities, 77% of those surveyed felt they knew where to go to find reliable information about sex and relationships.

Following on from the huge success of the ‘Crossing the Line’ toolkit launched in 2016, which covered the issues of sexting, peer pressure, cyberbullying and self-esteem, this new toolkit includes a range of videos, quick activities and adaptable lesson plans based on the real experiences of young people.

The toolkit was created following focus groups conducted in five schools across the UK, where young people expressed the need for education about the portrayal of gender, bodies and relationships online with a particular need for education about the reality of online pornography.

One boy aged between 11 -13 in a focus group stated that: “the less educated people are about sex and relationships the more they are going to try and look for it.”

With Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) becoming statutory in all schools from September 2020, these resources provide schools with much needed practical, thoughtful and helpful resources to support them in teaching RSE. It also comes as the UK prepares to be the first country in the world to implement an age-verification system for online pornography.

The toolkit has been tested in seven schools across the UK where both teachers and pupils tried out the resources and provided feedback about the impact it had had in their school.

Research was conducted with young people aged 11-14 before they completed the toolkit, providing over 600 responses:

  • 80% said it was important or extremely important for young people to discuss the issues related to online pornography, but only 15% said they knew where to go to find reliable information about sex and relationships
  • Only 23 % said that they could recognise the difference between what is considered the ‘ideal’ body image online and the reality of a realistic and healthy body
  • Only 23% said that they knew what makes a healthy relationship online
  • After taking part in the activities in the toolkit, young people aged 11-14 reported on the impact that it had, with over 450 responses. Schools saw an increase in confidence and knowledge of the issues in the toolkit:

  • 90% said they now felt confident in supporting themselves and others with the issues related to online pornography
  • 77% said they know where to go to find reliable information about sex and relationships
  • 69% said the lessons made them feel more confident in supporting my friends online when it came to issues around body image
  • 59% felt confident in supporting themselves and others with unhealthy relationships online
  • Will Gardner OBE, CEO of Childnet and Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, said:
    “The issues that affect young people online are changing and are complex. It is vital that all young people are given the opportunity to discuss the pressures they face online, and develop the skills to spot and understand the gap between perception and reality.

    We have created this toolkit to support and empower educators in exploring these challenging and often interrelating topics with confidence, and to allow them to help their pupils develop the strategies they need to navigate the online world. It’s clear from those schools who have taken part that these resources are much needed and can have a real impact on the lives of young people.”

    One secondary school teacher from Gravesend said:
    “The pupils loved the lessons and one year 9 class asked me when the next lesson was. When I said it was a one-off they said 'we need more lessons like this'. (…) Thank you so much for asking us to be part of the trial - I also learnt a lot."

    A year 9 pupil commenting on the healthy relationships activities said that: "This lesson helps people who are silently struggling. I learnt about how communication, respect, trust and boundaries are key."

    Another young person said, “I learnt what [pornography is] about and where I could go if I needed to talk about it or needed help and that you don't need to look a certain way for other people."

    For more information on how the toolkit can be used in education settings read this piece on ‘How teachers can use the ‘Myth vs Reality’ toolkit’

    Written by Teaching Resources Support on May 02, 2019 13:05

    GDPR: One Year On - FREE Refresher Training

    Free Data Protection (GDPR) refresher training for Teaching Resources Support members Click here to find out more and register


    GDPRThis time last year, there was one word (or should I say acronym) that was never far from the conversation - GDPR!

    We all had the date firmly embedded in our minds and we all received training on how the 25th May changes would affect us.

    The DfE issued a Data Protection for Schools Toolkit, highlighting guidance in the form of nine steps schools could take to efficiently develop the culture, processes and documentation required to be compliant with the strengthened legislation to effectively manage the risks associated with data management. This nine-step guide is still available in the form of a 103-page document.

    So, one year on, is GDPR done and dusted?

    The definite answer to that is no. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law came into force during 2018 along with the updated Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). But what is the difference between GDPR and Data Protection?

    GDPR is the new European law that is the change of a generation. It defines the data subject as the ultimate owner of their personal data, with specific rights, and any organisation, public or private, which processes personal data must have a legal basis to do so.

    In addition to this, each country was required to create a local law to ratify the exemptions allowed for their industries and culture. In the UK, this is covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

    Many schools just use the term "data protection" as this is a common title to both laws.

    During the early part of 2018, schools took the opportunity to train staff on the changes that were then about to take place. However, 12 months on, many staff members are now due to have that training refreshed.

    TrainingSchoolz, a sister company of Safeguarding Essentials, is helping schools manage their refresher training by offering free Data Protection/GDPR online training to all Teaching Resources Support Free, Premium and Premium Plus members for a limited time.

    Schools can register to take the GDPR training and invite up to 300 of their peers to take the course for free as well have access to the simple-to-use yet powerful platform developed specifically for the education sector. Click here to find out more and register or call 0113 360 7838 for further information.


    Written by Teaching Resources Support on April 02, 2019 13:06

    Childnet 2019 Film Competition

    10 years of the Childnet Film Competition highlights how peer education can help keep children safe online.


    Childnet Film Comp 2019 LogoChildnet, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, has launched its 10th Childnet Film Competition to encourage young people aged 7-18 to create a short film to educate their peers about staying safe online.

    For 10 years the Childnet Film Competition has inspired young people to harness their creativity and educate their peers on online safety issues. The competition is delivered by leading children’s online safety charity Childnet, as part of its work in the UK Safer Internet Centre.

    Judged by a panel of experts from the BBC, BAFTA, BBFC and BFI, the winning films will be shown at the finalists’ event in London and will be used as educational resources in schools across the UK.

    This year’s theme focusses on what we can all do to make our future internet a great and safe place.

    As Will Gardner OBE, Childnet CEO and Director, UK Safer Internet Centre said:
    “What 10 years of the Childnet Film Competition has shown us is that young people are passionate about educating and inspiring their peers to stay safe online. We know that young people can play an important role in helping to address some of the risks and challenges of the online world. The Childnet Film Competition provides a platform for young people to do exactly this. Our theme this year, ‘Our future online’ gives young people the opportunity to play an active part in creating a better internet. We look forward to seeing the creativity that children and young people across the UK will undoubtedly demonstrate.”

    Our future online – how to take part

    The Film Competition is split into two age categories and schools or youth organisations must oversee and submit entries on behalf of all participants. For both categories, young people must create a film in response to the theme: ‘Our future online – what can we all do to make our future internet a great and safe place.’
  • Primary category: 7-11 year olds are invited to create a 60 second film
  • Secondary category: 11-18 year olds are invited to create a 2 minute film
  • For both age groups, Childnet are looking for creative, imaginative films which show how young people can make a positive difference online. Young people might express their ideas through a variety of ways, including comedy, animation, or music. They will be encouraged to consider different filmmaking styles such as creating an advert, campaign or documentary.

    Childnet have developed resource packs including storyboard templates, guides to filmmaking and other useful documents to help schools and youth organisations engage and support young people in making their films.

    Closing date and how to enter
    Childnet Film Comp 2019 PhotoEntries need to be sent to Childnet by 10th June, including entry and media consent forms which can be found at www.childnet.com/film-comp. There is also important information about copyright that entrants will need to consider.

    The shortlisted films will be shown on the big screen in front of industry guests and young people at the Childnet Film Competition 2019 Event at the BFI London Southbank and will also receive a BBFC rating.

    The Film Competition winners will each receive a filmmaking kit for their school which includes a DSLR camera, tripod and clapperboard.

    The winners will be decided by an expert panel which includes:

  • Catherine McAllister, Head of Safeguarding and Child Protection at BBC Children’s
  • David Austin OBE, Chief Executive of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
  • Joanna van der Meer, Film Tutor and Family Learning Programmer at BFI Southbank
  • Lisa Prime, Children’s Events Programmer at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)

  • Childnet Film Comp 2019 Flyer

    Written by Teaching Resources Support on March 06, 2019 15:08


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