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

    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

    Safer Internet Day 2017

    Safer Internet Day 2017 set to be biggest yet

    SID2017 LogoSafer Internet Day is the UK’s biggest campaign to inspire children and young people to ‘Be the change’ and use technology positively and responsibly.

    Activities from films and a photography project, to lesson plans and presentations, schools are encouraged to deliver engaging activities for Safer Internet Day and empower their students, staff and parents and carers to use technology safely, positively and responsibly.

    Safer Internet Day 2017
    On 7th February 2017, Safer Internet Day will be celebrated globally with the slogan ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet’ with millions of people around the world uniting for a better internet.

    Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of schools and organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

    The Safer Internet Day 2016 campaign reached 40% of all UK children, with schools across the country running whole school activities, lessons, holding parent sessions or getting involved in the social media campaign.

    How can schools get involved?
    Schools across the UK can get involved in a number of ways:
    • Engage students by running assemblies or class activities – or join the SID2017 photography campaign to empower your students to create engaging images that communicate a message.
    • Reach out to parents and carers by running a session or sharing information.
    • Showcase what you are doing to support the day by joining the supporters list and sharing on social media.
    • Join the social media campaign – find out how to get involved in the biggest global campaign about the safe use of technology and use the #giveasmile templates to encourage your pupils to create their own emoji or share positive messages.

    The impact of Safer Internet Day involvement
    Engaging in Safer Internet Day can have a hugely positive impact. Last year, out of those children and young people who had heard about or engaged with Safer Internet Day, 87% said that as a result they felt more confident about what to do if they were concerned about something online. This year already 300 schools have joined the official supporters list for Safer Internet Day 2017 and it looks set to be the biggest Safer Internet Day yet.

    As Will Gardner, Director of UK Safer Internet Centre, said:

    “Safer Internet Day is a moment in the year where children and young people, parents and carers and schools can all come together and talk openly and honestly about the positives of the internet as well as the potential risks.

    “With an ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the critical thinking skills they need to navigate the online world.”

    E-safety Support - SID2017 Competition
    Don't forget to take part in the E-safety Support annual SID competition. To get involved, all your pupils have to do is come up with a positive e-safety acronym using the words CHANGE or UNITE - inspired by the SID2017 theme, Be the Change: Unite for a better Internet.

    This competition is open until midnight on February 6th 2017. Find out more

    SID2017 Banner

    Written by Teaching Resources Support on January 13, 2017 13:39


    Subscribe Now

    • Classroom activities with built in peer review opportunities
    • Student worksheets for collaborative short tasks
    • Cross-curricular modules for easier integration
    • Teacher guidance including advice on differentiation
    • Self Assessment Tools including tracking

    Recent Stories
    Archive