Suitability: Key Stages One (after Easter) and Two, Key Stage Three (with adaptation)
The internet, mobile communications and e-mail offer young people unprecedented
and exciting opportunities to explore and interact from the safety of their own
school, home or bedroom. Place of Safety is concerned with how children interact
in the electronic communication environment, and with how they can do so with
‘Place of Safety’ was written for Cheshire Education Safeguarding in Education to promote safe use of the internet. This project is most suitable for key stage two children, but has been used very successfully with more computer-literate infant groups. Children’s experience of the internet varies widely at key stages one and two, so rather than introducing specific platforms with which students may not be familiar, the story explores risks and behaviour generically.
Place of Safety will explore communication though mobile telephones and texting,
e-mail, online chatting and social networking and blogging sites. The story will
highlight positive habits to minimise risk and maximise confidence. The story will
follow the experiences and developing understanding of a child interacting with
others through electronic media, and will offer stopping points for discussion and
analysis, consolidating core messages. Teachers notes will support lessons to
help children understand the way in which online and face to face communication
are essentially different, and drill responses to uncertain and risky situations.
The story will introduce themes for consideration and provide a common point of
reference for post-performance discussion and analysis. The story will guide
understanding of the events and choices brought to life in the story and
empathetically explore strategies to keep safe and happy online. The performance
aims to embed warning signs and a safety-conscious responses, so that if
currently unfamiliar situations occur in the future, patterns for response will
have been explored already in the safe environment of the story, or post
performance work with a class teacher.