'The Be Internet Legends curriculum is clever, colourful, interactive and easy to use'
Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Shadow Minister for Education (Children & Families)
Be Internet Legends is free scheme of work available to all Key Stage 2 teachers, created by Google and Parent Zone. Covering important pillars of internet safety for children aged 7 to 11, it is a PSHE Association-accredited curriculum, promoting critical thinking, empathy and spotting risks online.
Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, attended a Be Internet Legends assembly in her constituency. She told Parent Zone why she believes schools must start early to encourage digital resilience in young people.
'Child protection is a key issue for me as Shadow Children and Families Minister, but for me the role is also personal and political. In my previous career as a child protection social worker, I made a promise and a commitment to colleagues and to all of the children and families I worked with that if I ever made it to Parliament or was in a position to make things better, I would.
'Increasingly, online safety of children is an issue of concern and, in particular, their ability to cope with some of the words and images they come across.
'Children need help to build up their digital resilience – but it needs to be done at a young age. Waiting until the teenage years is too late. At primary school age, children need to be able to know what to do and who to speak with if they encounter something unpleasant online.'
'Be Internet Legends is the first school’s internet safety resource I have come across that is targeted at the younger age group'
'The curriculum is really clever. It’s bright, colourful, interactive and easy to use. The cartoon characters [Internauts] are fantastic, and they will capture kids’ imaginations and help explain things to them.
'It's useful because the messages are getting across, with light touches. Colour-coding and reference points are good for teachers but also a good focus for children at the same time.
'Having looked at the Be Internet Legends scheme of work, and been impressed, I was very much looking forward to watching the assembly. It was lots of fun and, most importantly, simple and engaging for them to understand.'
'I think Be Internet Legends is a good piece of work. As a kid, you wouldn’t think, "that’s dead boring"'
Emma Lewell-Buck recently joined pupils at Bamburgh School to watch a Be Internet Legends assembly.
'The assembly was great fun, the children were engaged from the get-go. I haven’t seen many other resources exploring how to stay safe and be kind to others online aimed at this age group especially ones delivered in such an interesting and interactive way. The students at Bamburgh should be proud of how well they responded to the session. I know I was certainly proud of them.
'I think Be Internet Legends is a good piece of work. As a kid, you wouldn’t think, ‘that’s dead boring’. As a teacher you wouldn’t think, ‘that’s far too cumbersome, I haven’t time to get through this’. Given the pace of the world, it needs to be quick, easy and accessible. Anything that is fun but also gives a message to children is great.
Key Stage 2 teachers: did you know you can order your FREE Be Internet Legends curriculum pack today? Click here for more information.
'This is the first generation where everything will be documented online. I think the internet is great but basically we have unleashed something that can’t be put back in the box. Educating young people about digital safety needs to be done carefully and I would encourage schools in my constituency to use this scheme of work.'