'The Google Be Internet Legends assembly ticks all the right boxes'
Teacher Jayne Leversidge of Abbey School in Rotherham explains how the Be Internet Legends assembly made such an impact for her pupils, and why their special educational needs and disabilities require such an engaging, interactive and immersive experience...
I am the PSHE coordinator at Abbey School in Rotherham, which has around 150 pupils aged between four to 18 and specialises in accommodating children with learning difficulties such as autism, Downs syndrome and ADHD. Because many of the pupils at the school have different learning difficulties, it was important for us to find an online safety resource that could get the message across several age groups in an interactive and digestible way.
Being a PSHE teacher in a special needs school, my main objective is to find ways to ensure that pupils are given the education needed to learn how to deal with certain scenarios involving their emotions, as well as their behaviour. Internet safety has become a more and more relevant topic for children, as they are starting to use tech at a much earlier age than ever. Therefore it was great for us to host a Google Be Internet Legends assembly, and it seemed to tick all the right boxes.
‘The pupils are people in the modern world, and the modern world is technology’
Pupils at Abbey School enjoyed the chance to participate in their assembly.
The kids loved it and they all got a chance to participate. Although the assembly was designed for Key Stage 2 learning, it was a good fit for all the pupils at our school, as they have different levels of cognition. It had colourful visuals with which the children could engage, helping to immerse them in the lessons. The presenters had the pupils in the palm of their hands from the start.
The assembly and the accompanying resources really hit the spot. At Abbey School, we do so much work on internet safety because it is our children who will be the young adults most vulnerable – to be victimised and abused online. We need to do what we can to build their knowledge of how to be safe online.
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The message of internet safety was always there throughout. It really made our children realise that they needed to think about the things they do online, and that what they do can have potentially serious consequences. It made them ask themselves questions like, “Am I being safe online?” and “Who has access to my personal information?”
It is very important that children are taught these things from an early age. The pupils are people in the modern world, and the modern world is technology. Devices like smartphones, tablets and games consoles play a major part in children’s lives and social media is so commonplace for teenagers that they need to know how to use these platforms safely. More importantly, they need to know what to do if something goes wrong.
‘One of the pupils in my class was so enthused about Interland that he found the link and started playing the game that same afternoon’
Be Internet Legends has visited hundreds of UK primary schools, from Cornwall (pictured) to Scotland.
Our curriculum bases itself on 'overlearning', since our pupils often need to be told things repeatedly in order for them to absorb them. It is great that the assembly goes beyond slides and bullet points. The children love the Interland game that accompanies it.
The pupils had a blast playing through the different levels of the colourful worlds the game offers. One of the boys in my class was so enthused that he found the link and started playing the game that same afternoon!
We are much smaller than mainstream schools and as a result we have to find ways of engaging our children to learn. Sometimes, an assembly and a game can be the best way to do it.