How teachers are helping children become confident online explorers with Be Internet Legends
Thousands of teachers across the UK are teaching internet safety in a creative new way that is helping children to be safer and more resilient in the digital world.
More than half of primary schools have ordered Google’s free Be Internet Legends curriculum - supported by teacher training events, PSHE accredited lesson plans and interactive assemblies. Read on to learn more about why teachers are choosing Be Internet Legends, the impact it has had on their teaching and the support you get to help your pupils become safe and confident explorers online.
Free internet safety teaching resources for Primary Teachers
Be Internet Legends is a free learning programme developed by Google and Parent Zone, the experts in digital family life. It’s designed to help 7-11-year-olds become safe and confident explorers of the online world.
Over 20,000 teachers have claimed their curriculum packs and there is a rapidly growing community of ‘BIL’ teachers who share their experiences, create parallel resources and help others to get started.
Created for teachers
Video: Computing teacher Jacob Woolcock discusses why he chose the Be Internet Legends curriculum guide and how it has been such a success in his school.
The Google Be Internet Legends programme is much more than a single lesson or an online resource. It has been designed with educators to meet the needs of primary schools in a practical way with long term impact.
“We have been looking to modernise and make [internet safety] more relevant. Google's Be Internet Legends, backed by Parent Zone, fits the bill as a comprehensive and innovative programme which is easily accessible by both pupils and staff”
- Lucy Gallagher, Deputy Head Teacher, Sciennes Primary School, Scotland
The programme was developed collaboratively with input from experts including classroom teachers, representatives from the Oxford Internet Institute, Department for Education and the National Crime Agency’s child online protection command (NCA-CEOP).
The Be Internet Legends curriculum is featured in the DFE Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE) statutory guidance as a useful resource to support schools with online safety, and the lesson plans have been accredited by the PSHE Association.
“Internet safety used to sit firmly within the Computing curriculum, but we found that the messages and activities within the Be Internet Legends curriculum helped to broaden the discussion, making it more relevant for our pupils’ real-world digital development - blending their computing skills with important PSHE learning.”
- Dave Presky, Head of Computing and a Specialist Leader of Education
The combination of teaching guides, parent resources, teacher training and events make Be Internet Legends a sustainable and scalable programme that can deliver long term impact for staff, pupils and families.
“Being Kind is being nice to other people. That’s really important online because if you are kind to other people they will be kind to you.”
Luke, Year 4, Penpol Primary School, Cornwall
The Be Internet Legends curriculum is based on five pillars that are designed to give children the skills and behaviours they need to have a positive time online. The pillars are: staying Sharp about what they share, being Alert to scams, keeping personal information Secure with strong passwords, being Kind to others and being Brave by talking to trusted adults when they come across anything they’re unsure about.
“I've piloted three of the lessons in the scheme with my Year 4 class, with the view of rolling out the programme to the whole school for the next academic year. I've provided each year group with a copy of the curriculum. The phishing lesson, in particular, went down very well as it was very relatable.”
- John Rayner, Computing Coordinator, Kells Lane Primary School, Gateshead
“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.”
- Jayne Leversidge, PSHE Coordinator, Abbey School, Rotherham
Video: Jacob Woolcock discusses the positive effect Be Internet Legends has had on his students and the actions they are now taking both at home and at school to stay safe online.
The free Be Internet Legends curriculum pack includes a full set of PSHE Association-accredited lesson plans, parents’ letter, a classroom poster and stickers.
The tough, classroom-friendly, spiral bound book contains everything you need to plan and run a range of lessons and promote key safety and resilience messages across the school.
Every KS2 teacher can order their own FREE pack from the Be Internet Legends Hub - postage and packaging included.
Image: Jayne Mays
“It was a great opportunity to share good practice. I liked the focus on the positive aspects of technology.”
- Teacher at Edinburgh Be Internet Legends workshop, April 2019
The Be Internet Legends curriculum is designed so that teachers can get started straight away and deliver effective internet safety lessons. However, we host regular training events to ensure every teacher gets the most from their pack and help the BIL community connect and share their learning.
“I now have a more confident mindset and framework for teaching internet safety”
- Teacher at Manchester Be Internet Legends workshop, March 2019
Free workshops are held across the UK, from Plymouth to Glasgow, to provide professionals with an opportunity to share ideas, keep up to date on internet safety, and explore how the programme can help with engaging families around all things digital.
To ensure learning continues beyond the school, a range of free family resources are also available for pupils and parents to access at home. These include a downloadable Be Internet Legends family activity guide and a fun online game called Interland that children (and the rest of the family) can play on tablets or computers to reinforce the learning for each of the online safety pillars.
“The children love the learning as it is then reinforced through games which they can also access at home - this has also helped us to engage parents.”
- Ben Ross, Computing Leader, Dollis Primary School, London
During school holidays the Be Internet Legends free family events help to engage parents and bring internet safety learning to life in a fun and noisy way!
“I thought the pictures of Interland and the flags were amazing. I liked the bit when they said 'sharp, alert, secure, kind, brave' because it rhymes and I really liked shouting it out together really loud.”
- Thomas, 7
Alongside the classroom resource, schools can get a free interactive Be Internet Legends assembly. Led by the experienced Parent Zone team, the 30-minute assemblies bring the learning objectives to life in a highly interactive, fun and memorable way.
The assemblies are designed for Key Stage 2 but can work as a whole school or year group activity. Assemblies are also suitable and engaging for children with a wide range of additional support requirements.
“The presenters were fantastic and the whole school came away engaged, having taken lots in. My class are still reminding me to look for the padlock on websites! Feedback from teachers has been fantastic...”
- Simon Dixon, Computing Lead, Bridge Farm Primary School, Bristol
Assemblies are available to any primary school in the UK and all the kit (including screens and projectors) are provided on the day.
Teacher community: #BeInternetLegends
Video: Jacob Woolcock discusses his favourite part of the Be Internet Legends curriculum, and the '6th pillar' his students have added to the programme in order to develop their skills further and encourage other schools to take part.
“All the Key Stage 2 teachers thought it was really helpful...the programme definitely complements what we want to do with our online safety lessons — I think it even surpassed expectations!”
- Marion Coyne, Assistant Headteacher, Longshaw Primary School, Chingford
Be Internet Legends has been designed to help classroom teachers deliver meaningful, sustained learning for all pupils. Teachers are a vital part of not just delivering the curriculum but also shaping it for the future.
“ Be Internet Legends is not too restrictive and rigid. We use the teacher lesson plans, but we also add some bits ourselves. This gives everything you need and then you can use it the way you think best.”
- Jacob Woolcock, Computing Teacher, Penpol Primary School, Cornwall
The BIL teaching community has grown rapidly over the last few years. With more than half of primary schools already using the curriculum, there are many examples of good practice by classroom teachers. The Be Internet Legends teacher blogs and #BeInternetLegends capture some of these real-life examples from schools all across the UK.
“It's great to be out in schools and witness how each one is using the Be Internet Legends scheme of work. One teacher told me that their more reserved pupils began to speak up when covering the Be Internet Legends programme.”
- Jenny Skeats, Parent Zone Trainer
As a member of the BIL community, you can get early access to new resources in development, take part in design workshops and have your work featured at teacher training events.
If you have a Be Internet Legends story to share, or would like to help develop the next generation of internet safety learning for schools, we would love to hear from you.
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To join the Be internet legends community, get your free classroom resources and to take part in teacher events or host an assembly in your school, register now.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our team to discuss your requirements or share your ideas, please contact us.
If you are already part of the Be Internet Legends community then share this with others so that they can get their own curriculum and start making a change...
“The most useful thing I learnt was to be kind to others, so you can be friends with them and to try and sort out their problems.”