Cyber safety message sent to Nottinghamshire primary school children at multi-agency event

Young children across Nottinghamshire are learning how to be safe online as part of a cyber safety campaign.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 10:35 am
Workshops and discussions about staying safe online were held

Nottinghamshire Schools and Early Intervention Officers are hosting workshops and discussions about staying safe online as part of two weeks of interactive activities which aims to deliver safety messages to Year 6 school pupils.

Groups from primary schools across the county have signed up to get involved in the Safety Zone event, which also features inputs on other safety issues from partner agencies. The youngsters work in small groups and experience 15-minute sessions with each of the agencies, rotating around the event.

The cyber safety sessions included ‘real life’ role play sets, where the children were presented with various messages and scenarios. The interactive sessions involved them showing officers from Nottinghamshire Police how they would engage and interact in certain situations and were given tips for staying even safer online.

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Sergeant John Gilman, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The reason we do this is to give young people the information to make better choices and also to not be afraid to report things if they see or hear something.

“It aims to provide young people with the means to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem by helping them to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions.

“In an increasingly digital age, and especially as these children are at an age where they are perhaps getting their first phones and having an online presence for the first time, its important that they can have all the tools to keep themselves as safe as possible from the start, and the fact that this was our focus at this year’s event is really pleasing.

“It’s been great to see the large turnout of students across the two-week period, particularly as this wasn’t able to go ahead last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and those that have taken part so far have been really engaged and excited to hear what our officers have to teach them.

“Early intervention and interaction with youngsters is vital and it is so important to provide them with quality interaction and advice which they can use and take on board. This fun, informal and engaging setting is a perfect opportunity to engage with the schoolchildren and we’re really happy to see that so many schools have taken up the opportunity and made it a busy and full two week event."

PC Bulloch said: “Cyber safety really is an important toolkit to have, and as the children who are attending are 10 and 11 years old it’s really a perfect time and opportunity to bring this up in activities and conversation with them.

“The internet is something which is becoming an essential in every day life, for work and entertainment, and it is a huge topic of interest. The schoolchildren who have been to the event so far have been really interested and excited about the activities we’ve had planned which is great news for us as this engagement really shows that they want to learn and take our advice on board.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming lots more schools to the event over the coming week and are really pleased that the event can once again be held in person this year.”