We’ve had a tough time judging the first round of our annual Internet Safety Poster competition. We asked pupils from schools across the South East to create a poster to help inform their friends and other young people about how to stay safe on the internet.
It was very difficult to narrow it down to a shortlist. What we did notice, as well as some wonderful creativity, was that there were a broad range of ways that children need to protect their safety online. From cyber security and the danger strangers may pose on the internet to cyber bullying and seeing inappropriate materials online.
The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day was “Together for a better internet” and this theme was clear across the posters, which advised speaking with parents and older siblings, being kind of classmates online and even protecting younger siblings from the internet. It was lovely to see the different interpretations and clear understanding of this message.
Some posters focussed on a single issue, and others looked at ways to stay safe across all internet activity. All of them show that events such as Safer Internet Day are very much needed, but they’re also having a positive effect. The competition was open to children from 4-11 years old and even very young children are aware that they should be careful online. That’s a great message to get out to kids as early as possible. There are lots of positive possibilities for the internet but helping children understand some of the basics of e-safety can be invaluable in making sure they are well protected.
Next week we’ll be getting together with MP Tim Loughton who will be judging the current finalists and deciding on the winners. There is a new Chromebook and digital cameras for the school up for grabs, and we’ll be announcing the full results as soon as we’ve let the schools know who the lucky winners are.