Essential skills for the digital age: Safer Internet Day 2017

Teaching children to navigate the online world in a rights respecting way is an essential life skill for the digital age.

Children have the right to access information (Article 17), whether that is through print media, television or online. Young people increasingly use the internet to learn, play and socialise. It is vital, therefore, that they can take advantage of all the internet has to offer in a safe, informed way while respecting their right to privacy (Article 16) and their right to protection (Article 19).

Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 7 February 2017 provided a great opportunity for schools across the UK to explore rights online and raise awareness of internet safety issues.

“It has helped me to know what to do if anyone cyberbullies or is horrible on the internet.”
Child from Mary Howard Primary School, Staffordshire

To support the campaign to promote the safe and positive use of technology, on Safer Internet Day 2017 we delivered ten internet safety workshops, The Right Click: Internet Safety Matters, to primary schools across the UK, in partnership with BT. We reached over 200 children and 100 parents. Our BT volunteers also trained 35 teachers, so that they can redeliver the workshops to even more children and parents in the future.

The Right Click: Internet Safety Matters is a 3 year partnership between Unicef UK and BT aimed to empower children to use the internet positively whilst staying safe. This powerful initiative brings children, parents and teachers together by equipping adults with the tools to keep children safe online, while encouraging open and honest conversations.

We continued to celebrate the safe and positive use of technology throughout the week, with ten more schools hosting The Right Click: Internet Safety Matters, reaching a further 150 children, 100 parents and 30 teachers.

Safer Internet Day at Blair Peach Primary School, Ealing

“The workshop was very informative. I will now be more involved with the internet and my child than at present.”
Parent from The Crescent Primary School, Hampshire

Every teacher who gave feedback following a workshop agreed that the session was helpful, with one teacher from Craigfelen Primary School, Swansea saying: “The workshop was well adapted to suit the volume of pupils and parents.”

Rights Respecting schools across the UK supported the campaign by delivering e-safety themed assemblies, organising classroom activities and holding competitions with pupils designing posters to show what internet safety means to them.

If you would like to host an internet safety workshop at your school to help keep children protected online before Friday 31st March 2017, we still have a few dates left.  

You can also read more about Safer Internet Day itself, as well as find resources and advice for young people, parents and carers, and teachers on the UK Safer Internet Centre.