Safer Internet Day 2018 Youth Events

05 Mar 2018 Becca Cawthorne

Children and young people met Government and UK Safer Internet Centre representatives at Safer Internet Day events in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Young people played a central role in Safer Internet Day 2018, from speaking at our youth events, to creating new resources, sharing their pledges, educating their peers and engaging with policy makers.

In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, young people met together with Ministers, the UK Safer Internet Centre and other key policymakers to explore how we can all ‘Create, connect and share respect’ and help to create a better internet. 

In London, over 50 young people attended a special youth-led interactive event at the BT Centre, welcoming 100 policymakers from across a range of sectors to discuss the question “How can we support young people to show respect and digital empathy online?”

Pupils from Marner Primary School in East London, Stanburn Primary School and Canons High School both in Harrow, joined pupils from Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough to host the UK Safer Internet Centre’s event at the BT Centre. The pupils were also joined by two members of the Childnet Youth Advisory Board, Charlie and Afua. Charlie chaired the afternoon event in the auditorium introducing a range of presenters, including Afua who made an inspiring keynote speech.

In the morning the pupils hosted Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, and BT’s CEO Gavin Patterson, who heard more about their online lives and how different groups including government, schools and parents can support young people.

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In Cardiff, pupils from St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales Primary School opened a special event at the Pierhead, where Kirsty Williams Cabinet Secretary for Education announced the winners of a special Safer Internet Day competition run throughout Wales. The competition offered Welsh children and young people the opportunity to have their say on how being online makes them feel. They were invited to explore their feelings by getting creative, in one of four categories: word, film, music or art.

The event in Cardiff was attended by young people representing all finalist schools in the competition, alongside a number of stakeholders and organisations involved in online safety education, Welsh Government officials and representatives from the UK Safer Internet Centre.

A huge congratulations to Hafod y Wern Community Primary School in Wrexham who won the primary category with their Safer Internet Day film and to Rose Christmas of Blackwood Comprehensive School in Gwent, who won the secondary category with her poem ‘Internet Space’.

In Edinburgh, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd and the UK Safer Internet Centre visited Holy Rood RC High School where pupils shared their perspectives on growing up online, key issues they would like to see debated at Parliament, and advice they would give to younger pupils.

Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd with pupils from Holy Rood RC Highschool

In Antrim, the UK Safer Internet Centre joined the Education Authority’s livestreamed event featuring winning entries and finalists from their online safety video competition. The competition was open to young people across Northern Ireland who were invited to submit videos in either the KS2, KS3 or Special Schools categories on the theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day: “Create, connect and share respect: a better internet starts with you.”

Finalists from schools such as Lisanally Special School, Kilronan Special School, King’s Park Primary School, St Coleman’s Primary School, Strathearn School and St Catherine’s College were invited to the Education Authority TV Studio to talk about their video productions and the important role that everyone has to play to ensure the internet is a safe place.

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