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Keeping Safe Online: Schools Project

23 September 2016

Students from seven Havant schools feature in two short films with a message about keeping safe online.

We all know that the internet is a central part of many children and young people’s lives today. But do they really understand the risks that can be involved? A recent project by The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre and the Warblington Partnership Board, a group of schools and organisations from within the central Havant area, aims to highlight some of the issues faced by young people online today and suggest some of the best ways to tackle them.

This unique project brought together students (ranging from infant through to secondary school ages) from seven local schools to work with Lucy Phillips, a drama facilitator from Forest Forge Theatre Company. Students drew on their individual experiences of being online and used some hard-hitting case-studies to devise short scenes they then performed on camera. These scenes were the building block used to create two short films produced by professional film-production company Millstream Productions.

The films describe some of the risks young people may face when online, including the viewing and sharing of inappropriate images, cyberbullying and grooming and gives advice about what to do if they need extra support. The films have been endorsed by Hampshire Constabulary and will be circulated to schools across the Havant borough.  

 Jemma Corbin, Outreach Manager at The Spring explains how the project came about:

“The Spring has been supporting the Warblington Partnership Board’s great work around e-safety and we felt that drama would be a powerful way to help share and re-inforce their message. Drama is a wonderful tool to help people explore all sorts of real-world issues and is particularly great for helping children and young people express themselves. This project aimed to use the insights and experiences of local children to create a relevant e-safety message they could share with their peers and the wider community.”

Jackie Jones, Head teacher at Bidbury Infant School and Chair of the Warblington Partnership Board, says:

“The Warblington Partnership Board is made up of schools and other organisations working together across the central Havant area to help keep children safe online. Our aim is to champion the benefits of the online world whilst also highlighting its dangers and sharing information with our students and their parents. The opportunity The Spring have provided for our children to work with professional theatre- and film-makers has been fantastic and the resulting films will be an incredibly valuable tool to support our wider e-safety campaign.”

The films are being premiered at a special private event at The Spring in early October and can be viewed online here:

 

 

This project has been funded by Hampshire Police Crime Commission via the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, Novatech, Arts Council England and the Ernest Cook Trust.

For further information about this project or about The Spring’s work in the community, please contact Jemma Corbin, Outreach Manager at jemmac@thespring.co.uk