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Online Safety - Key Stage 3&4


Guidance, Resources and Articles


Activity Sheet: Curate Your Feed: Making Social Media work for your Mental Health

Click here to download.

Look At Me - Teens,sexting and risks 

A glimpse of digital relationships today for young people.This briefing paper - part of a series from
The Cybersurvey - details both who shares nudes and why. It goes on to explore an ecology of related risks sharers encounter. Drawn from an anonymous sample of young people in schools across the country, here is a profile of life today as a young person. For some teens, technology enables and facilitates relationships without harm,but others suffer intensely. This complexity is a challenge when teaching online safety. It should be taught alongside healthy relationships and issues of consent. Emotional health needs drive some teens to overshare, posting images of all types as they seek to be liked, admired or to escape from loneliness. Others tend to take risks online. Sadly, for both, oversharing and signs of neediness are quickly exploited by others.

Download the full publication here 


Cyberbullying: Understand, Prevent and Respond - Childnet International. Research reveals that it has increased to affect 12% of young people in this country. This guidance is designed to support schools in preventing and responding to cyberbullying. The guidance comprises of four main sections:


  1. Understanding cyberbullying
  2. Preventing cyberbullying
  3. Responding to cyberbullying
  4. Supporting school staff

Click on the link or logo above for more information.

Children’s Commissioner launches social media giants’ terms and conditions ‘jargon-buster’ to give kids more power in digital world - 29/09/2017

Children often don't know what they're signing up to when they join Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp or Instagram

Simplified T&Cs will go to thousands of teachers across England

Guides designed to give children more power and information

Commissioner calls for social media giants to be more transparent and accountable.

Click here to view the full report








A Practical online safety PSHE toolkit with films and lesson plans to explore online issues with pupils ages 11-14 years old. A PSHE Association Quality-Assured Resource from Childnet International. Click on the logo for more.


Lesson Plan on Sexting

This lesson and accompanying film explores the issue of 'sexting'. Through the toolkit activities, students will understand the pressures on young people to take and share sexts and learn about the consequences of doing so; exploring when actions have crossed the line. In addition to this there is clear signposting and advice on the law in relation to sexting and support in dealing with the pressure to send a sext. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO ACCESS THESE RESOURCES.


Hampshire sexting victim felt she was 'in a zoo' (BBC News 05.02.19) 


When she was 14, Megan Hinton was tricked into sending a naked photo of herself over social media and suffered abuse at school as a result.

She was trying to fit in at a new school, after being bullied at her previous one.She thought she was being pressured by a boy she was friends with to send the picture.In fact she had been tricked by a girl from her year group, who shared the picture with other pupils.

Megan, now 19, has joined forces with Hampshire Constabulary to make an educational film about her story, for Safer Internet Day.



NSPCC - Be Share Aware

It can be hard to keep track of what your child is doing on social networks, apps and games. Or know how to keep them safe. That's why we've teamed up with O2. Together we're helping parents untangle the web. And teach their children to be Share Aware. Because, just like in real life, kids need your help to stay safe online. Click on the link above or the logo below for more resources.


Talk, Explore, Agree, Manage - 4 Simple Steps to Staying Safe Online CLICK ON THE LOGO BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION



NSPCC - Pokémon Go: A Parent's Guide

Pokémon Go is a game where you collect and trade cute creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters).  There are loads of good things about the game, and there's a reason it's become so popular.  But it's important to learn the risks involved:

  • Meeting people they don't know face-to-face
  • There's a physical risk
  • It can cost a lot of money
  • Access to personal data

Respect Yourself > Sex > Sexting:

What is it?

“Sexting” is a term commonly used to describe the use of technology to share personal sexual content.

This can be anything from naughty texts, pictures involving partial nudity right up to full sexual images or video. Usually it’s done as a method of flirting between partners (or potential partners), but can also be between groups and can use a whole range of devices, technologies and online spaces. However, the most common ones are mobile phone MMS, Skype and social network sites where images can be posted and shared (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube etc). Click here to view the full report

Respect Yourself > Sex: Attitudes to sex

Do you remember the easy days – the days before you worried about sex?

Sex wasn’t even on your radar – the days before you worried about whom you fancied and who fancied you. Then suddenly everything changed and it was like someone flicked a switch and sex was everywhere you looked.

Sex can mean many different things to different people, but one thing sex isn’t ever – is simple.  Click here to view the full report


Sextortion is a crime rapidly on the increase.

Also known as ‘webcam blackmail’, it refers to criminals deceiving webcam users into unclothing and performing sexual acts.

This footage is recorded and then used to blackmail victims for money.

It is an international, organised crime, making it difficult for the police to capture the criminals responsible.

Click here to view the PowerPoint

Click here to view the Lesson Plan template




NSPCC 'Making sense of relationships' lesson plans launched 

The free pack includes three lessons to support transition and changing friendships at key stage 2 and six lessons exploring healthy and unhealthy relationships at key stage 3. The three lessons at key stage 4 address issues such as abusive behaviour in relationships and pornography.Other themes explored include consent, challenging gender stereotypes, relationship values and much more. An accompanying Teacher Guide outlines how to plan the lessons into your PSHE curriculum and provides advice on safeguarding your pupils, signposting to additional support and communicating with parents about lesson aims and content.

Jenny Barksfield, PSHE Association Deputy CEO, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with the NSPCC on the ‘Making sense of relationships’ resources. Relationships and sex education is a core strand of PSHE, so our national member network will greatly value using these quality assured resources to cover some of the most pressing issues facing children and young people today”  

Craig Thorley, NSPCC’s policy manager, said: “Relationships and sex education is a vital tool to support children as they navigate the everyday challenges that come with growing up, and that needs to start at primary school by learning about online friendships and staying safe. We need it to help today’s children make sense of healthy relationships in an online world, as part of a wider PSHE curriculum.”



Parents and carers presentations

What are the presentations?

Thinkuknow have produced two new presentations for parents and carers of primary and secondary aged children.



The primary presentation covers:

  • Children online
  • Live streaming
  • Gaming
  • What parents and carers can do
  • Thinkuknow resources for primary
  • Thinkuknow resources for parents and carers
  • Reporting to NCA-CEOP

The secondary presentation covers:

  • Young people online
  • Sexual exploration online
  • Sharing images
  • Sexual abuse online
  • What parents and carers can do
  • Thinkuknow resources for secondary
  • Thinkuknow resources for parents and carers
  • Reporting to NCA-CEOP

How to use the presentations

Use the presentations and videos when you deliver sessions with parents and carers to help them understand the behaviour of children and young people online, the resources they can use to support their child online, and the role of NCA-CEOP.

You can also point them to our website for parents and carers which provides further advice on how they can keep their child safe


Digital Romance research

Digital Romance - What is it?

This research project looks at how young people use technology in developing romantic relationships and surviving break ups. The project was led by Brook, the UK’s leading sexual health and wellbeing charity for under 25s, and the CEOP Command of the NCA. The research took place between January and May 2017 and used a mixed methods approach, including an online survey, in-person focus groups and one-to-one interviews.

What the report covers

It looks at how digital technology is used in young people’s sexual and romantic relationship practices, including:

  • Flirting
  • Sending nude or sexual images
  • Communicating in relationships
  • Control, pressure and abuse in relationships
  • Breaking up and the post break-up period

You will also find a summary of young people’s views on current and future education and support strategies. Consider these findings when reviewing and developing PSHE and related education.

Who should read it

All professionals working with young people, particularly those working in an education setting. Consider these findings when developing strategies to support and enable young people to have positive and safe relationships online and offline. 

Where to find it

Download the report here.



 New ‘Online blackmail’ resource from NCA-CEOP gains our Quality Mark

We have granted our Quality Mark to ‘Online blackmail’ — a new resource pack from NCA-CEOP designed to support 15-18 year olds to identify and discuss online blackmail in a safe environment.

 ‘Online blackmail’ is free-to-access and aims to support young people to recognise key characteristics of how blackmail manifests online, including early signs of manipulative, pressurising and threatening behaviour. It also explores the potential impact of online blackmail and provides sources of further support for those who experience it.

The pack includes a lesson plan, worksheets and slides to support delivery. Note that ‘Online blackmail’ is not designed for home learning, but will support you when planning the RSE aspects of your PSHE education curriculum for September.

Download ‘Online blackmail’ from the Thinkuknow website




Case Studies

Murder Games: The Life and Death of Breck Bednar This resource tells the true story of a 14 year old schoolboy who was lured to his death after being groomed online by Lewis Daynes. Breck's young gaming friends tell his story - a tale of manipulation and deceit engulfed, and sent shockwaves through the gaming community.

UK Council for Children Internet Safety (UKCCIS) - Sexting in schools and colleges - Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people (pdf)

Social Impact 

How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers - Learn the impact of social media on youth.  Experts say kids are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem.


Webcam Blackmail 

Presentation highlighting issue of Webcam Blackmail - Refers to a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favours from the victim.  Social media and text messages are often the source of the sexual material and the threatened means of sharing it with others.

Please click here to download your copy of the presentation 



What's the problem? - A guide for parents of children and young people who have got in trouble online.  Click on the link to be taken to the Family resource page, then click on Online Safety.


Zipit App from Childline - If people are pressured into sending pictures of themselves this app provides a number of humorous pictures sending a clear message to the requester. 



 Social media and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

RSPH and the Young Health Movement have published a new report, #StatusOfMind, examining the positive and negative effects of social media on young people’s health.

The report includes a league table of social media platforms according to their impact on young people’s mental health. YouTube tops the table as the most positive with Instagram and Snapchat coming out as the most detrimental to young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Click on the image to access the website and further resources.



18/07/16 BBC News - Social Media harms moral development, parents say Parents are concerned about the effects of social media on their children's character.  A majority of parents in the UK believe social media harms their children's moral development, a survey has suggested.

18/10/17 BBC News - Twitter pledges tougher action against abuse Twitter is planning to impose new restrictions on pornographic and hateful imagery as part of a renewed effort to tackle abuse. The US company has also promised to review user complaints swiftly. But one leading UK charity has said the company needs to go further than "tinkering" with its existing rules. Click on the link to read more.

30/06/17 The Guardian - British Teenagers Among World's Most Extreme Internet Users

Leading thinktank warns that heavy internet use can have damaging consequences but says educating teenagers is more effective than limiting access. More than one in three British 15 year-olds are "extreme internet users" who spend at least six hours a day online. These same users are more likely to be bullied. Research also highlights the importance of equipping young people with the skills that help them counteract the emerging risks.

04/07/16 ITV - Child 'revenge porn': What you need to know

An exclusive investigation by Good Morning Britain has revealed that children as young as eight are being humiliated, harassed and bullied on social media platforms, with sexually explicit images of them being shared by other teens. 


tes 13/10/2017 - ‘Until you see someone go through this, you can’t connect with it’

Jon Severs spent three days shadowing two Met Police units charged with tackling online sex crimes against children. What follows lays bare the harrowing experiences that officers face every day in the fight to bring offenders to justice. But police fear their efforts are not enough – and are pleading with teachers to help by making children realise the risks. To view the full article click on the title - This article contains graphic and potentially upsetting content



UK Safer Internet Centre   

UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities, Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL, with a mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people. It coordinates Safer Internet Day across the UK and provides support with online safety issues via a helpline to professionals working with children and young people. The centre has produced a range of education packs covering all year groups to help schools promote internet safety.


 The Irish Times. Garda warn of online "sextortion" of teenagers and children

Garda and Europol have said they are aware of an increasing trend of online blackmail and “sextortion” of children and teenagers over the internet.

A spokeswoman from the Garda explained “the online coercion and extortion of children is a form of digital blackmail, sometimes referred to as ‘sextortion’, where sexual information or images are used to extort sexual material, sexual favours or money from children”.


Newsround - Caught in the Web - Internet Safety (Youtube 09.02.10)

Staying Safe Online





Practical strategies to best support all children and young people online, including those who identify as LGBT

Home Learning Lesson - Sharing information safely online

 This PowerPoint is a home learning lesson on sharing information safely online.  Click here to view the PowerPoint. 

On older browsers you may have to right click on link, open the PowerPoint in new tab and click save to open. 

Click here to view the Sharing Information Safely Online worksheets.  April 2020






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