A need for the specific internet message came from feedback from pupils during research on social networking sites and the gap in understanding about privacy settings on profile pages and also the potential risks that pupils may unknowingly be exposing themselves to.
Pupils conducted research by surveying the access to the internet and the popular sites used by children at the school. This would then help educate as wide an audience as possible on how to stay safe online.
Success of the project was measured on three levels. The first was the post topic assessment measuring the level of learning that took place during the wider theme. The second was the pupil reflection on their security settings on their own profile pages. Finally, the presentation that pupils made to parents and carers during the schools ‘Safer Internet Day’ which outlined the successful learning which had taken place. Winning the Perth and Kinross competition was a further measure of success.
Running from January 2012 to February 2012, the animation project involved 21 pupils in terms of the animation aspect while another 50 children participated in the data collection and survey side of the project.
“The project fulfilled the need to learn about how to stay safe online. Twenty per cent of pupils changed their security settings as a result of working on this project. Several commented that they had helped their parents change their security settings at home after informing them of the dangers,” commented Andrew.
As well as learning about internet safety, the pupils involved also developed skills in film production and animation. One pupil also developed his software skills and was able to take a lead role in technical aspects of the project. This gave the pupil a noticeable confidence boost and was commented upon during the self-reflection process.
Ruthvenfield Primary has been affected as it is now known throughout the region for the internet safety work that it has produced. This has developed a sense that pupils within the upper stages are ambassadors for internet safety and are capable of sharing a clear message through the school.
The product of the project (the film) has been seen by several hundred children and adults. It has been used by the local authority to spread the intended message. This has therefore impacted on the local community and the wider community of Perth and Kinross. This success means there is a strong possibility the project will be repeated in the future. In terms of computer animation, this aspect will be continually developed with pupils in class.
Andrew added: “The legacy of the project lies in the existing pupils sharing their knowledge within our community, the use of the recorded knowledge and understanding from the film being used across the authority and the pride shown by pupils and teachers in coming first in the competition.”