Newport schoolchildren learn how to be safe online

Digital Literacy Day

Schoolchildren work on an internet safety project at Newport City campus

On Monday June 5, 400 Newport schoolchildren attended a Digital Literacy Day at the University of South Wales (USW).

Year 6 and 7 students from St Julian’s High School, St Julian’s Primary and Glan Usk Primary travelled to USW’s Newport City campus to learn about internet safety.

The students attended presentations on; Digital Responsibility, Protecting Yourself Online, Online Behaviour and Cyber Bullying (provided by the NSPCC), and Licensing (provided by the Intellectual Property Office). They then broke into groups to work on a project entitled ‘Internet Friend or Foe’, with the instruction to produce a source of advice for their peer group to stay safe online. They will continue to work on this project in school, and the best piece will be selected for a prize.

This event was a collaboration between the schools, the First Campus partnership at USW and the University’s School of Computing and Maths.

Liz Bailey, First Campus Coordinator said “It was fantastic to give so many young people a taster of what is on offer right on their doorstep.  This was a fun and informative event, highlighting the importance of on-line safety, as well as aiding the transition from Year 6 to Year 7.  I hope that we have managed to sow the seed about opportunities in higher education and I look forward to working with these young people again in the future.”

The day gave the staff and pupils an opportunity to see what USW has to offer and demonstrated how accessible the region’s education providers are. 

Eric Llewellyn, Associate Head of Computing and Mathematics at USW said, “As Digital Literacy, Computer Science and Cyber Security are becoming key areas within the curriculum, and generally in our daily lives, we are looking forward to supporting schools to ensure that they are at the forefront of these initiatives.  If just one child is safer online after the event today we would happily count this as a massive success.”

Jacqui Rowe, St Julian's School, agreed that the children benefitted from the event in many ways.

“'Running a project involving this many students was always going to be a challenge but seeing their faces as they walked into lecture theatres and were introduced to a world of learning beyond their own school made it all worthwhile. When asked what their favourite part of the day was, one of our students responded that he loved visiting the University as 'it showed me what my future could be'. This one comment summed up the event for all involved perfectly.”