The online world has many implications for our young people — for their health, identity, lifestyle, and relationships. This is therefore an area of paramount importance for those of us working in PSHE education, as online life is integral to all three core themes (Health, Relationships, Living in the Wider World) of our Programme of Study. We’ve been involved in a number of projects and initiatives recently to help children and young people address various aspects of online life — from fake news to designing a child-friendly internet, and launching our Life Online planning frameworks for primary and secondary
We published our Life Online planning frameworks for KS1&2 and KS3&4 last term to help members embed learning for life online throughout your PSHE education curriculum. These frameworks identify opportunities for learning about being online, including maintaining relationships through social media and a critical understanding of online news sources. They also provide guidance on medium term planning alongside an audit tool for evaluating current provision and areas for development. Life Online demonstrates, through our sample curriculum map and sample scheme of work, how traditional topics in PSHE education — such as drug and alcohol education, careers and enterprise, and personal safety — can incorporate teaching about the online world.
NewsWise news literacy project and resources
We’re delighted to highlight the launch of NewsWise, our partnership with The Guardian and National Literacy Trust to develop news literacy in primary schools. The project includes a series of cross-curricular lesson plans, online resources, a teacher guide and journalism workshops for 9-11 year-olds — funded by Google. Materials are mapped to our Programme of Study and are free to all schools across the UK.
Jonathan Baggaley, PSHE Association Chief Executive said:
“We are proud to be part of the pioneering NewsWise programme, designed to equip children and young people with the critical skills to negotiate an increasingly complex web of information from an early age. Teachers in classrooms around the country will find the materials invaluable.”
Designing a child-friendly internet
The internet can be a major force for good but isn’t designed with children in mind, even though it’s part of how children now socialise, play, create and learn. ‘Persuasive design’ strategies are the hooks and tricks that keep users online — examples include auto-playing next episodes, likes, pings and various other notifications. The recent Disrupted Childhood report from 5Rights explores the negative impact of persuasive design on children — from low self-esteem to sleep deprivation — and offers a number of key recommendations for the tech industry, government and education on how to address the issue.
This is one of the foremost policy reports on childhood and online tech in recent memory, and the addition of an ‘Age-Appropriate Design Code’ to the Data Protection Bill could represent a potential turning point for how the industry designs services with children in mind. Read our blog on designing a child-friendly internet