Trust Me: The resource helping pupils become critical thinkers


Childnet is a UK-based charity that aims to make the internet a great and safe place for children. Every year Childnet delivers education sessions to thousands of children, parents, carers and teachers throughout the UK. Childnet also offers a range of educational resources to help children stay safe online, including resources for schools and families. As one of the three charity partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, Childnet helps to coordinate Safer Internet Day in the UK, which was supported by the over 1100 organisations this year and reached 2.8 million children across the UK. Childnet are active in the policy space and sit on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board and the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

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E-safety charity Childnet have launched Trust Me, a new, free resource designed to support Primary and Secondary school teachers in exploring critical thinking online. Developed in partnership with the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Safeguarding Board to address the emerging area of online extremism and propaganda, the practical resource aims to provoke discussion among students so as to challenge young people to think critically about what they see online.

Trust Me has been designed to provide Primary and Secondary school teachers with a practical resource that will get young people talking and thinking critically about what they see online. Designed to be used in PSHE and Digital Literacy lessons, the resource is based around the idea of trust and provides young people with online examples for them to discuss and challenge.

The free online resources contain lesson plans relating to online content, contact and propaganda / media and social media literacy. Each lesson plan aims to provoke discussion among students to allow them to reflect on the motives and agendas behind what we see online and who we speak to online. Questions include: ‘How can we know if a website is trustworthy?’ and ‘Why and how might someone gain your trust online?’.

“Trust Me is designed to give teachers the tools they need to educate young people to be critical thinkers online, vital in building up their resilience online,” said Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet. “By working with the LGfL and piloting in schools across the country we have developed a free, practical resource that can be used by any Primary and Secondary school teacher across the UK. We want to encourage young people to ask questions about what they see and experience online, and Trust Me gives young people the language that will help them to do this.”

Juliette Henry, head of Citizenship at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School said: “In an age where young people are more and more likely to look for answers to their questions via social media, Trust Me provides an invaluable resource that aims to develop critical thinking skills. Trust Me is interactive, engaging, and challenges how we form our ways of thinking through digital media. It really gets to the heart of how the internet works. I would not hesitate to recommend its use in Citizenship/PSHE lessons at KS3 and KS4.”

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