Pupils at Hillcroft Primary in Caterham were given a lesson in online safety recently as the school hosted a guest speaker from the internet awareness charity the Breck Foundation.
The message of the organisation, which was set up in memory of 14-year-old Breck Bednar who was killed after meeting someone online, was of particular relevance to pupils as Breck was from Caterham himself.
“Breck’s mother Lorin spoke to all years from Reception through to Year Six, as well as hosting two adults-only sessions for parents, and it was an incredibly powerful and useful day teaching everyone at the school vital lessons,” said Hillcroft’s Assistant Head Jane Hunter, who arranged the visit.
“There were light-hearted moments when she told the children how when she was growing up, there was no internet, landlines and only four television channels, which is unthinkable for them, but there was also a lot of very serious and essential content on topics such as stranger danger, and how those rules should apply online as well as in the outside world.”
Hillcroft is a member of the GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs more than a dozen schools across the south east of England.
“Technology and the virtual world are such a part of the children’s everyday lives now, and will only become more so in the future, that it’s vital that they are made aware of the potential dangers as well as all the positives that it presents,” said Ms Hunter.
“Having visits and talks like this is very important for the school, its pupils and also their families, as part of the children’s wider education. The fact that Breck’s story happened in Caterham just underlines the importance of the Foundation’s message and work, so I’m very pleased that they came to share that with us all.”
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