Teaching children to be safe on the internet

Children at Gamlingay Village College listen intently to advice on cyber bullying
Children at Gamlingay Village College listen intently to advice on cyber bullying
  • Students at Gamlingay Village College were taught about cyber bullying
  • Musician Rich Cottell was on hand to perform and give the children advice
  • They were told how to keep safe on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Students at Gamlingay Village College enjoyed an afternoon of music and a talk on cyber bullying on Monday.

Rich Cottell, a budding musician who has supported the likes of The Wanted and Conor Maynard, is passionate about online safety and is determined to get his message across.

Reminding our pupils how to use social media sites safely is a key part in ensuring their internet safety

Colin Pheysey, Headteacher

He is touring schools throughout the UK to raise awareness about the issue after a close family member resorted to self-harming because of ‘trolling’.

Rich said: “It is such an important message to get to children at the moment especially with how much ‘trolling’ has been in the news.

“It is so important that children know how to report any abuse they receive on social media and I am determined to help.”

The 150 students at the school enjoyed renditions of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ before Rich asked for some volunteers to help him perform ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars.

After the music he invited the children to take a seat before he spoke passionately about online safety and cyber bullying.

He spoke about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and the settings in place to help protect young people.

Headteacher Colin Pheysey said: “Our pupils responded very positively to Rich’s message about the importance of taking their personal safety seriously when using the internet and also why they should only ever use it in a positive, principled way.

“This message came across with a lot of credibility because it was delivered by musicians.

“Young people really do listen to others who they relate to and who share the same interests as themselves and speak the same language.

“It complements superbly, what we teach in the classroom.”

On Monday evening parents of the pupils at the school were invited to a presentation by Stratton Upper School and Cambridgeshire Police on e-safety.

Mr Pheysey added: “Reminding our pupils how to use social media sites safely is a key part in ensuring their internet safety.

“Knowing how to use privacy settings, how to block people, how to report things and who to report them to, are all important components of pupils keeping themselves safe.

Rich will be releasing an album in June and he is then aiming to go to Australia and Japan at the end of the year.

You can find out more by following @RichCottell on Twitter or Instagram, visit his Facebook page or his official website www.richcottellmusic.com