Children from a Rugby primary school have lit up the big screen as part of their work on the dangers of using the internet.
Year 5 children from Eastlands Primary School in Lansdowne Place worked with film company Cine-Sthesia to produce a short film, entitled The Anti-Social Network.
The film, which premiered at Cineworld on March 21, was shot at the old Warwick Crown Court and follows the trial of a boy who is accused of cyber-bullying.
Cine-Sthesia’s Jenny McDonald, who directed the film, said: “The children had a huge amount of input.
“I worked with them on ideas for the script and we were just completely blown away by the amount of work they’d done that we could use.
“I was shocked at how professional the children were, especially on the day of filming.”
Eastlands head teacher Jo Corrigan said: “They did some drama work, acting out potential cyber-bullying scenes, they’ve written poetry, they wrote the song which is featured in part of the film, and they’ve had a go at being the other side of the camera as well. And we haven’t cherry-picked actors – it is a real class of children.
“The premiere just blew them away. And to see it on a big cinema screen was absolutely fantastic.”
The film aims to raise children’s awareness of ‘e-safety’, and to help educate parents.
It has already won the Coventry Telegraph’s school award for Healthy Living, and Mrs Corrigan hopes to win the 2013 CyberSmart Award so the film can reach a wider audience.
She said: “The prize money would pay for the resources to be published and shared, which in turn will make the children of the present and future safe while using the internet. We would love to visit other schools to share our resources.
“We wanted to develop a learning and teaching resource for children of primary age, because there isn’t anything out there to use with the children which shows the consequences of actions.”
The school’s online safety programme was recently awarded the ‘360 degree safe’ E-Safety Mark by the South West Grid for Learning.
“We’re fairly unique as a school in terms of the e-safety education we provide for our children,” Mrs Corrigan said. “It’s not just a one-off assembly that we do every year – there’s a very clear programme every single month of the year of things that we do with the children right from reception.
“I think the children have learned an incredible amount,” she added. “There isn’t anything they now don’t know about how to stay safe online.
“We hope that they will now go out and become ambassadors for e-safety.”
To vote for Eastlands in the Cybersmart awards, visit http://cybersmartawards.org/entries/eastlands-primary-schoo/