Keep safe online. That was the lesson that pupils at Stockport School were given when actors from NK Theatre Arts visited the school last week.
Pupils in Years 7&8 were shown a performance of “The Net” which highlights the very real dangers that young people are exposed to by forming friendships on the internet, with people they don’t know.
Learning how to keep safe online can make a huge difference and stop online grooming and cyber-bullying. ‘The Net’ is a story focusing on 12 year old Becky who ends up arranging to meet someone she has only ever known on line, with devastating consequences.
The play was written by Artistic Director Kerry Day who commented: “So many young people these days are using the internet, and more specifically social media, to converse online with people they don’t know, and they are getting younger.
“The cyber world is an amazing place and we want to keep our young people safe when they enter the online world. ‘The Net’ tells a real story and we hope that the young people watching the play can identify with the characters they see and remember just how important it is to be so aware when sharing things like photos and personal information and the most important thing, never arrange to meet anyone by themselves with whom they have only ever met online”.
The Net was seen by around 500 pupils from the school, with many asking excellent questions of the characters who stayed in role at the end of the play as they looked to see what could have been done differently to change the outcome of the story.
Jo Stone, Head of Drama for Stockport School said: “The Net was powerfully told and the style of the production clearly engaged with all our pupils, with very cleverly acted characters with which the students could really identify with which meant they could consider how this story could apply to their lives.
“I would strongly recommend this show for all students as its content chimes with the lives of all modern school children and enables them to step out of their own patterns of behaviour with internet/smart phone use and to instead consider their actions from the perspective of safety and wellbeing.”
The performance was funded by Stockport computer software company Cheshire Datasystems Ltd who are a key supporter of NK Theatre Arts’ outreach work in Stockport.
Group Director Melissa Johnson who saw the performance said: “As a technology company, we are delighted to support NK Theatre Arts in delivering these performances in schools, helping the students understand the risks of the online world and their responsibilities for keeping themselves and their friends safe”
NK Theatre Arts are hoping to be able to take The Net to as many schools as possible across the borough with performances in Primary Schools scheduled for later this month. For further details on The Net and how to keep safe online, visit www.nkta.co.uk