PSHE / Citizenship / Computing GCSE: Trolling and Cyber-Bullying

This short film explores the consequences of online bullying, using a real life case study.

It identifies the role that algorithms have to play in creating the content that you see online.

The focal point of the film is the true story of Carney, who suffered with his mental health as a result of online bullying.

The story highlights the real-life impact that online words can have and the importance of getting help and talking to people.

The top tips section at the end should provide useful take-away points for students.

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, we strongly advise teacher viewing before watching with your pupils.

No matter what issue you're concerned about, there are services to help you get the advice you need, be it online or over the phone. If you need help, advice or somebody to talk to, please visit BBC Advice

Teacher Notes

Due to the sensitive nature of the content of this film, it is important to have a class contract that outlines the expected behaviour when discussing sensitive issues, to know your class and have information available for any students who may be affected by the story.

Students could start by discussing and defining some of the terms that come up in this film, such as banter, trolling and algorithms.

After watching the film students could rewrite their definitions.

Students could also start the lesson responding to the question “does it matter what we say online?”

Alternatively, students could hot seat Carney and his friends to find out more about their feelings and motivations.

This film could also be a good starting point for discussing mental health and how to identity problems and get help.

Links to new statutory RSE and HE curriculum (secondary)

Respectful relationships, including friendships: Pupils should know about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying and how and where to get help.

Online and media: Pupils should know what to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online.

Mental wellbeing: Pupils should know how to critically evaluate when something they do or are involved in has a positive or negative effect on their own or others’ mental health.

Internet safety and harms: Pupils should know how to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by these behaviours.

Other subject areas

This short film could be used across other subject areas such as citizenship, English or computing.

In citizenship this film could form a stimulus to discuss the law about bullying and trolling, where students might consider what laws there should be to deal with this kind of issue and what the punishment should be.

In English students could consider the value of autobiography and telling stories to make sense of events.

Whilst in computing the focus could be on algorithms and how they work to create what you see online.

Curriculum Notes

This series touches on elements of PSHE, citizenship and computing at GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

More Digital Literacy / Online Security:

Fake News
Live Streaming
Self Image and Mental Wellbeing
Copyright and Ownership
Sensitive Pictures
Online Gaming
Digital Footprint
Online Security