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The Corporation

Posted: 04/04/17

E-safety plays a starring role

More than a thousand children from schools in Mansfield have been helping characters make wise decisions about E-safety, in a hard-hitting play devised by West Nottinghamshire College students.

Performing arts students depicted the darker side of being online

Students on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts were given a brief by Mansfield Palace Theatre’s education manager, Christopher Neil, to devise a performance aimed at being safe online to Key Stage 2 primary pupils.

On Friday (31 March) the final performance of The Wizard of Cyberland was delivered to pupils at Asquith Primary School in Mansfield. The play charts the journey of a young girl called Dorothy who goes on a journey through Cyberland and encounters different characters along the way in a computer game style, some she encounters are friends while some are foes.

The interactive performance encouraged audiences to help Dorothy make the right decision about entering passwords, giving away personal details and protecting her personal data against persons unknown. The play highlighted the dangers of online activity and provided info on how to make good ‘secure’ choices and stay safe.

Performing arts student Caitlan Emmas, 17, said: “E-safety is such a huge issue and informing younger people about the dangers of being online is so important. If we have made even one person think twice then it’s all been worthwhile.”

Education manager at Mansfield Palace Theatre, Christopher Neil, said: “The collaboration between the college, the Palace and Lorna Naylor from Notts County Council has made this an excellent project.  It’s great working in partnership with the students and seeing them respond to the brief, and then seeing the end product which has delighted both teachers as well as young people. 

“The students at every school have been really engaged with the piece of theatre.  It has entertained and educated in equal amounts!”

As part of a workshop, some of the students brought the performance to life at Mansfield Palace Theatre as part of the Health and Wellbeing Festival 2017 on the 1 April to finish the tour.

Schools which have seen the production during last week’s tour of The Wizard of Cyberland included High Oakham Primary School, Crescent Primary School, Flying High Academy, Wainwright Primary Academy, Asquith Primary School, Berry Hill Primary School, Priestsic Primary School, Intake Farm Primary School and Oak Tree Primary School.