All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online
Lee Jones Childnet


By Lee Jones, Childnet International



Helping young people develop the knowledge, tools, and skills to keep themselves safer online is a vital aspect of our roles as adults, educators, parents, role models.

A powerful medium for students to explore this topic and raise awareness while developing a new or budding skill is filmmaking.

Students of all ages at CIS member schools are encouraged to delve into the topic of respect and relationships online related to online gaming as part of Childnet’s annual international student film competition (deadline 22 June 2022).

They are invited to create a film that promotes positive use of the internet that can help other young people stay safe online.

The competition gives an internet safety focus delivered in a very fun way—making a film! Group work, time management, importance of planning and keeping clarity of message were all incorporated along with managing a large project.

Following the emerging themes of Childnet's 2022 Safer Internet Day in February, we’re inviting young people at international schools worldwide to create a short film exploring the theme of: All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online.

Online games have become an increasingly popular way for young people to connect with their real-life friends virtually.

In fact, 85% of young people say they are using online games and apps to spend more time with their friends than ever before.

Harnessing the positive power of connection through online games, a further 74% of young people say it can teach them important skills such as concentration and teamwork.

While competition entrants can focus on ‘games’, they can also look at ‘respect and relationships’ online or find a way to incorporate both topics.

Developing new skills

In the 2021 competition, young people in Mexico, Dubai, Myanmar, Ireland, Kazakhstan, India, Turkey, and Moldova were among the entries.

The winning films in 2021 were created by student filmmaker Miras at CIS Member school Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics in Kokshetau, Kazakhstan in the 11–18 age category and by Soha and Ayra at Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) in Dubai in the 7–11 age category.


Miras' winning film

As a school we decided to enter the competition to allow students to explore and showcase their creative skills. We also thought the theme from last year was very relevant to young children who have grown up in the internet age and are consuming information every day. It's very important to know what information to trust. Participating in the competition allowed our young students to learn about the credibility of information online. It allowed them to improve their digital media skills, working in groups and from the prize money we purchased some camera equipment which included tripods, mics for the students to use in class

Faizal Bhula, Computer Science teacher, Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Kazakhstan

Another educator added, ‘The competition gives an internet safety focus delivered in a very fun way—making a film! Group work, time management, importance of planning and keeping clarity of message were all incorporated along with managing a large project.’

Soha and Ayra’s teachers praised the experience and the additional skills it promoted, ’It gives us such a meaningful focus for our last term of the academic year, we love it. The children gain so much in terms of skills development and are highly motivated because they all want to do well.’

Soha and Ayra added, 'When it was announced we had won, our school celebrated the success by giving us a special mention at assembly, sharing the short film in our classes and including us in the newsletter. What an experience!'

Educators supporting other entrants described how the competition showcased their pupils’ creative talents and helped them to learn valuable video editing skills: 'The children really enjoyed knowing they were part of a prestigious international competition, and it created a real buzz in school. I feel like it may have inspired some more children to get involved in this year's competition too.'


Soha and Ayra's winning film


A wonderful outcome of this experience is not only the skills and competencies that students develop as part of the creative process and the opportunity to explore their own perspectives, but how their output will help others too.

Childnet encourages more international schools to join the fun and take part in the 2022 Film Competition International category.


Childnet film competition 2021 winner screenshot

Students can submit their work by 22 June 2022

All international film entries need to be submitted by Wednesday 22 June.

Find out more and encourage your students to get involved!