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Internet Safety - What Zak & Zara’s Cyberspace Adventure will teach your kids

This week is a very busy week for us at Perform HQ. Despite that fact that our term ends on 21st July, we are working hard to put the final touches on our summer holiday courses that start on 24th July and run until 25th August.

This year, 7-12s will be working on a specially written show, Zak and Zara’s Cyberspace Adventure. I’m really excited about this show because it covers themes that many parents, like myself, often find themselves thinking about – how safe are our children online?

A few months ago, my 9 year old was playing on his ipad and came and told me that someone he was playing with had asked him where he lived. I had no idea at this stage that he had been able to communicate with other people and it terrified me.

Luckily he had done some online safety training at school and the first thing he did was come to tell me. It may very well have been perfectly innocent, but you never know.

Schools are doing lots of important work on this. We even run our own online safety courses for primary schools, where through role-play and improvisation we are able to bring to life these situations and show the children how to deal with it if it should happen to them.

When it came to writing a show for our holiday course (we write all the scripts ourselves), we decided to write a fun musical for Key Stage 2 aged children based around two children’s experiences online. Zak and Zara’s Cyberspace Adventure is set in the future on Planet Disco. Zak, an 8 year old boy is bullied online, and his sister, Zara, makes friends with Twinkletoes, who ends up actually being not another 12 year old girl at all, but a horrible smelly green Alien from Planet Stink.

It’s light hearted, funny and has some fantastic songs, but the online safety message is clear and demonstrated with The Golden Rules:

  • Be safe – never ever arrange to meet anyone you only know online without discussing it with a grown-up first.
  • Be smart - never give your details out online or to anyone you don’t know.
  • Be certain – always tell a grown-up if something weird happens or you feel unsure about anything.

Obviously, I always look forward to my own children taking part in Perform, but this summer, I am more excited than ever for them to take part in Zak & Zara’s Cyberspace Adventure.  I’m sure they’ll get a lot out of the experience. 

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