Safety first

Time to complete Safety first: 50 minutes

Year level: 5


Students investigate strategies that promote safe practices online.

Learning focus

Develop an awareness and understanding of how to recognise both safe and risky behaviours in an online environment and who to go to for help if needed. 

Key understandings

  • It is important to know how to protect our privacy online.

  • People can use strategies to make informed choices and stay safe online.

  • Making informed choices helps to make us safer.


  • Student Activity Sheet: Safe or risky? [one per student]
  • Internet access

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.


Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides FAQs

Before you get started

  • Communicating online is a popular form of communication used by young people today, with their personal identity and profiles becoming increasingly accessible to strangers. It is important that the positives of online communication are highlighted as strongly as the potential issues. Year five students may not have mobile phones or be accessing the internet unsupervised, however they should be developing a strong sense and good understanding of safe and/or risky online behaviours.

  • The most important lesson for young people is that they learn to be responsible with technology and know how to use it safely. Refer to the Social Media: Cyberbullying and Social Media: Cyberstalking Guides for further details.

  • It is possible that a student has been involved in a traumatic experience relating to online communication. It is important that teachers are familiar with the Dealing with disclosures Guide and have a risk management strategy in place.

Learning activities

Whole Class

This activity focuses on key safety messages, reinforcing the fact that young people cannot always trust people who they communicate with online and they should not meet up with them in person.

  1. Explain that while using the internet to communicate can be fun and exciting, it is important to make sure that you do not share any personal information with people online.

  2. We often develop personal profiles to use online for social media, online games and other networking websites. Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever created a personal profile or entered their name and/or personal details to gain access to a website. These profiles represent who we are and start to create our ‘digital footprint’. We need to make sure that the information given is safe, and that we restrict the information shared with people who are not our trusted friends or family.

  3. Ask students what they think of and/or feel when you say the words safe and risky:

  • Safe: protected, secure, ok/all right, free from being hurt, injured or in ‘harms way’
  • Risky: exposed to danger, dangerous, unsafe, taking a loss  
  1. Watch the Cybersmart Detectives video [9:54min].


  • What information should Sarah not have included on her profile? (her school; a photo with her uniform)

  • When should you get an adult involved with a friend’s problem?

  • Discuss the dangers of talking to people online that you don’t know in person. 

Independent or Small Group

Students compile a personal profile suitable to be posted online and identify what information should be included and excluded.

  1. Hand out one copy per student of the Safe or risky? student activity sheet. Students can draw an image for their profile picture and think of a safe profile name that best describes them. Model how to complete the activity to the whole class by completing the first 3 questions together and then rating whether it is ‘Safe’ or ‘Risky’ to provide this information. Students then complete the activity on their own or in pairs, rating each question or statement about their personal information and photo sharing as either safe or risky.

  2. Go through the answers as a class explaining that some online ‘friends’ might be pretending to be someone they are not. They might actually turn out to be really mean, or a bully, they could also be trying to get information about you, your family and your friends to steal money, or for other unsafe reasons.  Some adults might try to trick you into thinking they are someone your own age.

Teacher support notes:

Safe profiles could include:

  • First name or nickname

  • Hobbies and interests with no specific details

  • Only photos where specific details cannot be identified, for example club name, uniforms or location

  • Likes and dislikes, such as music, movies or food.

Information can be risky when it includes:

  • Full name

  • Full names of friends or family members

  • Age

  • Name of your school or sporting club

  • Photos that can easily identify you such as those showing you in your school uniform

  • Home address

  • Home or mobile number 


Tell students that it is never okay to meet up with a stranger you met online without taking a parent or trusted adult with you. You should always check with a trusted adult if someone online asks about something that makes you worried or makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. 


  • Who are the trusted adults in your life?

  • What are some of the signs that something doesn’t ‘feel right’?

  • What are some of the things that might happen that make you think what you are doing, or being asked about/of, is unsafe?