Sam’s Real Friends

Film (12 minutes) in British Sign Language also available with full and partial subtitles

This film looks at the benefits and risks of making friends online. It features Sam who is deaf. He uses the internet to make new friends and communicate with other deaf young people. The audience are invited to watch as a new friend Sam has made is not who she says she is. Sam speaks about his emotions and feelings to show how excitement can affect decision-making when chatting online. The film uses a rewind function whereby viewers can see the steps Sam could have taken to stay safe when interacting with friends online. The film ends with Sam being helped from a risky situation by his friend and youth worker, highlighting the importance of telling someone if something doesn't feel 'right'.

Key issues covered

The film shows Sam's experiences of:

  • Sharing personal information online
  • Young people's sense that adults are not able to use technology
  • Understanding who is a genuine online friend
  • How excitement can affect decision-making
  • The importance of technology for young people with communication problems
  • The risks of social media and webcams
  • Warning signs
  • Asking an adult for help

Target audience

The story is aimed at young people in secondary education who are deaf, but the narrative and messages are also suitable for hearing learners who can follow the subtitles.

Learning objectives

Learners will be shown the importance of online privacy. Through Sam's explanation they will recognise how to control access to social media content and understand why it is important to only have contact with trusted friends. The film also discusses how the internet can be particularly valuable for young people who may find it harder to access other forms of social interaction. The character of "Emma" reinforces learning that people online may not be who they say they are.

Support Materials

Activities and a lesson plan are available to accompany this resource.

Suggestions for use with children with special educational needs or disabilities

The film focuses on the deaf community and the principal characters all use British Sign Language. Please note that this is one of our older resources. The CEOP web pages Sam visits have been redesigned and some students may need support to recognise them as they now appear.