The Characters

 

Deputy Head Teacher Victoria Holder said:”In the Dot Com programme there are no minor characters, they all have an important part to play in the learning.” This is absolutely true and all the characters have a purpose. Different children will relate to different characters, whether they are people or animals so it is important that the whole range of characters are introduced to the children before they start using the resources. It is also important that the characters are made known to any adults or community role models coming into the classroom so they can understand that the children may use the characters to communicate with them.
The characters also give a third party safety to the learning. We don’t have to discuss the behaviour of any particular person or child we can use the characters and ask how might they think or behave.

 

Hi my name is Miss Dorothy Com – but all my friends call me Dot. Just so you know a bit about me, I love reading and writing stories and I love computers. I have my own website with a bit of help from the adults who are on my ‘helping hand’ network which is really fun. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel worried about how I look and what other people think about me. I also worry about what I am going to do when I grow up and where I am going to live and how I will make enough money to look after myself, but then I feel cross with myself because I think worrying doesn’t help. My Nanny Com says the best thing to do if you’re feeling worried is to make a plan about how you can help yourself. So this book will help us all to think about how we can help ourselves and others to make the best of our lives. Love Dot xx

My friends

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Genie
is my best friend at school and she lives in my road.She loves fashion and is always cheerful which is fun, because sometimes I am a bit serious! Her Mum and Dad are both doctors.
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Pearl
and Slam are brother and sister and also go to my school. Slam got his nickname because he wants to be a basketball player even though he’s really not tall enough! Their Dad is a firefighter and is divorced from their Mum. They stay with their Granny a lot because of this and sometimes they feel sad about the divorce.SLAM
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Mrs Redman
is my teacher and she is really kind to all of us.It’s really great because we know we can trust her to talk about anything which we might feel worried about. Mrs Redman reminds us that we all have the right to feel safe all the time and that we can talk with someone about anything, even if it feels awful or small.
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PC Tim Bonnett
also comes to my school and sometimes he brings Bobby the police dog.I know that his job in the community is to keep us all safe.
dot images 272 My friend Bongani gets around in a wheel chair because he can’t walk, but he is super fit and healthy because he plays wheelchair basketball!Bongani is amazing at helping you remember to think positively about what you can do, rather than worrying about what you can’t do. Bongani was born in South Africa and Nelson Mandela is his role model.
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Narina
is in my class and she works really hard in lessons. She is quiet and very kind so everyone seems to like her. Because her family is Muslim she wears head scarves – I think they are really pretty.
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Ben
and Becky are brother and sister.They go to my school and they have a tough time sometimes because their dad is in prison. Their dad did something wrong, but he feels sorry now. They know it is not their fault and they are looking forward to the day he is allowed to come home.


More on the characters

Dot’s Mum and Dad are Bill and Susie Com. Dot’s Dad is rather bullied at work and he worries alot. Dot ‘parents’ him often and helps him to cope with different situations. This is true for many children in their homes. Susie is a charity volunteer and sometimes a childminder. She is the strength of the house and creates a loving and nurturing environment for them all.

Wizard is Dot’s dog, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Many children want to own a pet and so they can share in Dot’s relationship with Wizard. Wizard is Dot’s best friend and is always by her side. He is loyal and faithful and brave. In the virtual world when Dot is sucked into the internet she discovers that Wizard can talk and as one child said to me with a very serious face “not alot of dogs can do that”! In the virtual world Wizard is very British and polite and we can use him to teach manners and good conduct.

Nanny Com is Dot’s super cool grandmother. She is based on the actress Honor Blackman who is a friend of our patron Lynda Bellingham and was at the launch of Dot Com. Nanny Com is very adventurous and believes getting old is all in the mind. She exercises, emails and looks out for everyone. She often looks after Dot. She is a great sounding board for Dot and Dot talks with her when she has problems. It’s Nanny Com who teaches her the most important value in life which is’ treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’. This is the cornerstone of nearly every religion and therefore brings us together. Dot’s grandad died and this left Nanny Com feeling very sad. They made a memory box so they will never forget him, so this character can be used to discuss bereavement. Uncle Ron is Nanny’s new husband, who is great fun and different from her grandad who will always be remembered. This aspect of Nanny Com is very important because of the number of children who email Dot and don’t want to cry in front of their parents after a member of the family dies. They don’t know how to help the grown ups.
Slam and Pearl

Slam and Pearl live with their Dad, their parents are divorced and their Mum has left home. This has been very painful for them and Slam sometimes feels angry about things and deep down thinks it might be his fault. Pearl feels it is her job to replace her Mum and look after everyone and she often tries to please everyone without thinking of herself. She gets taken advantage of sometimes because she tries too hard so that everyone will feel  happy and like her. Perhaps deep down she thinks she might be the reason Mum left too. These characters express the feelings of hundreds of children who have written to Dot about the break up of their parents.

Slam is too short to play basket ball and he’s very good at maths which really annoys Dot as he doesn’t have to try and he’s so good at everything in class. Pearl is very interested in saving animals and the environment and her character can be used to help make children more aware of the need to care for everything around us. She wants to be a scientist or a vet.

Genie

Genie is Dot’s best friend and lives in her road. She is great fun and laughs alot and is very interested in fashion and the way she looks. Her parents are both doctors and come from different cultures. Her Dad is Scottish and her mum is Indian and the foods and lifestyle in their house is very much a mix of their two different heritages. While her parents both hope Genie will be a doctor, she only has thoughts of being a model. The message here is that children can have their own dreams and do not have to be what their parents want them to be.

Bongani

Bongani is a character based on a real young man from Soweto in South Africa. We met Charl du Plessis on a visit to Forest Town School in Soweto, the first school for disabled children in the country. Charl wanted his character to be called Bongani as it is a very common South African name. Everything about Bongani is based on the real Charl who was a real life inspiration to so many children in his school. His determination and courage and work with Dot Com was brought to the attention of Nelson Mandela and we all attended an event for children with Mr Mandela.

Bongani is Dot’s friend in the real world but in the virtual world his wheelchair becomes a formula one racing car when he is sucked into the internet because his biggest dream in life is to drive the fastest car and move faster than everyone else!

Narina

Narina is a girl in Dot’s class who is Muslim and wears a headscarf. Dot likes her because she thinks she is really pretty and true to her beliefs. Sometimes Narina is bullied because she looks different.

Jake

Jake is always having to watch his weight. He feels upset that he puts on weight easily and sometimes is bullied for being fat. He took up football as a strategy to stay fit and loose weight.

Dom

Dot and Dom are friends. He plays cricket and loves sport, but he is a very good friend and Dot likes to talk with him about things that happen in school. He is very popular and everyone likes him because he is always nice to everyone.

Floyd

Floyd is an internet friend of Dot. He is good looking and cool and very good at skateboarding, but he finds he has few friends because people feel jealous of him. He also feels quite lonely as his mum runs her own restaurant and has very little time for him.

Mrs Redman

Mrs Redman is Dot’s teacher at school who is very much liked by the children. She is trusted and the children feel they can always ask for her help. She often shares her own life stories with the class. She is also really good at reminding the characters that they have a right to feel safe all the time and can talk with someone about anything, even if it feels awful or small.

PC Bonnett

PC Bonnett is the police officer who visits Dot’s school and is based on a real officer from Hertfordshire called Tim Bonnett who we met and who worked tirelessly for a charity called Missing Kids. He had a passion for the safety of children and we thought it was a lovely idea to name a character after him.

Robbie, Steve and Charlie and PC LI

Robbie, Steve and Charlie are always together and are seen as a gang. They are united by the fact that they don’t live at home with their families. PC Li who has a police horse has befriended them and they like to talk with her. They made friends with her because of her horse, even though they were a bit afraid of the police. Animals often help us to make friends.

Cracker the fire Dog

Cracker is a dog that sniffs out fires and is based on a real dog in the fire service

Barker

Barker is a dog who works for Crimestoppers and Uncle Matt – Dot’s Uncle who works for the charity. Barker is a Labradoodle – a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Labradoodles were first bred in Australia as assistance dogs to help blind people who suffered from Asthma. These animals are a good way for children to understand the role that animals play in helping humans.

Virtual Friends

Mister Mouse

Mister Mouse is Canadian and extremely sarcastic. He often needs to be reminded that jokes at the expense of others are simply not funny. He is a little cowardly and always looks for the easy way out, but children love him because his character brings a great deal of humour to the stories. He is the magic mouse who takes Dot and everyone on their adventures and he is very fond of eating. He often has to be reminded about his manners by Wizard and also his choice of foods.

Cursor

Cursor is a cat with Cat-itude! He is your Eddie Murphy of the virtual world and he works in security and data protection. He has a way of knowing everything that is happening on the web and he is always saving Dot from disaster and danger. He likes to rap and sing and he doesn’t like dogs, but makes an exception for Wizard.

Cyber Rats

The cyber rats are the ‘bad guys’ who spread the viruses on the internet and they don’t like Dot or children and teachers in general. They don’t like teachers because it is their job to make children smarter!

The head of the cyber rats is Mr Fruity the Duke of Darkness. Mr Fruity is a person who bullies, but the real reason for this is that Mr Fruity was the runt of the litter and he has always had to fight to feel in control. He does not value himself and makes himself feel better by controlling and picking on others. Mr Fruity’s fun is not fun for everyone!”