Looking at online safety with young people with SEND – New resource from Childnet

03 Dec 2020 Becca Cawthorne

Today, Childnet have launched the new and updated STAR SEND Toolkit. This is an extensive teaching toolkit to equip, enable and empower educators with the relevant knowledge they need to support young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

The STAR Toolkit includes resources to help educators deliver practical learning activities, alongside advice on how to approach each topic, specially created film content, accessible Widgit symbols and suggestions to extend learning beyond the classroom.

For many young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), the internet can be a place where they feel safe, calm and in control. It can be somewhere to make friends without having to communicate face-to-face, and build a community which they may not have in their offline life. Whilst recognising the internet is a great resource which young people enjoy using, life online for a child with SEND may pose additional challenges that require careful management and support.

Who is this resource for?

For this reason, the STAR toolkit has been developed for use by educators with young people with SEND in Key Stages 3 and 4. The materials have been designed to be adaptable to the needs of different young people and their learning settings.

Some of the activities are suitable for pupils with SEND who are slightly younger or older than 11- 16 years old, and educators are invited to adapt and select from within the toolkit to best suit their purposes.

The resources could also be used with young people who have no additional needs but who may benefit from a more tailored and structured resource to access messages and advice about online safety risks.

The key topics covered by the resource

 The STAR toolkit is made up of four key sections, which reflect current online safety risks and experiences of young people:

  • Safe – Be safe with what you share about yourself and others online
  • Trust– Not everything or everyone is trustworthy online
  • Action – Take positive action and always tell someone if anything worries or upsets you online
  • Respect– Be kind online

The toolkit also contains four animated films which support and reinforce the key messages from the teaching toolkit.

To access the STAR Toolkit visit childnet.com/STAR

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