New for 2020 – Second Part of the STAR SEN Toolkit launched

Posted on 03 February 2020

Childnet is delighted to announce the launch of new resources for our STAR SEN toolkit for supporting young people with special educational needs.

The STAR Toolkit is an extension of an original project launched in 2014 and has been developed in partnership with SEN educators, as part of Childnet’s work in the UK Safer Internet Centre and with support from Facebook.

The resource aims to equip, enable, and empower educators with the knowledge they need to support young people who have special educational needs when they are online.

This update sees the launch of new resources which cover topics such as sexting, trustworthiness of information and people and recognising edited content online.

Kate Edwards, Childnet’s Education and Safeguarding Manager, explains the importance of this work:

"We know that Children with SEN are enthusiastic users of technology with them being one third more likely to spend more then 5 hours a day online. This increase in usage can lead them to be more likely to experience risks online and can even be preyed upon due to their vulnerabilities. However, one third were more likely to say that they were not taught about how to stay safe online. From speaking to educators, we know there has been a great need for age appropriate SEN resources which allow educators the maximum amount of flexibility to meet the needs of their students. That is exactly what we are aiming to create with the STAR toolkit making it the most comprehensive online safety resource for SEN children to date."

How to use this toolkit

The STAR toolkit is made up of four key sections – Safe sharing, Trust, Action and Respect. Each of these reflect current online safety risks, and experiences of young people with special educational needs.

Under each of the four sections there are starting point discussions to explore key language and concepts, along with teaching point activities. Each teaching point will offer three ways of approaching the topic in order to give educators maximum flexibility with the resource and allowing for a more tailored lesson delivery. Extension quizzes, further activities and resources for parents and carers have also been provided in this comprehensive toolkit.

To accompany the resources there is guidance and activities for educators, covering things such as:

  • Understanding what we mean by technology and the internet
  • Getting to know our early warning signs and asking for help
  • Top tips for safe sharing and trust online
  • Ideas for revisiting and extending the learning
  • An extension/ summary quiz
  • A ‘Beyond the classroom’ resource to support parents, carers and residential staff

New content for S is for safe sharing

This section of the toolkit has been developed to help generate discussions about safe and responsible sharing online. The first instalment encouraged young

 people to consider what personal information is and how they can keep it safe.

This new update covers the safe sharing of images and videos online, pressure to send sexual images/ videos and putting pressure on others to send sexual images/ videos online.

New section – T is for Trust

This section of the toolkit has been developed to help generate discussions about This section of the toolkit has been developed to help generate discussions and provide practical teaching resources about trust online. It will encourage young people to consider what is trustworthy in online content and contact. The activities and resources will support young people in generating checklists which they can use when online and equip them with clues to look out for and avenues for support if something doesn’t seem trustworthy or they are unsure themselves.

There are also a set of activities which explore edited content online allowing young people to become more familiar in recognising it and understanding the impact it can have on self-esteem.

Continual feedback and development

This resource is being developed and launched in stages in order to obtain and build upon feedback whilst working with educators and specialist organisations.

Content for the second half of the toolkit will be developed from 2020 onwards. Find out more about what will be included in the whole toolkit by visiting www.childnet.com/resources/star-sen-toolkit/what-to-expect.

If you have used the resource and would like to give feedback then please complete this survey monkey or email [email protected].

If you are an SEN educator and would like to be involved in one of our focus groups then please contact [email protected].

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