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Stay Safe - Internet Safety for SEN

Stay Safe

Internet Safety for SEN

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We are excited to announce that our Internet Safety Erasmus project, BAO (Be Aware online) has been selected as one of the best national educative projects for 2021 by the French Government.

Background

With technology and activity online is moving so fast, there are many different risks associated with the digital age, and it is becoming more apparent that it is young people that are the most vulnerable and most targeted.

For many young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND), the internet can be a place where they feel safe, calm and in control. Somewhere they can make friends without having to communicate face-to-face, and build a community which they may not have in their offline life.   Online games and social media sites display the capacity to capture the mind of children with attention problems.  Parents and teachers of children with attention problems, for example, almost universally agree that these children can easily sustain their focus while playing online games, surfing the Internet, or using social media. Whilst recognising the internet is a great resource which young people enjoy using, life online for a child with SEND may pose additional challenges.

Students with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) have shown particularly vulnerability in a variety of different contexts; nationally and locally observed. This vulnerability needs, and deserves, practical tips, ideas and guidance on how to keep pupils with SEN safe now and in the future.

Parents and carers also find it a struggle to keep up with the games and applications that their children are using, so often don’t feel confident about broaching this subject, or the risks that are posed every day for users.  It is often the case that the parents are also unaware of the risks of being online themselves, and how to address those risks.

This project between the UK, Sweden and France aimed at sharing good practice and together identifying the best ways of addressing what we consider to be a crucial element of education, which is how to keep children and young people safe online. 

The SEN Stay Safe Project aims to give teachers and parents the confidence and resources to discuss and equip young people with Special Educational Needs the knowledge and skills around internet safety and the implications of technology in their everyday lives.  This is a ground-breaking and ever changing area of the pupils’ lives and one that is often over-looked in relation to pupils with SEN.  The project will include creating joint and individual resources for teachers, parents and pupils. 

Bao - It's a Jungle Out There

The Game - Bao - It's a Jungle Out There!

The Jungle, like the internet, is a happy and colourful place, where you can you meet up with friends, take photos and share what you discover and finally find out new things.

However, the jungle can be a dangerous place full of strange and mysterious things and unpredictable events. You may face things that you do not like or make you feel uncomfortable. How will you react to these events? Let’s see as you embark on your journey through the jungle…

Meet Bao
  • Bao is a young panda, whose name means “To Protect”.  Bao lives in the jungle with his family and friends.
  • Bao dreams of being a successful explorer and has decided to become the first Panda to climb the unchartered mountain. 
  • Bao wants to post online about all the travels, and discoveries, made along the way, but is unsure how to do this.
  • Bao needs help to navigate the jungle and the internet safely.
How to Access

The game should be accessed through Chrome. It is available in 3 languages and can be found on the links:

Guidance 

Guidance for staff and parents contains:

  • ideas
  • information
  • details of each section with important areas to discuss,
  • lesson plans
  • activity packs
  • Top tips
  • Other resources

and aims to:

  • Outline the importance of opening conversations with young people to build their resilience to online risks
  • Develop teachers’ and parents’ confidence and skills to talk about the different risks associated with being online.
  • Provide guidance to support schools and parents using this resource
  • Bring together good practice from across Europe
  • Provide signposting information for further support.

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