Finalist category: Accessible Education Award
Accessible Education Award, Finalist, 2023
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. Students with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) have shown particularly vulnerability in a variety of different contexts; nationally and locally observed. We felt this vulnerability needs, and deserves, practical tips, ideas and guidance on how to keep pupils with SEN safe now and in the future.
Our project has created a new interactive and innovative online learning game to support SEN (Special Educational Needs) students to understand the risks and challenges of being online and how to stay safe, and the implications of technology in their everyday lives.
Having identified the specific needs and challenges faced by SEND children and young people, a fully working innovative and interactive online game has been created which addresses internet safety in a simple yet fun way, which is engaging and attractive to all the students who have played it. Student feedback has been 100% positive and results have shown an increased understanding of how to stay safe online. Students engaged with the game multiple times in order to try to beat previous scores, which was an additional bonus.
Teachers are also using the game and activities as part of their online safety curriculum, and was recognised by BETT as a valuable resource.