We’re delighted to be supporting the launch of the Childnet STAR Toolkit – a free online resource that offers practical advice and teaching activities to help secondary schools explore internet safety with young people with autism spectrum disorders.
Developed in partnership with Leicester City Council’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme, the resource was created as part of the DigiLit Leicester project. Childnet worked closely with three of Leicester’s BSF schools – Ellesmere College, Nether Hall School and West Gate School, to design the resource. Jill Moult, a teacher at West Gate School, said:
“Teaching internet safety to young people with autism spectrum disorder can be a real challenge. This toolkit will really empower school staff to support young people with ASD to make good choices and keep themselves safe online.”
Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, said:
“The Childnet STAR toolkit is designed to give schools the building blocks they need to develop a tailored approach to online safety for their pupils with ASD. By working with Leicester City Council and three fantastic schools in Leicester we have been able to develop a practical online toolkit that addresses the online risks faced by young people living with autism spectrum disorder, such as cyberbullying, contact by strangers and exposure to inappropriate content. Importantly, this resource is available to all UK schools free online. Through the teaching activity ideas and forum we want to encourage educators across the country to use these resources, and also to feedback and share their ideas and materials so we can collectively and collaboratively provide excellent e-safety education for young people with ASD.”
The Childnet STAR Toolkit
The aim of the Childnet STAR Toolkit is to assist teachers in educating their pupils with ASD about the internet and safeguarding them against online risks.
The four sections SAFE, TRUST, ACTION and RESPECT all feature the concept of friendship and emphasise the importance of finding the balance between online and offline interaction. At the same time, the resource is continually promoting a positive, fun and safe experience for young people with ASD.
The online resource includes a forum to encourage educators to share their teaching ideas and how they have used and adapted the STAR Toolkit in their educational setting. This will provide a platform for sharing best practices in online safety for those working with young people with ASD.
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Launch event in Leicester
The Childnet STAR Toolkit will be launched on the evening of the 3rd June at an event held at the New Walk Museum in Leicester.
The event will be a chance for educators and industry experts to hear more about how the resource was created and the online experiences of young people with autism spectrum disorder.
The event will be opened by Leicester’s assistant city mayor with responsibility for children, young people and schools, Councillor Vi Dempster, who has highlighted the importance of the resource for schools in Leicester. She said:
“I’m really pleased to be launching this innovative resource as part of our commitment to transform learning through the Building Schools for the Future Programme.
“It’s vitally important that we keep young people safe online. This resource will help to tackle some of the challenges involved in ensuring young learners who could be more vulnerable are aware of the risks.”
“It will help make sure that all our learners get the chance to benefit from the many positive learning opportunities the internet can offer.”