Danecourt Special School caters for primary-aged children with special educational needs. The school has pupils wide breadth of requirements, including complex learning difficulties, autism and social emotional mental health needs.
Matt Smith, Assistant Headteacher, joined us to discuss how the school has benefitted from a Certified School Membership with National Online Safety.
Danecourt Special School
Reflecting on the school’s culture, Matt began: “Our children have a range of different needs, and we offer a personalised approach to the offer that our children receive.”
“That goes across all areas of their development, not just academic attainment,” he explained.
“Our curriculum is about preparing the children for later life and equipping them with functional skills that they can utilise in their community,” Matt continued. “Our children live in a completely online world; therefore, they are more vulnerable.”
Joining National Online Safety
At National Online Safety, we’re consistently updating our resources and training – so that all our member schools remain up to date with the latest developments in the ever-evolving digital world.
Matt recalled: “I was searching for a way to equip our staff for the ever-changing landscape of online safety.
“Certified School Membership supports our wider safeguarding approach and policies too,” he noted. “We don’t need to be the experts, which is extremely helpful. It means that we can direct staff to the relevant training.”
Matt went on: “We use a lot of the training to inform our parents and carers, too. We do what we can in school, but the reality is that the children will then go home and use technology. Parents need to be involved in that process, too.
“Feedback has been positive,” he smiled. “A lot of parents are unaware of current online risks – particularly with apps and gaming sites that are relatively new but are commonly used by children.”
Matt elaborated: “We deliver parent workshops regularly, and we have done some sessions focused on National Online Safety. It’s been interesting to speak to parents and carers about concerns they’ve raised.”
“The weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides have been useful to send out to parents, carers and staff,” he concluded. “Being able to use the monthly updates for our twilight sessions has been great, and we can track who has completed those as well.”