Designed for pupils with SEND, Special Agents mission is to:

  •  Promote safe, positive online activity in a digital world
  •  Develop and maintain digital resilience
  • Understand and recognise the risk of being online and demonstrate how to apply online safety rules

Digital Resilience Survey – MER3

Please complete this survey to give the Special Agents information about online activity in the school community. The Special Agents have written this survey

You can click here to respond.

Why Special Agents?

Pupils will SEND struggle to transfer skills learnt in the classroom to the outside world. Often pupils with SEND can verbalise a rule and recite how to stay safe, but fail to notice the risks when they occur in the moment. Pupils with SEND are often captivated by devices and technology, with skills which surpass their generalised ability to access the world around them. This too causes additional risk and vulnerability as pupils are exposed to potential risks by chance. Pupils with SEND maybe developmentally and cognitively impaired, however more often than not, their online experience is similar to their neuro-typical peers. Special Agents creates an open dialogue with pupils, staff and parents about what pupils are doing online and how to do it safely.

Special Agents is focused on immersive learning creating a positive digital world common language embedded in the school community.

The main objectives are:

  • To create a digital persona
  • To demonstrate how digital life should be
  • Facilitate positive online experiences
  • To open up access to the positive digital world
  • Facilitate in the moment problems leading to problem solving
  • Learn the steps to access content we want
  • To support peers with learning

Creating A Digital World Immersive Environment

At Brackenfield, online safety replicates the curriculum models. We immerse pupils in online activity which is accessible to them supporting progress through motivators, strengths and needs. We promote positive online experiences to enrich pupils’ opportunities in a digital world.

You Tube is the most common online experience in school. It starts at home, families use You Tube to motivate even the most complex SEN needs at home and support regulation.

Within the informal curriculum, pupils have videos embedded into routines. Videos are shared with home and chosen to reflect pupil interests. Our immersive classroom is interactive, along with our sensory rooms and portable sensory projector- promoting cause and effect opportunities. iPads are used to take photos to support communication in the moment- to improve clarity of messages, to support pupil understanding and decision making.

In the semi formal curriculum, pupils also use videos to listen to stories, learn new signing, make and watch videos of themselves and their friends as well as help structure their day. Pupils have access to iPads with games focused on early maths and literacy skills- as well as early communication. Pupils continue to use YouTube but for enjoyment purposes- this ever growing sense of independence on an iPad has huge impact on confidence. Pupils explore desktop devices to draw, find photos of interest, play games and communicate with peers.

All pupils have Teams accounts. These are used for video calls with pupils who are at home, if they wish to engage with lessons in school. Classes call other classes within school too. Pupils can access Teams outside of school. This platform is promoted for pupils to message each other in the chat function. This is monitored by staff and when problem arise can be addressed straight away in the classroom. Pupils use Microsoft applications as part of the independent living curriculum, on laptops and iPads. This not only teaches them the skills to use these, but opens up accessibility from home as well. Visually impaired pupils are taught the steps to use audio features and increase font size etc. Pupils are taught the importance of keeping passwords safe and changing them. This is a hard but necessary life lesson- knowing how to reset your password.

We host virtual enrichments- including both primary and secondary aged pupils. This happens after school via Teams. Pupils have a focus for the session, it might be games or an arts and crafts club. This is chosen through pupil voice. School supply arts materials for pupils to take home and complete the project over Teams. Staff are also involved as role models, to model expectations replicating what we do in school.

Pupils use devices to take their own photos to support recalling information, sequencing, comprehension and communication. Pupils are given problems to solve to teach online safety rules, in contexts they access, to ensure safety is transferable and not just a learned script which is not applied.

In the semi-formal curriculum, pupils are equally as immersed as all the other pupils across school. In this curriculum model it is very clear how pupils can navigate and manipulate the digital world with low levels of literacy and numeracy. We are keen to empower our students to be confident in a digital world- where usually they would feel vulnerable and different. Pupils take part in virtual enrichment, daily communication between friendship groups on platforms set up by school. By introducing Teams, pupils have moved away from games like Roblox to communicate. This has reduced the risk online as Teams is secure and managed by school. By promoting positive online activity and celebrating it- emailing opportunities to staff and peers, blogger style videos, onsite games consoles, iPads and curriculum apps- pupils have learned online experience to transfer at home. We continue to remind of rules and risks applicable to the activities the pupils do.

Our pupils have some helpful messages about online safety.  Click the individual images below or download the advice as a PDF by clicking –> HERE <–

Digital Resilience within the Brackenfield Community 

Thank you for completing our survey. It has shown us some interesting things about online activity by pupils, parents and staff.


Phones and tablets are the most popular devices, with smart watches creeping up! This time last year we only had 4 smart watches! Phones are very popular. This is part of the reason we have added learning directly on phones to our curriculum when teaching about safe and functional ways to use phones in the community or to talk to others.

People who answered other like to watch fitness videos, tv programmes or films and cleaning tutorials!

It was great to see most of the pupils who took part would ask a parent or report a pop up. Most adults will ignore it. The one pupil who selected ‘click it’ has been advised of the dangers of this.

This question had a range of answers! That show us it isn’t clear what the age ratings are on games and social media. This website has a parent guide about the different rating systems used online. Click here to read about online ratings and how to navigate them.

This website: Home ( has information about different games you can play as a family and also guidance about their content so you can check games before your child plays them.

What have we been learning?

Last half term iVengers Special Agents have been making avatars for their digital personas. Pupils have been thinking about any online content being seen for a long time and what you would want other people to think about you when they see your Avatars.

Pupils have said they would want people to think they are smart, sensible and kind. Pupils didn’t want people to be scared of them or think they were not appropriately dressed. Some pupils also said they didn’t want people to be able to recognise them, so they change features like hair colour and skin colour.

Pupils were able to say they felt confident their avatars were good and they would be happy for future employers to see them.

Cedar class also made a good and bad avatar for Mrs Evitts. Which do you think is the good one and which one is the bad one?!

Good Avatars of pupils:

Pupils said smart clothes made them feel important and having all the body covered was the most appropriate for an online image.

Bad Avatars of pupils:

Pupils said face coverings were scary and looked like gang members.

Parent Online Safety Advice and Guidance

Here are some parent guides for different social media platforms. Children and young people with SEND are more vulnerable on social media, but also like to talk to people and be included in society. These user guides explain parental settings and safety features plus what to look out for.

Did you know it is cyber harassment for pupils to use photos of teachers in any online posts?

Pupils can form attachments to pupils, positive or negative, and then generate content using personal data of a staff member and share online. This is cyber harassment and can have significant impact on teacher’s safety, mental health and wellbeing. Here is a guide with further information.

We are keen to ensure all stakeholders of Brackenfield are safe and everybody has positive and safe online experiences.

One of our iVengers has created a poster with their guidance for how to behave during online activity, click the image to view it full size.

iVenger Advice

image of iVenger surrounded by good advice for online behaviour