The digital dimension: digital interventions and support from HeadStart Wolverhampton

Our young people live in an increasingly digital world in which extraordinary new technologies provides new and exciting opportunities for their learning, entertainment and communication.

We know, however, that those same technologies can have negative impacts upon well-being and social development.

Working alongside our partners in Wolverhampton Learning Technologies, the digital aspects of HeadStart have always been a priority.

Here's an update on all things digital in HeadStart Wolverhampton!

Getting Ahead

Getting Ahead is a series of interventions taking place outside of the school environment, with a focus on building self-confidence and team-building, using digital technologies for learning, self expression and to build independence.


The programme offers students the opportunity to tackle challenges and fears and to develop a greater understanding of some of their self-imposed limitations. It is tailored to suit the needs of young people who may be introvert and struggle to integrate confidently with their peer group. Schools work with HeadStart to identify young people who are most likely to benefit from the programme.


Six of our HeadStart primary schools have been engaged in the Getting Ahead programme since September 2017: Long Knowle Primary School, Bantock Primary School, Parkfield Primary School, Bilston CofE Primary School, Holy Trinity RC Primary School and St Stephen’s CE Primary School.

In September, selected students from each school attended a short residential at Towers Outdoor Education Centre, where they took part in a range of outdoor digital activities designed to improve communication with others, and to promote teamwork, self-efficacy and problem solving.


Following the residential, the children have met again for a series of experience days: a ‘Super Me’ day, a skills day, and a challenge day at the Kingswood Trust . The Kingswood day is full of problem solving and team challenges and requires that students develop self-efficacy, face their fears, find solutions to problems under pressure, and develop communication and coordination.

Last month, three of our HeadStart Secondary Schools: Moreton School; Heath Park School and Colton Hills Community School attended a short residential at Towers Outdoor Education Centre. All of the students had the opportunity to visit the ‘diary room’ and reflect on their Getting Ahead experience in the form of a video diary entry. Some of these diary room entries formed the basis of our film for Time to Talk Day on 1st February:

Watch a clip of their adventures at Towers here:

For more about the Getting Ahead programme, see


The HeadStart Support and Guidance platform

Launched just before Christmas, the HeadStart Support and Guidance Directory at, is our new platform to share well-being and mental health resources from around the web.

The key design goals for the site were to:

  • provide a curated directory of emotional well-being and mental health resources that encouraged sharing, user feedback and user submission of resources
  • create a platform that would be easy to update with new resources
  • allow users to search for resources using natural language based on their needs and interests
  • allow users to specify who they are, whether a young person, professional, or parent, and to deliver appropriate resources based on this without users having to establish usernames or passwords.
  • find a way to present a range of content ‘types’ - including video, organisations, webpages and more - in a way that allowed visitors to explore these separately.
  • make sure that the site worked well on a wide range of devices, including, critically, on iOS and Android smartphones.

The site now includes over 1000 resources, with new materials being added all of the time. 

For more about the HeadStart Support and Guidance site, please visit here

support and guidance.png


As part of the Wolverhampton HeadStart package of resources and support, we are excited to be able to offer ZUMOS, the self-help platform, to our schools. The Zumos platform has a full library of CAMHS written and peer-reviewed content around many topics which the learner can listen to anonymously to receive expert support when in need.

ZUMOS offers expert advice and support to our young people on the challenges that they are facing. Learning Technologies and HeadStart will be hosting a launch event and demonstration to our HeadStart primary schools on Wednesday 7th February, with individual sessions being arranged for secondary schools.

Zumos resources are also being integrated into the HeadStart Support and Guidance platform, to create an easy pathway to Zumos materials for young people searching for supportive resources for selected topics.

Look out for more information on the Zumos roll-out to schools on HeadStartOnline soon!


Zumos integration on the Support and Guidance site

Safer Internet Day 2018

Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018 is being celebrated globally today, on Tuesday 6th February 2018 with the slogan “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”.

This slogan emphasises the positive opportunities for communication, learning and creativity that the internet provides for us all, young and old alike. Working alongside our digital partners in the Learning Technologies Team, HeadStart Wolverhampton is supporting Safer Internet Day through a range of activities and online content for young people, schools, parents and families.


Film Storyboard Competition - #healthyhabits

Learning Technologies would like to invite all budding film makers in Wolverhampton to suggest ideas for a film titled #healthyhabits. Details of the competition can be found here:

Safer Internet Survey

In addition, all Wolverhampton schools have been invited to work with their young people to complete an online safety survey. The survey is designed for all students from Year 5 and above and focuses on the emotional impact that their online behaviour can have. HeadStart and Learning Technologies are keen to capture relevant data on these themes from young people locally to ensure that we are doing the best we can to support young people’s wellbeing in the online world.

Data from the survey will be reported on a citywide basis, and shared back with individual schools for analysis and action in modifying their curriculum, pastoral support and policies.

Curated Safer Internet Day Resources on our Support and Guidance Platform

We've curated some resources for Safer Internet Day onto our new HeadStart Support and Guidance platform, including videos, webpages, research reports and downloads.

If you're a young person, professional, or parent, please take a look, and share the following link with others:

If you've got a wonderful resource to share for us to add to the resources, submit it here.

On Safer Internet Day, February 6th

During Safer Internet Day itself, members of the HeadStart and Learning Technologies team worked with parents and young people at Wilkinson Primary school on a range of Safer Internet Day sessions and activities, including recording Safer Internet Day podcasts, and parental awareness sessions.

Meanwhile, the HeadStart Young Person Engagement Team have worked with HeadStarters in schools, and with the B-Safe Junior Safeguarding Board to collect ideas for a more positive internet!

HeadStart recognises the risks that can be associated with using the internet and technology, but strongly believes that the answer is openness, discussion and education, not a 'head in the sand' approach. Young people will need to know and understand how to be emotionally resilient in a world increasingly dominated by technology and HeadStart is supporting them in achieving that.


The e-Quipped online safety programme is designed to ‘equip’ young people and adults with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to safely, responsibly and respectfully navigate the online world.

Through the e-Quipped offer, school staff from a range of schools have now received training in online safety, and 125 parents/carers have attended online safety sessions which address harmful and risky online behaviours, and help them to work alongside their children to make positive use of the technology in their lives.

In collaboration with Wider Learning, young people in Year 5, 6 and 7 are being trained as Digital Ambassadors and Ambassador + programmes.

The training is a combination of online safety awareness and peer mentoring:

  • 167 young people in schools have been trained as Digital Ambassadors.
  • 30 young people have been moved on to train at Digital Ambassador+ level
The meeting was informative and full of lots of up to date key points that staff found both interesting and also relevant to our pupils needs. Patrick was the ever professional and staff warmed to his interactive delivery and encouraged discussion amongst us all. Thank you!

Quotes from staff and parent sessions

Thank you this session was very useful
Thank you a very good session sharing information I didn’t realise
Very impressive session
This has given me lots of food for thought
A very informative session which I have taken lots from
Thank you Patrick a very successful session

The HeadStart Curriculum site

The HeadStart Curriculum site at is accessible to all of our HeadStart Schools. All schools have access to SUMO lesson plans for use with Year 1 - Year 7. A range of additional resources are also being designed and developed by the HeadStart Schools Team, including materials for school assemblies and to promote staff well-being.

Social media and newsletter

You can follow HeadStart Wolverhampton on a number of well-known social media platforms: TwitterFaceBookYouTube and Instagram.

Follow us for the latest news and developments as we develop programmes and work with young people in our city. Don't forget to also subscribe to our newsletter.


Young people live in a world where the 'dividing line' between digital and non-digital in learning, relationships, entertainment and work are increasingly blurred and meaningless. HeadStart is working to support them to understand that world and to be emotionally resilient when growing up within it.