A suite of online education videos that educate young people with autism and learning difficulties about the importance of staying safe online through characterful scenarios, emotive storytelling and class discussion.

The Brief

Childnet is an educational body that works with young people & educators around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children, equipping them with tools, knowledge and resources to stay safe online. We worked closely with Childnet to produce four character-led online education videos as part of their STAR SEND Teaching Toolkit that are used by teachers to educate young children in key stage 4, and prompt further in-class discussion on common situations they may encounter online.

Our Response

Developing a suitable style

When exploring the content withing the four online education videos for the toolkit, there were many discussions around the content and how we represent that in a clear and easily understood way. For the target audience, young children in key stage 4 with autism and learning difficulties, one clear identifier that was picked up on during the style frame portion of the project was colour. How it is used, its intensity and what objects it is used on. For the target audience colour can be a big influencer in their perception of the world and subsequently their mood. It was important to explore the boundaries of colour and where we could take the animation at this early stage with Childnet so that the content would be easily understood by the young people in the final videos so they can learn effectively during discussions with educators.

Creating content to educate

Whilst working on the four online education videos we were keenly aware of their final use, within a toolkit as part of a wider teaching tool for educators to use within their school and group learning environments. This meant being aware of a multitude of things that may influence those situations such as diversity and inclusion, but also how the animations over all were to be structured. A key part of this process was the structure the video had. A situation unfolds and the main character we are following for that video is left at the peak of their struggle with a decision to make. Each animation then flows into a ‘Pause!’ screen where the educator can pause the video and open up the discussion with the young people. Then comes the continuing of the video and the correct resolution and advice for that certain scenario. Throughout each video there were also key areas that we needed to draw attention as talking points for educators, such as privacy, characters reactions, or decisions made.

Relatablility & Sensitivity

With educational content one of the biggest factors at play, similar to other forms of video content, is the audience that are going to be interacting with the video. The audience for these online education videos were in the forefront of our mind from initial inception to final delivery of these videos. Ensuring the correct information was relayed so that the right lessons were learnt from the content was key with this project with Childnet. This came down to the way we visualised certain webpages or apps so that they weren’t demonized but also struck that balance that there was clearly something going wrong. We also wanted to ensure that the characters each had their own personality and feeling so that the young people watching could relate to being in a similar situation and start that conversation around being safer online.

Additional Assets

In addition to the four online education videos, we created a selection of additional assets to assist the launch of the toolkit and the placement of the videos into the toolkit on Childnet’s Website. This took the form of a teaser animation, shown below, character headshots and also some title cards to place each film within the fabric on the toolkits pre-existing identity. The videos play a wider part in the larger toolkit and the characters we have created have made their presence known throughout the toolkit in a variety of ways.

The Result

The final four online education videos play a key part in keeping the next generation of young people safe online and we are proud to be a part of educating them on safety to make everyone’s lives better. It was a joy to work with Childnet and we can’t wait to see the results of the toolkit as it makes its way into classrooms across the country.

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What our client Said

“We approached the Animation Guys with quite a challenging brief but they did a great job in bringing our vision to life and created four fantastic animations for us. Friendly, down to earth and from start to finish, they listened and took on board our every wish. I would definitely recommend this team.”

R Nancarrow


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