Nature is the best way to nurture pupils with special educational needs

31st May 2016

Outdoor education engages students with complex needs and teaches life skills

 

Sometimes, the best way to get the most out of the classroom is to leave it and take learning outside. Outdoor learning can make for happier, healthier, well-rounded students – particularly for those with special educational needs (SEN).

Sulivan primary school in London, a maintained school where 30% of pupils have SEN, set up a “reading forest” for its youngest students.

“We are always looking at innovative ideas to engage all pupils…reading outdoors is enjoyable, stress-relieving and calming for pupils” says Emily Genochio

Children can find books “growing” in the trees and tents beneath the branches, where they can read quietly and share books. Those with social, emotional and mental health SEN – some of whom don’t normally enjoy reading – are more eager to get outside into the reading forest; and for students on the autism spectrum, it provides a quiet, open space.

The outdoors also provides a new setting to take on challenges, and learn life skills without even realising it. “Our children with SEN benefit from how the outdoors relieves stress and anxiety, develops social skills, motivates learning across the curriculum (and beyond) and allows them to be practical, responsible and productive members of the community,” explains Genochio.

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Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!