February with The Outdoor Classroom

What a month it's been! With the weather finally starting to warm up and the first half term of 2023 came around, we've been busy working away with our member schools to create some fantastic learning opportunities for pupils this Spring.

This month, we visited The David Lewis Centre in Cheshire. They are an organisation that provides residential accommodation, education and health services to people with epilepsy, autism and learning and physical disabilities.

With the recent expansion of their educational services, we were delighted to help to create a course around their beautiful grounds for students and other service users to engage in outdoor activities.

The Outdoor Classroom app was created in collaboration with UK teachers, with the view to incorporate as many accessible opportunities for all ages and abilities as possible. Which is why our visit to The David Lewis Centre was so inspiring. Through our free CPD session, we worked with the teachers and SLAs at the centre to help them optimise their use of our SEN facing features and learn how to programme sessions in the app to harness the full potential of our inclusive media options.

If you're not familiar with The Outdoor Classroom, we are an educational app built on the foundation of Orienteering to engage pupils in outdoor learning during school hours by taking their conventional lessons outside. Much like a traditional orienteering course, the school's grounds are mapped out to British Orienteering Standard by our mapping experts, and plaques are placed around the school. Pupils then access the digital map on iPads and work to locate the plaques selected by the teacher. At each stop, pupils scan the plaque they find to prompt a challenge set by the teacher that they must solve.

One of the key aspects of the app that was created with SEN pupils in mind is the multiple media content options. Teachers can programme their questions to be asked and answered in images, drawing, videos and sound as well as the conventional text options.

In the UK last year, more pupils with SEN were reported than ever before, totalling 1.49 million children, each of them with their own unique needs. By including this option for varied media content, we've been able to break down learning barriers for pupils with needs such as EAL, autism and dyslexia.

The David Lewis Centre caters to service users with a variety of special needs, so the ability to utilise multiple media content enables teachers to create customised lessons that can engage all learners.

If you're interested in learning more about The Outdoor Classroom, you can book a quick call with Ferne, our Outdoor Learning Expert here.

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