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Outdoor Learning

Clarendon Forest School

I don't have special needs when I'm in the woods

Primary pupil

The Forest School takes learning out of the classroom and into nature. Students learn new skills such as team building and following instructions whilst problem solving and doing maths.

This provision has been tailored for SEND pupils and links in-class activities to outdoor learning and life skills. Utilising a variety of local resources offers a wide range of experiences for our students, which meets Ofsted's criteria for learning outside the classroom.

The Forest School will extend across both Primary and Secondary centres. With consultation from external providers our aim is to become a centre of excellence in order to develop a Clarendon School handbook of activities for SEND pupils.

Forest school was a fantastic opportunity for staff to watch pupils’ confidence develop over a year spent in the woods. In 2017 Galaxy class enrolled 11 pupils, 9 of whom received pupil premium, in forest school. Clarendon school is committed to widening participation in learning in, and about, the natural world. Nature belongs to everybody though barriers to SEND pupils includes accessibility and cost.

Forest school develops a love of the outdoors and supports positive, pro-environmental attitudes amongst pupils.The calming environment of woodlands and learning outside of the classroom is particularly suitable for pupils with ADHD and ASD promoting independence, a sense of achievement and self-esteem. Moreover, friendship groups develop further and are strengthened by outdoor activities that include team building, group work, managed risk, fine and gross motor skills and increased resilience. These aspects are transferable to the classroom environment and wider life skills.