New Outdoor Learning Centre classroom completed
Work has now been completed on the new Outdoor Learning classroom. Alongside the Greenhouse and Sensory Garden, the classroom is enhancing the learning opportunities for our students, together with providing a safe space for much needed fun and relaxation.
The new Centre really has transformed our outdoor provision and provides a sanctuary for students to explore and learn, it reinforces that learning does not always have to take place in the classroom. The overall area and Greenhouse has been well-used since opening, and throughout the whole year. Currently, the Greenhouse has been set up for summer planting with a range of fruit, vegetables and plants to nurture for class groups to consume, sell to visitors and staff and take home to their families. The wonderful Sensory Garden provides numerous opportunities for learning and exploring or just enjoying quiet time or reading.
The classroom is an incredible addition to the Centre which will allow the area to be used all year round and in all weathers. The classroom includes hoists that fully cover the whole room, offering many opportunities for our students, who are all wheelchair users, to be out of their chairs and enjoying relaxation or physiotherapy time. The bi-fold windows open out into the garden, really bringing the outside in.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s great to look around and I like being in outdoor spaces.” – College student Liam
The activities that can be done in the new outdoor classroom allow students to work on their hand skills as gardening is really good for developing these skills and building up strength. Liam’s specialist Occupational Therapist Hannah went on to explain:
The Occupational Therapy team is running hand skills sessions as it’s really helpful to put Occupational Therapy in to real life functional tasks with meaning. Engaging with something that is living and green is not only good for students’ mental health, but it also gives the hand skills task meaning. This then connects more with a student and gives them the sense of responsibility looking after something living.
Learning within the Centre very much follows the curriculum and enables class teachers to put functional skills like counting, measuring, depths and months of the year into real life situations. Students will often be reinforcing the work they are undertaking in the classroom in the Outdoor Learning Centre and spending time outdoors is so good for their wellbeing.
We are so grateful to the generosity of our donors who make this possible.