Nature could be key to special educational needs

Teaching Personnel are reporting that taking learning outside of the classroom has encouraged special education needs students to participate in learning.

Incorporating nature into education could be particularly beneficial to students with special educational needs (SEN), a fact that has been highlighted through innovative teaching methods developed by schools.

Of the pupils at Sulivan Primary School in Fulham, London, 30 per cent have SEN. This has led to the teachers looking at different ways of delivering the curriculum that could better benefit these students.

As such, the school has developed a “reading forest” for its youngest students. Emily Genochio, year two teacher and inclusion manager at the school, stated: “We are always looking at innovative ideas to engage all pupils and children with SEN sometimes need more active, out-of-the-box ideas. Reading outdoors is enjoyable, stress-relieving and calming for pupils.”

This programme has proved extremely successful, with the school reporting that pupils with SEN are now much more eager to participate in reading – an activity which many of them usually struggle with.

In addition, it has provided a new opportunity for them to develop life skills. “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,” Ms Genochio stated.

More at: Nature could be key to special educational needs

Do you think taking SEN teaching outside will be beneficial for students? Are you already doing this in your school? Let us know your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. CaldiPrimary

    SchoolsImprove our Forest school provision benefits all our pupils not just those with SEND inspiring our pupils #tomaketheirbestevenbetter

  2. Hardly new! Access to nature has been known to be essential to wellbeing for all children for a very long time. See Richard Louv’s book – Last Child in the Woods. The consequences of reduced contact with the outdoors and nature are seen everywhere today in slowed development and learning, overweight, behavioural and social development retardation, etc. 
    Schools are one of the key places where children can still access the natural world. The trick for ensuring good health, development and wellbeing in today’s restricted, artificial and controlled world is in ensuring they can do so for over an hour every day in a rich, challenging, engaging and varied play environment.

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