The Real Rewards of Safe Outdoor Learning

The Real Rewards of Safe Outdoor Learning

Sticking to the modern curriculum can be a struggle – never have teachers and caregivers been

more aware of the need to bring learning outside and let children enjoy the fresh air. However,

for teachers of children with special learning needs, there are many more things to consider, for example, the needs of students with different levels of mobility and independence, those with visual

and hearing disabilities who use different means of communication, and other factors. That can

make them feel vulnerable in exposed environments.

 

Special schools go to great lengths to ensure that these individual needs are met and that all students

can enjoy all that the curriculum has to offer in a safe and stimulating environment. There is no environment more stimulating than the great outdoors, although it can be challenging to provide children with a truly safe environment where they can learn and interact protected from the

elements.

potential of outdoor spaces

A school canopy, shelter, or walkway can maximize the potential of outdoor spaces creating areas

that are suited for learning, play, and social interaction. The combination of aluminum and

tensile membrane creates unique and versatile waterproof structures with UV protection filters.

 

One school already enjoying the benefits of a school canopy is Marjorie McClure in Chislehurst,

Kent. The spirit of the staff is that they ‘strive to create a stimulating and inspiring learning

experience in a safe and supportive environment’ and work together to ensure that ‘all students

have a balanced curriculum’ and that ‘there is a strong emphasis in personal and social

development ‘. Principal Denise James-Mason believes that being outdoors is an integral part

of learning, but she didn’t realize what a big difference a canopy would make; “It has been a real advantage, it is difficult to remember a time when we did not have it and we have only had it for a

year … it has worked very well because we bought it based on a photo we saw on the Internet,” he explains.

Marjorie McClure teaches students ages

Marjorie McClure teaches students ages 3 to 19, all of whom have physical disabilities or medical conditions, and the installation of an awning has had a really positive effect on their school life.

The head continues: “The kids love it, the canopy has been great, and because at least they have

a choice … they can go outside if they want to. The kids who are most vulnerable are the ones who

don’t. They have power wheelchairs, so they can’t move on their own, and in the past when this

wasn’t here, there was no shelter, which was a real problem for us. ”

 

It is also clear that the safety features provided by the specially developed school canopy, especially

UV protection, are crucial in special schools. “Now we know more than ever about the dangers of

being in the sun, but from our point of view it has been a great improvement to have been able to

carry out activities safely both indoors and outdoors … a girl who reacts very badly to the sun.

sunlight, that’s why you have to be very careful with it … it is ideal because it keeps you out of

the sun and gives you a cool place, it is also great adequate for offspring to move spontaneously

”, Ms. James says -Mason. Even the colorful protective leg pads the school has chosen have

specific benefits; “We had the red and yellow leg pads especially for visually impaired students,

because this color combination apparently provides the best contrast … And of course because

the light is not very heavy, we only have 4 exposed legs, so we have not had accidents.”

 

How to Create a Whole Learning Experience

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