Education is not limited to the classroom or activities on site.
Via class referral, the Outdoor Education Team work closely with selected learners from across the two sites to offer alternative education opportunities.
Various activities are on offer, tailored to the student’s needs and their learning targets. Current and previous outdoor education opportunities have included:
- Walking trails across Dartmoor – this provides excellent physical exercise, as well as developing orienteering and map reading skills. Students enjoy working together and encouraging each other within the group;
- Horse riding – small groups of learners visit a local riding school. Riding is not only demanding in terms of physicality and balance, but also improves the learner’s confidence and self-esteem;
- Trampolining – students travel to the Exeter Trampolining Academy to access this challenging activity. Trampolining lessons allow learners the chance to push their own boundaries as well as recognising the need to ‘take turns’ with friends and offering support to each other when learning new routines;
- Local Walking Groups – getting “out and about” encourages learners to progress their travel training and road safety knowledge and improve their social skills. Over the year, students also appreciate the changing Seasons and the natural environment around them, which helps improve their knowledge and understanding of the world;
- Climbing at Exeter Quay – pupils access both Clip ‘n’ Climb and Exeter Quay Climbing Centre for fun, physical sessions;
- Freerunning – small groups of students attend the Street Motion Freerunning Academy in Exeter to try their hand at ‘parkour’. This exciting, stimulating activity involves running, jumping and ‘flipping’ from obstacle to obstacle.
There are many benefits to accessing Outdoor Education – improving fitness; learning about teamwork; being able to take risks in a safe, supported environment; building trust; raising confidence levels and self-esteem; improving communication and social skills; learning, succeeding and excelling in a non-academic activity, and improving resilience.
Attending Outdoor Learning sessions also helps learners with their self-regulation – students return to their classroom focused, motivated and ready to learn.