TG Escapes Blog

Learning outside the classroom can help with Special Education Needs

by anonymous | May 16, 2013 | Blog, Education

Working in a natural environment can benefit children of all ages and abilities. More schools are now seeing how learning outside the classroom can help children with SEN explore the world around them.

A survey conducted by TeacherVoice on behalf of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) stated that 70 per cent of teachers have seen that LOtC is “more effective than classroom teaching in motivating and enthusing children with regard to learning.” Not only does LOtC help children form a link between what they are learning and the world around them, they are also being motivated, becoming more attentive and noticeably improving their behaviour.

Many schools have shown how outdoor learning is effective for children who struggle within the traditional classroom environment and now more are beginning to see the benefits of LOtC for children with SEN. Outdoor learning offers pupils a brand new experience, a way of learning through doing. This is something that is particularly beneficial for children with SEN and gives them the opportunity to fully reach their potential.

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor classrooms that are developed to reflect the natural environment and create a connection between the classroom and playground can provide children with SEN this experience. Sensory activities within an outdoor classroom give those with learning difficulties a focus for exploring the world around them first-hand. The classroom can act as a base for practicing life skills such as safety, cooking and cleaning. By creating a flexible outdoor learning space, schools can also practice skills for life that will eventually take place further afield. Role-playing going to the shops, a restaurant or the doctors can all take place within the school grounds but in an environment that feels separate to the traditional classroom.

When designing an SEN classroom suitable for outdoor learning it is important to consider the accessibility of the space. Attractive, inclusive buildings that the children have helped design can give them a sense of empowerment and responsibility. It can become a facility with its own independence that still has a strong link to the main school building. Every school is unique and that’s why it’s beneficial to create a completely bespoke building that will make LOtC simple and accessible all year round.

Learning outside the classroom is now seen as an essential part of the curriculum by Ofsted and schools are encouraged to integrate LOtC into their daily routine. The LOtC accreditation for schools highlights educational establishments which recognise and support the development of LOtC across the curriculum. It also helps schools, that do not already have LOtC in place, find the support to create an accessible, inspiring outdoor space. To find out more visit:





About the author

Someone in the TG Escapes family who has something to share but is still a little shy.......

More posts from our blog

Was your CIF bid unsuccessful? Can we help in the next round?

Many schools will be disappointed with the outcome of the latest round of Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) bids. If you are planning to apply for the next 2021/22 round of CIF bids, then TG Escapes can help strengthen your application by providing free architectural...

read more

Construction faces the perfect storm and costs are rising

The construction industry is facing 'the perfect storm'. The impact of Covid has been to delay many construction projects which are now coming back into play. Brexit has caused disruption in the supply chain and these two factors together are creating an increase in...

read more

DfE launches Post 16 Capacity Fund

The Department for Education has introduced a new fund to help boost post 16 provision. Launched on the 18th May, eligible applications have until 14th June to apply for grants over the minimum threshold of £100k. Funding is available to support projects that create...

read more