Elaine Skates, Deputy Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
SEN Magazine reports on the results of a survey, conducted by TeacherVoice on behalf of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, revealing that 70% of teachers value LOtC over classroom teaching in terms of how effective it is at engaging different learning styles.
The article, entitled ‘Outside intervention’, reports that children with SEN typically learn best through doing, also known as kinaesthetic learning. However, this preferred learning style can sometimes be difficult to undertake effectively in the classroom.
It also highlights that in the school grounds and beyond there are more opportunities for pupils to undertake sensory learning which enables them to see, hear, smell, touch, and ultimately explore the world – encouraging pupils with SEN to “expand their horizons and become more alert and aware of the world around them.”
However learning outside the classroom doesn’t just support pupils in reaching their academic potential, but also support pupils with their personal development, particularly in terms of their confidence levels and communication skills.
Further to this, SEN Magazine states that LOtC is “relevant to demonstrating good/outstanding practice across all four areas of the Ofsted inspection framework”. However, evidence must be collected of such learning to achieve this, such as:
Attainment and achievement – examples of where LOtC can be directly linked to improved attainment.
Quality of teaching – proof that LOtC is well-planned and integrated into the curriculum with the aim of extending the knowledge, skills and understanding of pupils with different learning needs and abilities.
Behaviour and motivation – examples of how different learning environments increase your pupils’ motivation and encourage positive behaviours. It could be argued that LOtC promotes learning that improves pupils’ safety as they’re encouraged to manage risks themselves.
Leadership and management – clear documentation, including: LOtC in the school policy, LOtC evaluation (how has LOtC improved the quality of teaching and learning at the school?), and a development plan (how can LOtC be improve for the future?).
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