Recently, we were invited back to George Spencer Academy in Nottingham and were delighted to see how the cabin has helped the pupils and staff.
We talked to Specialist Intervention Caseworker, Liz Millinship who explains how their inclusion department uses The Cabin......
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
George Spencer Academy supports several children with very complex needs. Those children who may be on the Autistic Spectrum or are diagnosed with ADHD find this space so useful to them.
The Cabin is like no other building in school. For some of our students who find the school environment particularly challenging, we can now provide a space that is unattached to our typical school classrooms or offices.
The shape of the Cabin, with seating around the edge, provides such an easy setting for group discussion and enables us to model non-threatening and an approachable manner when talking to peers and other adults.
We often hold group interventions, where students may have difficulty in initiating a conversation with others, and with this setup, it enables them to practice their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, reading facial expressions, gestures, and using eye contact, etc.
The Cabin hasn’t just provided the students with a safe haven, but staff too! The day to day challenges of school and supporting challenging students with complex and difficult needs can have a serious impact on our wellbeing. The Cabin provides a space to take five and collect our thoughts before we continue our day.
The Cabin is so multifunctional - we've had desks in here for students to study at, we hold social groups and breakfast clubs, we've had team meetings, as well as inviting parents in for students’ annual reviews, etc.
Ownership and Belonging
The Cabin gives our students a space in School that they feel ownership and responsibility for. They constantly give us ideas of what they'd like to learn in The Cabin, or ways we can develop the space further. To give our young people a space that belongs to them is amazing, as in some areas of the school they may feel isolated or left out.