George Spencer Academy - SEND Outdoor Learning CabinRecently, we were invited back to George Spencer Academy in Nottingham and were delighted to see how their SEND outdoor learning cabin has helped the pupils and staff
We talked to Specialist Intervention Caseworker, Liz Millinship, who explains how their inclusion department uses 'The Cloud', their SEND Outdoor Learning Cabin
The positive benefits & impacts
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
'George Spencer Academy supports several children with very complex needs. In particular, 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 detached from our typical school classrooms or offices.'
'The shape of the Cabin, with seating around the edge, provides such an easy setting for group discussion. It enables us to model and demonstrate an appropriate, 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. With this setup, it enables them to practice their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, reading facial expressions, gestures, and using eye contact.'
'The Cabin hasn’t just provided the students with a safe haven, but staff too! The day-to-day challenges of school and supporting our students with complex needs can sometimes have an impact on our wellbeing. The Cabin provides a space for us to take five and collect our thoughts before we continue our day.'
'The Cabin is so multifunctional. Firstly, we've had desks in here for students to study at. We also hold social groups and breakfast clubs in there. Furthermore, we've had team meetings, as well as inviting parents in for students’ annual reviews. The list goes on!'
Ownership and Belonging
'The Cabin gives our students a space in School that they feel ownership and responsibility for. They constantly give us ideas for 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.'