An all-age school for pupils with complex needs, profound and severe learning difficulties, and physical and sensory impairments
The Beacon Wood
The Beacon has a small area of woodland within a short walking distance from the school. The area has recently been set up with pathways, seating areas and a fire pit so that pupils can access the woodland for outdoor learning and Forest School.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment. By participating in engaging, motivating, small achievable tasks in a woodland environment, each participant has an opportunity to develop emotional and social skills as well as developing an understanding for the environment around them. The Forest School ethos has demonstrated success across all age ranges and those who visit on a regular basis have opportunities to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly, how to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. The combination of freedom and responsibility has been shown to be particularly beneficial to those pupils who lack confidence and those who do not always manage well in a classroom environment. Because Forest School is a very ‘person-centred’ approach, the needs, wishes and interests of each individual taking part are taken into account and sessions are developed to be relevant, accessible and engaging for that pupil. Forest School programmes run throughout the year in all weathers (except high winds).
Forest School sessions aim to develop:
– Intrinsic motivation
– Social communication skills
– A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
Forest School sessions are run by a Qualified Forest School Leader who also holds a paediatric outdoor first aid qualification. The Beacon currently has two qualified Forest School Leaders. These members of staff work closely with class teachers and support staff to ensure that individual needs are met.
Beacon Wood is also available to classes to use for outdoor learning and cross-curricular activities. It offers perfect opportunities for learning in science, environmental studies, DT, PE, as well as being a great environment for inspiring activities in other subjects.
Being outdoors often relieves stress and is known to have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing.
At the Beacon, we adapt the curriculum to provide a needs lead learning environment and strive to include additional learning experiences, which add breadth and enrich the lives of our children and young people.