LVS Oxford has been praised by a director of the national Forest School Association for its new facility to help students engage with outdoor learning. Sarah Lawfull was a special guest at LVS Oxford on Tuesday 18th June to officially open the school’s new yurt that will provide educational options in an outdoor setting.
We recently installed the yurt to exploit the potential of our extensive grounds for learning and make use of the new space for cross-curricular activities to help engage pupils with their studies. After declaring the yurt open Sarah Lawfull from the Forest School Association said: “It was an honour to open the new yurt at LVS Oxford. Young people with autism really benefit from being outside amongst nature, and this yurt is an excellent facility which provides a base for all the outdoor learning being planned.”
Experience within LVS Oxford, and feedback from other schools, has demonstrated the impact that outdoor learning can have in meeting cross-curricular targets. Concepts that may be difficult for students with autism to comprehend can often be assimilated and understood when taken into the outside environment and applied to real life situations. Some also find an outdoor learning environment more relaxed and less stressful and therefore are more receptive to learning outdoors. Student progress in outdoor learning will be assessed under all curriculum subjects according to the topics covered, with every subject set to be taught outdoors during the term.
The grounds at LVS Oxford are already used for horticulture and fruit picking, the products of which are then used for food technology, enterprise and juicing. The grounds are equipped with a polytunnel, greenhouse, sensory garden, raised beds, a small animal enclosure and a fruit cage, all areas maintained mainly by the students.
We are currently applying for the Eco Schools scheme which involves caring for the school environment, bulb planting, maintaining beds and vegetable plots, composting and recycling. We also has a nature trail and a tree trail, where the students can learn about the history, geography and science of trees.