The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Gareth D Morewood

Inclusion on the road

Well, we all survived the three-day residential trip to Anglesey at the Conway Centre – despite some minor knocks resulting in two trips to Ysbyty Gwynedd! After careful planning to ensure a truly inclusive educational visit (see SENCology part one), the three days afforded some amazing moments. Every young person did something new and challenged themselves to broaden their horizons, both personally and with regard to the activities and challenges undertaken. Having been involved with residential trips abroad and in the UK facilitating the inclusion of students with SEND for over 150 days, you never come away without seeing something truly inspirational! However, before any trip is undertaken careful planning and management of risk is required, especially when ensuring access to everything for all. As we discussed in part one we always operate a clear policy of ‘trips for all’. This does mean that some reasonable adjustments and additional planning are required; however, as part of our truly inclusive approach, we see this as essential – not optional.

‘Young people of all ages benefit from real life 'hands on' experiences; when they can see, hear, touch and explore the world around them and have opportunities to experience challenge and adventure.’ (Council for Learning Outside the Classroom)

The students took part in a variety of activities including:

  • raft building
  • sailing
  • canoeing
  • abseiling
  • climbing
  • bushcraft
  • orienteering
  • problem solving
  • zip-wire and high-wire course

...to name but a few – in addition to evening activities including a quiz and disco! For 220 of our Year 7 cohort this was a memorable few days, but for a smaller number of pupils the experience was even more valuable. To see a young lady get out of her wheelchair to abseil down a cliff and a young man with autism challenge himself in learning how to sail was inspiring.

‘.....learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.’ Ofsted Report: Learning outside the classroom - How far should you go?

Our plans and preparation ensured a successful trip for a number of young people with complex SEND – making sure risks are assessed and specific needs are considered individually is the essence of an inclusive trip. It’s also a timely reminder that Every Child still does Matter at our school:

  • Being Healthy
  • Staying Safe
  • Enjoying and Achieving
  • Making a Positive Contribution
  • Economic Wellbeing

Visit the Conway Centre website for more information. You can follow the Conway Centre on Twitter at @conwaycentre.

 

Subscribe to Optimus Education's Blog

Join other educators and get the latest Optimus blogs direct to your inbox.
Your data is safe with us: Privacy Policy

Similar Posts

Elizabeth Holmes

'Alexa, teach me': the future of artificial intelligence in education

Elizabeth Holmes caught up with Miles Berry to discuss the benefits and ethical dilemmas of bringing AI into the classroom. The potential role of artificial intelligence (AI) is something of a new frontier for schools. But should we not be finding out as much as we can, so that we can maximise the...
Read more...
John Dabell

5 education myths we need to dispel

Grand ideas can carry a lot of gravitas, but these five educational 'cure-alls' came without a pinch of salt. John Dabell explains why they were too good to be true. One of the most depressing things about attending CPD sessions is when the self-appointed gurus or odd-ball suppliers of Inset refer...
Read more...
John Viner

Smart watches: new tech needs new solutions

In face of a booming wearable technology market, it’s high time we find ways to incorporate rather than exclude these gadgets in schools. Analysts at Research and Markets, a market research organisation, have estimated that the wearable technology market will grow at a compound annual growth rate...
Read more...