Outdoors school

Then there were three! New special school opening in South Brent

Sue Cade
Authored by Sue Cade
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - 15:23

The Outdoors Group is opening its third outdoor special school in Devon to provide an alternative option for children struggling in mainstream education.

From September, the new Outdoors School site at Bridgehouse Farm, South Brent will be able to take 12 students aged between 7 and 14 who are don’t do well in conventional schools due to autism, anxiety or trauma.

20 new members of staff have been recruited to work with the young people who often need one to one support. This new team will be operating within an experienced leadership and management structure developed to ensure the learners can develop within a safe environment.

Bridgehouse Farm joins the group’s other two special schools in Exeter and Tiverton to cover a wider area of the county. These three independent special schools are the only schools in the country providing a curriculum based 100 percent outdoors, with students having access to a different way of learning which suits their needs better.

“The benefits can be huge,” says Headteacher Robyn Vincent who is overseeing the three sites along with site-based managers.

“While mainstream special schools can work for some young people, sometimes this isn’t the best way forward. These are children who don’t fit the tight box of conventional education, but unfortunately the special needs provision can be an even tighter box.

“Our aim is to look at the needs of each of our learners and work out how we can best help them to develop and enjoy the experience of education - and develop the skills and strategies to allow them to lead a happy and fulfilled adult life.”

Each of the schools are located in woodland, offering plenty of opportunities for learning and development. Places at the schools are commissioned by the local authority.

To find out more visit: The Outdoors School