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Learning Outside the Classroom

At Riverside School we understand the importance of Learning Outside the Classroom. We use a range of environments to support our pupils learning and well-being throughout their day and know that for many pupils this will be accessing a wide variety of spaces in and out of the classroom. Many families stress the importance for them and their children to be able to access different environments in a safe and comfortable way. We understand this is vital for family life and we strive to ensure that this is embedded within each pupil's personalised curriculums. We have impressive facilities on all sites and these enable us to offer a variety of opportunities for learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Across our Riverside sites we have a variety of different spaces. We have extensive outdoor space, including our MUGA (Multi-use games area); sensory gardens; pro-active rooms; interactive learning rooms; hydrotherapy pools; a range of outdoor gym and music equipment; Eat, Explore & Play room, sensory rooms; food technology rooms; soft play rooms; sunken trampolines; music suite; dance studio; Nurture Room; Peaceful Pod; our Riverside Lounge/Happy Café and Performing Arts Hall.

The Happy Café and The Riverside Lounge both offer pupils the opportunity to practice their work and customer skills in a Café environment; serving families, staff and members of our community. Pupils create a variety of food and hot drink options each week. They have stated that working in these roles has made them feel responsible, empowered and helped them to learn new skills they can use after school. Families have reported that their children are now more comfortable and confident in a Café environment because of the use of these spaces.

We are extremely passionate about building links within our community and beyond. Successful community inclusion and participation enables our pupils to learn new skills, build confidence and develop meaningful relationships. We believe every child should have the opportunity to practice and develop the various skills needed to support their futures and that they, alongside their families, should feel welcomed, supported and safe to access their community. Therefore we ensure we access the Local Community as much as possible to do this in meaningful and personalised ways.

We ensure that opportunities for Learning Outside the Classroom are rich and varied and offer our pupils culturally diverse opportunities. Wherever possible, we link these to our curriculum topics to bring learning to life. For example, when learning ‘All About Me’, pupils visited a local Art Gallery and spoke about how the paintings made them feel. We have had a lot of successes with Therapy dogs over the sites. These encourage safe relationships with animals, promote wellbeing and can support anxieties.

Preparing our pupils with Skills for Life and for Life Beyond Riverside are very important to us. As such, we use Woodlodge Life Centre to give pupils the opportunity to practice key skills including cooking and cleaning. Some pupils will also have the opportunity to attend our KS4/5 Isle of Wight Residential trip which gives pupils the opportunity to spend time with friends enjoying a range of exciting, team building activities, which provide them with life-lasting happy memories.

We make sure pupil’s motivators and interests are the heart of planning trips. For example, accessing local fire stations or using public transport – for example tube and train lines and local bus routes.