Mayfield School in Birmingham provide educational needs to children between 3 and 19 with a range of learning difficulties.
The school recently received funding from The Maria Marina foundation to purchase outdoor equipment to support 10 SEN students to take part in their DofE. The students which chose to take part have a range of learning difficulties including mobility issues, autism and a nonverbal participant.
The participants took part in a successful water expedition, using bell boats. This expedition helped them develop their independence and a sense of belonging within their group. Majority of the participants had never been away from home before, so this was a big step out of their comfort zone. Whilst on expedition, participants were expected to prepare and cook their own meals as well as be responsible for packing their own kit and managing their own personal care.
Sarah Davies, DofE Manager at the school, commented that “each participant developed an understating of team work and adopted a role within the group such as map-readers, morale boosters, and paddling co-ordinators.”
Thanks to the funding making the expedition possible, these young people have not just completed a bell boating expedition but also been able to develop their literacy, communication and number skills through map reading, Makaton signing, routines and needing to weigh and measure ingredients for cooking.
Sarah said “pupils have been given the opportunity to develop resilience outside of their initial home/school environment. By being taken outside of their comfort zone pupils realised just how independent they can be…” she continued “this was a huge benefit particularly for our cohort of leavers who are joining post-19 colleges at the close of the academic year.”