Inclusivity of all children and young people is an approach Wiston Lodge adopts in all aspects of its centre development. Our key project ‘Path of the Little People’ is representative of this ethos. Our aim on the project is to provide a platform for children and young people with additional support needs (ASN) to use their imaginations, express ideas and develop creativity. ‘Path of the Little People’ brings the classroom outdoors. Outdoor education that focuses on building creative learning spaces, encouraging free play and supporting children to assess risk is what we are all about.
We recognised that to build a project for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) without the children’s input would be an opportunity missed. Over the past six months we have harnessed the creative potential of the multiple ASD groups involved on the path including local charity The Machan Trust. With perpetual enthusiasm and imagination, the children have helped to teach us what they would like from a safe, inclusive and most importantly fun outdoor learning facility.
We are absolutely thrilled with the progress the children and young people have made on the path construction and adjoining structures. By engaging groups in all stages of project development we hoped to grow a sense of ownership in the children who are often faced with overcoming challenges with social communication and cognitive learning.
“Wiston Lodge has shown me that I can be better than I think I am, which is something I hope I never forget.”
DAN, June 2017
The next six months will be a big push to meet our December project deadline. With the committed Wiston Lodge staff and inspiring children and young people driving the way, the ‘Path of the Little People’ will become the unique learning resource we have envisaged.