Children head outdoors to build their confidence

Yorkshire sixth form students with special educational needs have completed an outdoor scheme in the Lake District aimed at helping them to build confidence and overcome their problems.

Outdoor classroom: Shadab, a pupil from Ryburn Valley High School, takes part in an activity at the Calvert Trust, in the Lake District

Sixth Form students, from Ryburn Valley High School, in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, took part in outdoor activities, including bushcraft, canoeing, orienteering and archery, at the Calvert Trust, near Keswick.

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According to the trust, which runs structured residential breaks for people with extra needs and disabilities, educational trips are hugely beneficial for a number of reasons, including developing independence, realising abilities and practising social skills.

Suzanne Gould, vocational skills coordinator at Ryburn, said: “The suitability of the activities is about meeting physical limitations, as well as challenging individuals so that they can overcome their fears and also look at what they are capable of doing rather than feeling they are being held back by their abilities. This is very important to us at Ryburn. The children most definitely get advantages from the trip in terms of self-confidence and empathy with their peers, but what really develops is their sense of themselves and their abilities.”

Pupils from Hilltop School, in Rotherham, have also visited the trust, which is based near Keswick, and next month schools in Hull, Skipton, Brough and Bradford will take part in the scheme.