Bodsters Equine Assisted Learning

Ryde Academy logoStudents from our Inclusive Learning Centre have been attending sessions at Bodsters since April 2012. The high quality provision offered by Jo and Giles has impacted positively upon the students in a range of ways, including:

  • Improved leaderships skills – students are encouraged to guide and direct each other in their work with the horses, which has improved their interactions when working on group tasks in school.
  • Calmer responses to difficulty – when faced with a learning challenge in school students are reminded to think ‘how does Tippy overcome her nerves?’
  • Less manipulative language – if a student wants to achieve an outcome, they are reminded ‘how do you get the horses to do what you want them to?’ (ie stay calm, be patient, talk quietly).
  • Students have a fresh perspective – they refer to their first few horse encounters at Bodsters as ‘weird’, ‘strange’, they are taken out of their familiar comfort zone and usual modes of behaviour, allowing them to reconnect with simple feelings of kindness, nervousness and empathy.
  • Attendance has improved, students come to school on Mondays in order not to miss out on Bodsters.

Shortly into the programme Jo and Giles took the time to come and visit the students in our learning environment at school, helping them to tailor the needs of the sessions more closely to the learning needs of the students. I receive a session plan and photos of each session which we use as a record for student files and as starting points for discussion with students back in school.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Bodsters as a unique and professional provider of alternative provision for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Lou West

Head of the Inclusive Learning Centre