The purpose of the diploma thesis is to gain parents and professionals´ opinion on winter schools and to present the programme of the winter school at Elementary school for children with special needs Gustav Šilih Maribor.
In the theoretical part the children with special needs, children with mental disabilities, education of children with moderate, severe and profound mental disability and the aims and the areas of special education programme are presented. Physical movement and physical education, sport and recreation as part of the special education programme are introduced in detail.
Further in the paper the importance of physical movement, movement, activities, sports activities and usefulness of sports activities for children is discussed.
The impact of winter schools is introduced. Preparations for winter school, the programme of sports activities and afternoon and evening activities are presented.
A survey included in the diploma thesis is based on questionnaires for parents whose children took part in a winter school and professionals working in the special education programme as well as on the detailed interview given by the professional worker with multiannual experiences on winter schools.
Parents and professionals are fond of winter outdoor schools. Collected data have shown that parents and professionals´ share the same opinion, which is that children participation in winter schools influences special areas as independence, socialisation, self-image, behaviour, integration in the new setting and teamwork. According to parents and professionals´ estimation children are very keen on winter schools which shows that the programme enables children to gain positive experiences and adventures.
Collected and processed data included in my research have shown the importance of winter schools for children with mental disabilities; furthermore, winter schools contribute to the whole child development and to better quality of life.