Why do we have a Beach School?
Our Beach School is a way of giving children the opportunity to learn and develop in a natural environment, sparking their intrinsic motivations to explore, create and be curious about the world around them. Our Beach School provides an opportunity for holistic development for children, giving them good foundations for the rest of their life.
Why do we have a Beach Schools?
Beach Schools follow the Forest School ethos. A key theme of the Forest and Beach Schools ethos is creating relationships with nature. Children that attend Beach Schools get an amazing opportunity to connect with the natural environment of the beach; pebbles, sand, water, oozing mud as well as all of the habitats for wild animals. This offers a chance for children’s education to be completely learner centred. Children are involved in the decision making process about their experiences of the beach, their learning.
Beach Schools give children the opportunity to develop holistically. Holistic development combines an individual’s mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth. By giving children the opportunity to develop in an environment such as those in Beach Schools, there is an increased potential for learning. From running free along the beach, outdoor cooking, bird watching, tracking animals footprints, jumping over the waves, exploring crabs habitats to watching the local wind turbines work, the beach provides a wealth of learning opportunities. Being outside and being able to access these learning opportunities at the same time as being able to take in the fresh air and observe natural occurrences, we believe provides an even more amazing experience for children. Not only does Beach School provide these experiences, it also provides the opportunity for the magic of awe and wonder to inspire children’s thinking and ideas.
Another strong principle of Forest Schools and therefore Beach Schools is the opportunity for safe risk taking. We use a risk benefit analysis to ensure that children can take their paths of play, learning and development to where they want. This is a vital part of ensuring that children can take risks without the worry or input from an adult. When adults feel confident in what they need to do to ensure risky activities stay safe, children can take the risks necessary to develop their theories of play. Most of these risk taking activities also involve some kind of physical activity.
In a time that children are seen to be losing their connection to nature, deepening their connection to technology and (in some cases) spending less time outside than prisoners we feel so proud to be able to provide an opportunity that will hopefully give our children the chance to develop their relationship with nature and their lifelong skills outdoors.
What happens at Beach School?
Beach School is about educating children through a variety of fun games and activities; raising awareness about their local coastal environment and how they can help to sustain it for future generations. These are just some of the topics we might explore:
- How to behave sensibly and act responsibly when using the beach
- Seasons and tides
- Pressures on the marine environment; including over fishing and marine pollution
- Species identification and information
- How marine flora and fauna are adapted to survive in their environment
- Mini beach cleans
- Environmental/marine art
- Topic related learning
- Team games and activities
- Free play
- Shelter building
Through these activities children will also develop important life skills such as team working, confidence in an outdoor setting and emotional intelligence.