Tide's out, school's in: the many benefits of beach teaching

Published Thursday 31st, January 2019

Did you read this lovely article in the Guardian on 7 January 2019, endorsing the many benefits of beach schools? Written by Education Correspondent Sally Weale, the focus is on the fact that after forest school, the latest trend in getting children to learn outdoors is beach school.

It may not be as accessible for inland schools, but for children growing up within easy reach of the coast, there are growing opportunities to learn by the seaside. As well as studying the impact of plastic pollution and the beauty of coastal flora and fauna, the children also learn about tidal forecasts, lunar cycles, ecology and geomorphology. They get fresh air, physical exercise, make friends and learn about teamwork.

Ali Murray works for Beach Schools South West, a small community-based company dedicated to outdoor learning. “We work with schools to take the curriculum to the beach. Our aim is to get children outside, off their bottoms in the classroom, and out on to the beach – which they love. They learn in a completely different environment – and they really do learn.”

She works with local schools across the south-west, particularly targeting those with high numbers of disadvantaged children who receive additional pupil premium money which can be used to fund trips and enrichment activities, and takes them to the closest suitable beach, whatever the weather – as long as it’s safe.

Murray says that some of the children she works with have never been to the beach before, despite living close by. “Every class I take, there are always one or two,” she says. “I find it really sad. It’s such an amazing resource that’s free.”

Read the full article here.