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Park School bringing learning to the beach

As Park School is situated just a mile from the coast, they will be bringing learning to the beach this summer – heading out of the classroom to the shoreline for a series of hands-on lessons.

This June Park School launched Beach School, meaning every class will enjoy a day by the sea learning skills appropriate for their age. These include safety on the beach, knot tying, raft making, using a compass, reading the tides, finding and identifying items found along the shore and much more.

It won’t just be Parks pupils who will benefit from the new outdoor classroom – children from other schools in the Forfar Education group in London and Newbury will also be able to enjoy these new lessons.

Beach School is led by Year 4 teacher Sam Rodwell, who has recently become qualified to run classes on the beach. She said:

“We can't wait to introduce our children to all the fascinating and eye-opening secrets the beach holds. I'm very excited about the opportunities that we can now offer our pupils as a result of this new lesson plan - learning in this practical manner will give students skills that they may not pick up from indoor learning. It will be both fun and educational – school doesn't get much better than learning on the beach!”

Headteacher Melanie Dowler puts emphasis on the life skills that its curriculum can offer children. Melanie has championed Ms Rodwell’s training as she learnt the ropes to become a level 3 qualified Beach School Leader. Melanie said:

“I believe this unique type of education will really engage our pupils and help them to learn and absorb in a practical and fun environment. As a school we like to nurture children’s curiosity and individuality and I truly believe the Beach School programme will help develop their confidence, resilience and independence from an early age, all whilst enjoying the invigorating feeling of being outdoors, close to nature and in tune with the environment."

“Living in Bournemouth right near the beach, we are giving the children the opportunity to learn about their surroundings and community, which is just as important as any other educational trip – and all the more important because it is on our doorstep. We want our pupils to become well-rounded individuals leaving us with a plethora of practical skills to help them in later life.”

Looking forward to adding to its Beach School offering, the school is also investing in two other members of staff to start teaching at its Forest School starting in 2023.