Beach School is a new, unique outdoor learning experience offered to local schools that aims to improve student's knowledge about their local coastal environment by connecting children and young people with nature.
"Beach school was very valuable in helping the children to appreciate the many aspects of the coast which they previously may not have thought about or experienced"AKS School, Lytham
What is Beach School?
Following the same ethos as Forest School, our Beach School project aims to use the coast as a platform for a whole new learning experience, in order to provide children with the opportunity to explore their natural surroundings in an organised setting.
The North West Wildlife Trust's education teams have been pioneering the Forest Schools movement for the last eight years, and we are now taking that to the beach!
Our Beach School vision
Historically, beaches have always attracted a large variety of people for a number of different reasons. Unsurprisingly, people that have easy access to their local coastline often visit on a regular basis, but what about those who cannot easily access a beach or coastal environment? We believe that every child should experience the wonders of our beautiful British coastlines. Therefore, we aim to remove this barrier and provide children with the opportunity to visit, learn and fall in love with the beach. By providing a hands-on inspirational learning environment, we are already seeing the positive effects which outdoor learning has on children.
We believe that if a child has not had the opportunity to play and learn at the beach, they will not grow up feeling a connection to their local coastline. If the next generation is disconnected from the coast, they will not feel passionately enough to want to conserve and protect it in the future.
What does Beach School involve?
Through a variety of games and activities, Beach School sessions aim to educate children about their local coastal environment and how they can help to sustain it for future generations.
The topics explored during beach school sessions may include:
- How to behave sensibly and act responsibly when using the beach
- Exploring the natural coastal environment
- Seasons and tides
- Pressures on the marine environment; including over fishing and marine pollution
- Marine protected areas
- Species identification and information
- Coastal habitats
- Understanding sea defences – hard/soft defences
- How marine flora and fauna are adapted to survive in their environment
- Practical conservation on the sand dunes
- Mini beach cleans
- Environmental/marine art
- Survival skills: including building shelters, fire lighting and outdoor cooking
Within these activities children will also develop primary skills such as team working, basic instincts, confidence in an outdoor setting, emotional intelligence, social skills, and health and safety initiatives.
We recognise the vital importance of promoting an understanding of the natural world and believe our Beach School programme is an ideal platform for delivery.
Beach School locations
Our Beach Schools sessions are delivered locally by our passionate Beach School practitioners working across the North West Wildlife Trusts.
Beach School is delivered in two main areas: