Beach Schools @ Pakefield
At Pakefield Primary School, we use wild beach schools as part of our rich and varied curriculum. Beach schools gives our pupils memorable activities that enable them to use their creative and investigation skills to develop their knowledge and understanding of the local area. Beach Schools links into all areas of our curriculum, including creative writing, science, history, maths, art and PSHE. Our wild beach learning ensures children have a rich understanding of their local coastline and are invested in being its future custodians.
Mr Fleckney was trained by The Suffolk Wildlife Trust to deliver Beach Schools. He then delivered three staff meetings to disseminate knowledge, skills and plans to teachers. Each class will visit the beach at least twice in a school year. Classes will invite parents to attend these visits to enhance community engagement. Each year group will choose activities from the agreed progression map and work towards meeting the skills detailed.
Our school ensures that children have a rich knowledge of our local coastline and have a positive impact on maintaining the coastline through litter picks and feel personally invested in the local area.
We visit the beach in any weather, come rain or shine. The only instances where weather will stop a beach trip is during storms or particularly strong winds. We always ask for parental volunteers to support our work and time at the beach. We are lucky enough to have a group of committed parents who are always at hand to support our visits. This helps us to ensure that our beach experience is always available.
Preparing children for beach learning:
As part of our beach schools program, we encourage children to take calculated risks as part of their overall development that will support them to become well-rounded individuals and custodians of the beach.
Before going on the beach, the children discuss and share what the sessions will involve and what learning will take place. The children are reminded that everything we find on the beach, belongs at the beach, so we must not take anything from it – unless in our litter-picks. The rules and code of conduct are discussed before and during each session, this ensures that all children understand how to keep themselves and others safe.
Activities that children may take part in:
- Sharing books and story telling
- Mathematical problem solving
- Shelter building
- Creating and building sculptures in the sand
- Drawing and writing in the sand e.g. story maps, writing
- Exploration – finding different levels of the beach
- Collecting flora (vegetation) and fauna (wildlife)
- Collecting rubbish and cleaning the beach
- Running games
- Beach ball games
- Art using materials found around the beach
- Studying the tide
- Studying erosion
- Using our senses and wellbeing
Further reading and articles can be found using the following links: