Beach School is a new, unique outdoor learning experience that improves children's knowledge about their local coastal environment by connecting children with nature.
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 education team at The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has been pioneering the Forest School movement in the North West for the last eight years, and we are now taking that to the beach!
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.
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
- Survival skills; including building shelters, fire lighting and outdoor cooking
- Seasons and tides
- Pressures on the marine environment; including over fishing and marine pollution
- Marine protected areas
- Species identification and information
- Coastal habitats
- How marine flora and fauna are adapted to survive in their environment
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.
How it works
Our beach school sessions are delivered by our two passionate Beach School Officers, Amy Pennington and Sally Tapp.
Amy runs Beach Schools in collaboration with Park View 4U on a series of beaches along the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.
Sally runs Beach Schools along the beaches of the Sefton Coast in Merseyside, including Crosby, Formby and Ainsdale beaches.
Get in touch
For more information about our Beach School programme, or to book a session, please contact one of our Beach School Officers:
If you are interested in Beach School in Lancashire, please contact Amy
If you are interested in Beach School in Merseyside, please contact Sally