Pupils at Shakespeare Primary have been actively using the beach for Beach School sessions over the last 4 years. Beach School follows the same principles as Forest School, using the coast as a platform for a whole new learning experience. Beach School isn't just for the summer months, it is a year round learning experience. Children gain a greater understanding of their local environment by exposure in all weathers, seeing and feeling seasonal changes. Children love the freedom that being outside offers. The beach environment enables them to try out new challenges without inhibition, work on skills learnt in the classroom, develop team work and emotional intelligence, and give them the opportunity to think and respond creatively. At the heart of the learning are the obvious environmental messages; keep our beach clean, care for our marine wildlife and learn how to protect our coast for our future generations.
We give all pupils the chance to explore and experience the natural world through practical activities using the outdoors to promote confidence, independence, risk-taking and self-esteem. We aim to promote positive relationships through cooperation with others, we want our children to be independent, self-motivated, courageous, considerate and respectful and set them up for lifelong learning.
The six guiding principles of Forest School are:
* Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
* Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
* Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
* Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
* Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
* Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning. (Forest School Association)