It is vital that alongside the National Curriculum subjects, our children receive a broad variety of experiences and opportunities in order to flourish.
Recently, the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Damian Hinds published the ‘Activity Passport’; inspired by the National Trust’s Book: 50 Things to do Before you are 11 ¾. This reminds us that children do fully benefit from experiences. Many schools have already created similar documents. In order for them to reach their full potential, such documents will be successful if they reflect our children’s locality. How many of our children visit the beach regularly? How many of our children can swim, sail, or windsurf? How many of our children understand the power of the the sea and the changes the beach sees during different seasons?
Our children need skills and experiences alongside the National Curriculum subjects. Our locality is rich with history, engineering industry and natural beauty. Let’s embrace the concept of an Activity Passport by travelling a little in our locality to learn, explore and experience. I can think of no better starting point than the beach.
Beach School activities provide children with the opportunity to learn and develop in their natural environment, encouraging them to explore, create, problem solve and be curious about their environment. Such skills are transferable to all areas of the curriculum and an important part of childhood development. Furthermore, holistic learning through Beach Schools should not be underestimated. It feels good to learn outside and it enables children to access a variety of experiences not possible in the classroom – directly or indirectly linked to the curriculum too.
If your child’s school is not a Beach School then why not plan a family trip? You can explore the shore line, look for shells, collect driftwood and beach treasure to make some art. Or use your phone and create a photo story. Maybe help with a beach clean. There is so much to see and do. And after all, life’s a beach.
Article by Georgina Mulhall. Originally published in The News, 5 February 2019