Beach school is a new and unforgettable way to connect with nature. Adults and children alike, are spending more and more time on screens and indoors. The pandemic has changed how we behave and outdoor activities have been shown to improve our well-being.
Following the ethos of Forest Schools, Beach schools and Outdoors Learning encourages children to take well thought out risks. Child-led learning, within the safe boundaries set at the start of each Beach School session, enables the child to learn and take calculated risks in an exciting environment. This in turn, helps the child to develop confidence and resilience, and to begin to recognise the difference between a necessary risk and an unnecessary risk. Many of these activities also have the added bonus of developing both fine and gross physical skills.
“Humans love being around water because something about it is inherently calming”
Sanan Hafeez, Neuropsychologist 2016
Scientific and social evidence proves time spent on a beach and by water is beneficial in terms of improving happiness and general well-being. . Some of the key findings include increased creativity; altering our brain wave frequency to promote a mild meditative state, improved focus and scientific reports of better mental and physical health.
Through our experience in school, Forest school and life, Brighton Beach School understand that there are many great benefits from connecting with nature;
Teamwork – There is no pressure to work in a team, though children soon see the benefits and we often observe new configurations and hierarchies form that are very different from the classroom cliques.
Resilience – Challenges won’t always work the first time. Rethinking and redesign will be needed to achieve the goal. Maybe the tower they are asked to build needs better foundations on a beach?
Awe and Wonder at the natural world – Our planet needs our help to survive and to be aware of our surroundings will stimulate a love and need to protect it.
Problem solving – with only natural materials, some imagination is going to be required to solve some problems that the children will be set.
Calm – The great outdoors, the meditative sound of waves and birds, the universal language of play and the feeling of the elements all around, calms the mind and replenishes the soul.
A chance to shine – Not all children thrive in a classroom, children with extra needs find sitting quietly at a desk very challenging. Nature’s classroom gives room to explore and remove restraints.
Holistic growth – Help children to develop holistically (the whole person) promoting mental, physical, spiritual and social and emotional growth.
Communication – The new noises of the beach necessitates children to develop and engage in more effective means of communication. Perhaps sign language or arrows might be required on a windy day?