Beach School

We are incredibly lucky to live in a coastal town with miles of stunning and diverse beach right on our doorstep.

Beach Schools is a program being offered here at Silverdale Primary Academy, to truly make the most of our natural environment.

Beach Schools, like Forest Schools, originated in Scandinavia, and after it was seen just how much it positively contributed to life, learning and personal wellbeing including overall holistic development. It was adopted by a primary school in Devon. As its geographical area grew, so too did the positive feedback from teachers, children and their parents.

At Beach Schools the children are encouraged to explore the world around them and learn life skills in nature. Some of the activities in the program include: paddling, rocking pooling and identifying marine life, building shelters, painting, sculpting, cooking over open fire and even exploring the Amsterdam shipwreck, just off of the Bulverhythe coast!

We believe this experimental learning opens minds and builds bridges to positive life, learning and respect for peers, adults and the amazing world around us.

Forest School

The Forest School Ethos was developed in the 1950’s in Scandinavia for Pre-School children and since the 1990’s has become increasingly popular here in the UK. It is a concept that takes a sustained approach to Outdoor Learning which seeks to encourage, motivate, engage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences.

Research in Sweden concluded that children in a forest school setting were more balanced with greater social capability, had better concentration and coordination skills and their attendance at school was improved.

Forest School is an inspirational process that offers regular opportunities for the participants to appreciate and enjoy their local woodland.

insert_drive_fileForest Schools Presentation insert_drive_fileForest Schools Timetable

Forest Schools have been seen to:
  • Encourage emotional growth, self-reliance and independence, allowing participants to take responsibility for their own learning and development.
  • Promote holistic and individualised development through the encouragement of child initiated projects extended with sensitive adult support.
  • Allow development of respect and care for the natural world, and increase children’s knowledge and understanding of the outdoors.
  • Improve physical strength and stamina through regular access to a varied and challenging environment.
  • Increase practical skills, coordination and dexterity through the use of tools and natural resources to make chosen artefacts.
  • Help build personal empathetic and social skills and to aid the building of relationships within real life contexts.
  • Enthuse participants to transmit their experiences through writing, storytelling and pictures back in their educational setting.
  • Extend knowledge and enthusiasm of the programme at home, as children are keen to show their skills and encourage family members into the outdoors.
  • A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence.
  • Be an important factor in choice of further study and employment.
Silverdale Forest School Ethos

The Ethos of Silverdale’s Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them.

It believes in children’s rights to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and potential.

Forest School is based more on the process of learning than it is on the content – more on the “how” than the “what”. Children are given encouragement to direct their own learning and the pace of that learning through stimulating experiences in the outdoors.

A woodland environment is central in supporting this dynamic approach to learning. Children go into the outdoor environment in all weathers (except high winds) and use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour, establish and grow in confidence and become self-motivated.

Children need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practice develops their understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it.

Forest School Safety

Forest School Sessions are led by a Forest School Leader; however parents need to be aware that certain activities carry greater risks than in the classroom.

Extreme care has been undertaken to ensure these risks are minimalized. Children are taught how to keep themselves safe and are encouraged to be part of the dynamic risk assessment process. There is a high ratio of adults to children and a qualified First-Aider is present at each session.

Silverdale currently has a Forest School team of five people, they are all trained with at least one Level 3 Forest School Trained Leader.

What Children Need To Wear

Children will need to bring to school on their Forest School day, warm clothes which they can get dirty, a waterproof jacket, long waterproof trousers and wellington boots.

Don’t forget hats and gloves on cold days too!

In summer months children still must wear long sleeved tops and trousers and also a sun hat!