New approach to outdoor learning piloted by The Wave Project in partnership with Penair School


- Credit: Mike Thomas

Children from Penair School in Truro are taking part in an innovative new scheme run by The Wave Project to use surfing and the sea as part of curriculum-based learning.


- Credit: Mike Thomas

Thirty two pupils from Year 9, all aged 13-14, will take part in the pioneering project, designed to motivate children and encourage them to see their core curriculum subjects in a new light.

Instead of sitting in the classroom, the students will take English, art, geography, science and maths lessons in the sea wearing wetsuits!

Unlike other outdoor learning classes, these lessons are curriculum-based and have been devised by a qualified teacher, in partnership with teachers from the school.

Each lesson focuses on an area of the curriculum but applies to the outdoor setting of the sea.

During the English class, pupils get to write words in the sand and listen to poetry on their surfboards, while for maths they learn about displacement using surf boards and paddling pools.

The science lesson involves searching for live fish and sea-creatures in rock pools and in the water. Art explores the idea of sand-drawing using rakes, while the geography lesson uses the whole beach landscape to learn about the ocean.

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Project coordinator Becky Parry said: “The idea is to engage pupils in their subjects in a way that is relevant to the world around them.

“We know that some pupils find concentrating for long periods in a classroom difficult, so this project is a way of helping their learning come to life.

“It also provides a way of really stretching more gifted children and encouraging them to develop leadership and teamwork skills.”

The project has been developed over the past 6 months by The Wave Project in partnership with Penair School, an academy based in Truro, Cornwall.

Lead Practitioner Ian Jones, who has spearheaded the scheme on behalf of the school, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in this pilot of Beach School. Already students are enthusing about their experiences and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impact of the project within school”.

Joe Taylor, chief executive of The Wave Project, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Penair School on this exciting project.

“The teachers have been very positive about the possibilities of engaging pupils in this innovative form of learning, and we are hopeful that the pilot will develop into a wider project that reaches more children.”

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