What are Beach Schools?

At St Peter’s Prep, our private school in Devon, we believe that children should have the opportunity to experience hands-on learning whilst immersing themselves in the great outdoors. We’re lucky to take advantage of the vast outdoor environments available here, from forest and woodland to large open green grounds to rivers that meet the sea and coastal beaches.  

Not only is the outdoors a playground for young students to have fun and play, but it’s also a place that fosters learning, curiosity, and a sense of wonder where pupils learn to ask questions and make their own discoveries about the natural world around them. 

A young beach school student looking at a rock through a magnifying glass

What is Beach School for Children?

Like our forest school, beach school is where early years pupils can explore the surrounding coastal area and beaches with the safety net of our teachers. It’s an opportunity for them to learn more about the sea, such as the different types of sea creatures and marine life, how tides work, coastal ecosystems, and their geology (sand, rock, and other materials found on the beach).

Beach school encourages students to explore the beach independently and as part of a group with their fellow students. It also fosters self-learning while letting their imagination and creativity run free.

Beach School Activities

Beach school activities encourage self-learning, initiative, play and adventure. These activities can involve:

  • Beach Games
  • Discovering Shells
  • Rockpooling
  • Building Sandcastles
  • Sand Art & Sand Prints
  • Beach Hunt
  • Identifying Sea Creatures
  • Pebble Art

Beach school students sat in a circle on the sand with a teacher

Benefits of Beach School for Children

At St Peter’s Prep, we encourage beach school through our Fresh Air, Woods, Mud, Sea & Sand teaching approach. We believe there are numerous benefits to children participating in regular beach school activities. One of the most important benefits of participating in beach school is the positive impact on children’s mental health.

Research shows that spending time on the beach increases happy hormones such as dopamine, and its enhanced air quality is full of infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory minerals such as magnesium, iodine, and potassium. In turn, this can improve wellbeing and psychological functioning.

Beach school offers a holistic approach to teaching, allowing children to develop their social, emotional, and physical learning. Children also have the opportunity to develop hands-on skills they may not get to work on in a classroom setting.

Naturally, children are more active outdoors, encouraging them to run around, jump, and engage their bodies. This can significantly improve a child’s physical health and fitness. Beach school has also allowed students to cultivate a deep connection with nature, teaching them the importance of delicate ecosystems and how our actions impact them.

At St Peter’s, we also encourage students to participate in forest school, which you can learn more about in our previous guide below.

what is forest school

What Can Children Learn at Beach School?

Rooted in the principles of self-guided learning and collaborative discovery, our beach school offers a unique educational experience.

One of the key lessons our students learn is the appreciation for local outdoor spaces and marine life. As they engage in hands-on activities under the watchful eye of our teachers, young minds also discover and observe the diversity of sea creatures, the flow of tides, and how to preserve our coastal beauty.

With the guidance of our experienced educators, students develop academic knowledge and crucial life skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and resilience.

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to teaching at St Peter’s Prep, request a prospectus today.

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