“Our memories of the beach will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”
Woodland House Nursery is unique in the Bristol area for operating a ‘Beach School.’
We believe that our coastline is a wonderful, natural learning resource to which every young person should have access. Children should be given every opportunity to explore beaches of all varieties. This could mean paddling in the water, living out desert island fantasies, creating amazing sculptures, lighting fires, driftwood structures or just as simple as feeling the sand (or mud!) between our toes! We have a wealth of learning opportunities right on our doorstep – Severn Beach!
At Severn Beach there are a multitude of activities that excite and inspire the children and they can naturally get involved with, some of which include;
- making mud pies to making sandcastles (yes – there are a few sandy patches!!)
- Throwing stones as far as they can throw to strengthen muscles in arms etc….
- Making marks in sand / mud
- Searching along the shore line for treasure. Collect driftwood to take back to nursery. Our maintenance man would then assist the children to join materials together to make sculptures and frames for their paintings/ photographs.
- RUNNING FREE!
- Making dens using shoreline materials.
- Collecting pebbles
- counting pebbles
- Making marks with pebbles
- Making a raised fire to toast marshmallows etc..
- Using a kelly kettle to heat up drinking chocolate
- Free exploration
- Ecological investigations
This list is not at all exhaustive as the children are the best ones to initiate their own activities.
We have a Beach School mascot, Colin the Crab who features in the weekly sessions. One week the children decided to build a den for Colin the Crab. We talked about what shelter the crabs may need and talked about how the environment down on the beach had changed from previous weeks. What better way for children to discuss their Understanding of the World and creatively develop the crabs own shelter. We have even found our own ‘real’ baby crabs. Yes, marine life does exist at Severn Beach!
Christine James, Nursery Practitioner and Beach School Leader at Woodland House Nursery says ‘People assume that we are not able to access a ‘beach’ in the Bristol area. Although it may not be a typical Cornish sandy beach surrounded with rock pools it still offers a HUGE variety of learning opportunities that satisfy a multitude of schemas and satisfy children’s imagination and creativity.’
Emma Base, one of the Nursery Managers at Woodland House Nursery says ‘It is a natural spin off from Forest School. The learning ethos is the same but the surroundings are different.’.