Due to the temporary loss of access to the school’s ecological area, the site team have developed an Urban Beach Programme to bring the coast to city pupils, raising their awareness of the coastal environment and the need to protect it. Woodmansterne School is the pilot for the Urban Beach Programme, and is partnered with the Marine Conservation Society, with Willmott Dixon fully funding the pilot programme by providing resources, staff and funding the coach trip to the Grain Coastal Park.
It is based on the Wildbeach programme developed by the Wildlife Trusts and has been fully adapted to be delivered in inner city schools with the aim to get the children to the beach by the end of the programme. A new topic is introduced each week covering areas such as species ID, tides, human impact, food webs, marine processes and more.
The programme began with two year 3 classes of 30 on the 16th January and ran for a total of 6 weeks, culminating in a field trip to the beach. The majority of the sessions are delivered in the school field to promote outdoor learning.
Local volunteers were sought through the Marine Conservation Society, providing an opportunity for anyone looking for a career in marine education. The programme will continue with one of the volunteers taking over the project to deliver to the next year group selected by the school. The Marine Conservation Society is also looking out for the right candidate so this can be rolled out to other schools.
This programme has been a huge success with fantastic feedback from the school. The children have been able to answer weekly evaluation questions as evidence for learning.
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