Seaside School

© Rob McDougall

Scottish Seabird Centre launches beach education programme
“One lesson outdoors is worth seven inside” Professor Tim Brighouse

Multi-sensory, experiential and exploratory are the name of the game for the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre’s brand new outdoor education programme, Seaside School.

Using the beautiful beaches of North Berwick, pupils will be encouraged to engage with the natural environment in a multitude of ways, with topics specially tailored and designed to support the Curriculum for Excellence.

Seaside School has been developed by the Scottish Seabird Centre’s Education Officer Jenny McAllister, focusing on the benefits of outdoor learning to encourage connections between the real world and the classroom, while offering stimulus for creative learning, critical thinking skills and social development.

There are workshops linked to each area of the Curriculum for Excellence: there is the opportunity to explore Technologies in a number of ways including boat building and egg protection challenges; Numeracy through map reading and scavenger hunts; Social subjects via rock pooling and archaeological digs; plus Science through activities such as tides and forces, and bird watching.

Expressive Arts can be experienced in a range of ways including beach art and animal drama; Literacy through storytelling; and Health and Wellbeing via seashore safety and the John Muir Award.

Jenny McAllister, Education Officer at the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The Scottish Government’s curriculum guidelines state that ‘outdoor learning is an integral part of good practice’ and our Seaside School offers teachers the ideal platform to undertake this.

“I can provide advice and guidance to deliver quality outdoor learning experiences while simultaneously encouraging pupils to care, appreciate and understand the amazing environment around them.

“According to educational writers Wells and Leckies; ‘When children become truly engaged with the natural world at a young age, the experience is likely to stay with them in a powerful way, shaping their subsequent environmental path’. This is in line with our vision for the Centre and an integral reason for us having developed this new educational offering.

© Rob McDougall

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