About Beach Schools NI

Beach Schools is a new development of the internationally acclaimed Forest Schools Programme which places an emphasis on outdoor learning and engagement for children of all ages.  The aim of Beach Schools is to get children outdoors and to ignite the fun of exploration, discovery and learning within coastal environments.

Beach Schools are springing up throughout the UK and Beach Schools NI is the only beach schools centre in NI run by a professionally trained beach schools practitioner.  Beach Schools NI provides a range of short interactive sessions and schools programmes throughout the year, for kids of all ages, whatever the weather.

It’s time to explore the shore!

Welcome to Beach Schools NI, the first beach school programme in Northern Ireland.  I am passionate about outdoor learning and as a geography teacher and mother of two young boys I want them to grow up with an enthusiasm and love for the outdoors. Recently, while living in England, my two year old son engaged in all sorts of sensory beach school activities which he loved!  These activities supported his development and the physical exercise and fresh air helped him to sleep at night, which was a bonus!  I could see the potential of beach schools to transform the learning experience of our children. In 2017 I trained in England to be a Beach Schools Practitioner and now I’m excited to bring the concept to Northern Ireland.  Where better to launch NI’s first beach school than on the spectacular and award winning beaches of the north coast. Let’s change the story of how our children learn by getting outdoors, being active and having lots of fun. – Maggie

It’s time to explore the shore!

Welcome to Beach Schools NI, the first beach school programme in Northern Ireland.  I am passionate about outdoor learning and as a geography teacher and mother of two young boys I want them to grow up with an enthusiasm and love for the outdoors. Recently, while living in England, my two year old son engaged in all sorts of sensory beach school activities which he loved!  These activities supported his development and the physical exercise and fresh air helped him to sleep at night, which was a bonus!  I could see the potential of beach schools to transform the learning experience of our children. In 2017 I trained in England to be a Beach Schools Practitioner and now I’m excited to bring the concept to Northern Ireland.  Where better to launch NI’s first beach school than on the spectacular and award winning beaches of the north coast. Let’s change the story of how our children learn by getting outdoors, being active and having lots of fun.

– Maggie

Nurseries & Primary Schools

Beach Schools bring learning to life for young children using the teaching ethos ‘classrooms without walls’. Since Beach Schools NI was launched in 2018 we have worked with over 40 schools across Northern Ireland, including primary, secondary and nursery schools. Our sessions can be tailored to support the requirements of the school curriculum and specific areas of interest. For instance, we are often asked to run pirate themed sessions for younger age groups. Suggestions of beach activities that can be aligned to the NI curriculum area are outlined in the section below.

Download our school package flyer here – Final Beach Schools Flyer for Teachers

For more information contact: beachschoolsni@yahoo.com

What we do

Children will learn to forage for materials, create sculptures from driftwood, learn about the tides and coastal habitats, bird watch, go rock pooling, light fires, cook marshmallows and listen to their favourite pirate stories.  Sessions are relaxed and fun and work to a general beach school curriculum set by the practitioner. Beach Schools provide an opportunity for children to develop their curiosity for the natural world while supporting mental and physical welling by encouraging children to play on the sand dunes and splash in rock pools.  Beach Schools NI will create a wealth of learning opportunities for your children, creating memories and experiences that will stay with them for life.

What we do

Children will learn to forage for materials, create sculptures from driftwood, learn about the tides and coastal habitats, bird watch, go rock pooling, light fires, cook marshmallows and listen to their favourite pirate stories.  Sessions are relaxed and fun and work to a general beach school curriculum set by the practitioner. Beach Schools provide an opportunity for children to develop their curiosity for the natural world while supporting mental and physical welling by encouraging children to play on the sand dunes and splash in rock pools.  Beach Schools NI will create a wealth of learning opportunities for your children, creating memories and experiences that will stay with them for life.

Book a Session

Beach Schools NI run sessions throughout the year for preschoolers and children of primary school age.  Parents can book to join sessions on a first come basis as and when classes are advertised.  We also partner with nursery schools, primary and secondary schools throughout the year to provide classes with a range of fun activities delivered on a shore near you.

You can view our timetable here

Get in touch with us at

beachschoolsni@yahoo.com

Our Activities

  • Rock pooling
  • Scavenger huts
  • Beach art and crafts
  • Building shelters
  • Role play – pirates
  • Map making
  • Science experiments
  • Campfires
  • Singing and story telling

Our Activities

  • Rock pooling
  • Scavenger huts
  • Beach art and crafts
  • Building shelters
  • Role play – pirates
  • Map making
  • Science experiments
  • Campfires
  • Singing and story telling

Keystage 1 & 2

Curriculum AreaBeach School activities
Language and LiteracyVocabulary, storytelling, singing, poetry, letter writing
Mathematics and NumeracySorting, sequencing, construction, shapes
The ArtsSounds, beach art, crafts, design
The World around usCoastal environment, habitats, ecosystems, weather, local history
Personal DevelopmentConfidence building, team work
Physical EducationBeach sports, scrambling, active learning
Religious EducationMoral responsibilities and values

Keystage 3

Curriculum AreaBeach School activities
English with Media EducationVocabulary, storytelling, creative writing, poetry
Mathematics and NumeracyMeasures, balance, sequencing, construction, shapes
The ArtsBeach materials, creative design, sculpture
Learning for Life and WorkTeamwork, confidence building, career opportunities
Environment and SocietyCoastal environment, habitats, ecosystems, weather, local history
Modern LanguagesVocabulary
Science and TechnologyShelter building, campfire lighting, science experiments
Physical EducationBeach sports, scrambling, active learning
Religious EducationMoral responsibilities and values

GCSE and A-Level

As an experienced Geography teacher I can lead coastal field trips for Geography or Biology courses exploring tidal movements, coastal processes, succession, impact assessments, habitats and sand dune studies.

Get in touch

Contact beachschoolsni@yahoo.com for more information.

FAQs

Who is responsible for my child during the session?
The adult accompanying your child will be responsible for their supervision at all times during the Beach Schools session.
What if the weather is bad?
We don’t let cold temperatures or rain stop us but we will not go out in very poor conditions. We will make the final decision ahead of the session keeping the safety of the group paramount.
What do we need to wear?
Parents and children need to dress for the weather conditions. Beaches are very exposed environments and it is essential that clothing is warm and waterproof on wet windy days and sun hats and sun cream are applied when the sun is shining. Due to the nature of activities surfaces may be uneven so shoes with a good grip, or wellies, must be worn at all sessions.
Do you go into the water?
Beach Schools NI is a beach programme so at the very most children will paddle to ankle deep in the sea or rock pools. It may be a good idea to bring spare clothes and a towel just in case.
Do you give refunds if I can't attend?
A refund will only be given if the session is cancelled by Beach Schools NI. If a child cannot attend we will make all efforts to offer an alternative session if one is available.
Where do we meet?
The location will be indicated in your booking email and Maggie will meet you on the beach. If you have any queries call 07858759414 or email in advance at beachschoolsni@yahoo.com

FAQs

Who is responsible for my child during the session?
The adult accompanying your child will be responsible for their supervision at all times during the Beach Schools session.
What if the weather is bad?
We don’t let cold temperatures or rain stop us but we will not go out in very poor conditions. We will make the final decision ahead of the session keeping the safety of the group paramount.
What do we need to wear?
Parents and children need to dress for the weather conditions. Beaches are very exposed environments and it is essential that clothing is warm and waterproof on wet windy days and sun hats and sun cream are applied when the sun is shining. Due to the nature of activities surfaces may be uneven so shoes with a good grip, or wellies, must be worn at all sessions.
Do you go into the water?
Beach Schools NI is a beach programme so at the very most children will paddle to ankle deep in the sea or rock pools. It may be a good idea to bring spare clothes and a towel just in case.
Do you give refunds if I can't attend?
A refund will only be given if the session is cancelled by Beach Schools NI. If a child cannot attend we will make all efforts to offer an alternative session if one is available.
Where do we meet?
The location will be indicated in your booking email and Maggie will meet you on the beach. If you have any queries call 07858759414 or email in advance at beachschoolsni@yahoo.com

Testimonials from Schools

“The pupils gained knowledge both practical and theory in regards to things that live on our beaches, types of shells and seaweed. They talked about and thought about the dangers of rubbish on our beaches. They also just had a fantastic experience in an outside classroom”

 

– Ben Madigan Prep

“Maggie what a fantastic morning! Thank you so much ! Best trip ever. We loved it. Thanks again”

 

– Ballysally Primary School

“Overall a fantastic learning experience for children and staff. Thank you Maggie. Definitely see you again”

 

– Holy Rosary Nursery School

“The session made pupils aware of the learning opportunities which are available to them outside the classroom environment. It provided them with valuable teamwork skills and allowed them to have experiences which are very new and unfamiliar to them”

– Fourtowns Primary School

“The children learnt about local wildlife, the names of different sea creatures. They were able to explore the beach and enjoyed being active in the outdoors.”

– St. Comgall’s Primary School

“All the activities were really well organised and suitable for the age and abilities of the children. They had great fun and we will definitely use Beach Schools NI again.”

– Irish Society Primary School

“The children absolutely loved Beach School and you gave them memories that will last a lifetime.”

– Whitehouse Primary School

Testimonials from Parents

“Our experience of Beach School NI – fun filled, action packed learning to value and protect the world about us.”

 

– MC

“Our children live in the city, so when they take part in Beach School sessions, they are not only enjoying being by the sea, rock pooling, holding crabs and hunting for pirate treasure, they are also learning about the coastal environment and developing a deep respect of the sea and how to look after our beautiful beaches. Maggie helps the children to learn about the coast through fun, creative and inspiring activities which they take with them back to the city, telling their own teachers about spiny spider crabs and walking the plank! My children now get very angry when they see plastic or litter on the beach and have a very healthy respect for the coast and shoreline. We can’t wait for our next sessions with Maggie!”

 

– NM

“The beach school was really fantastic for our two grandchildren. It was really educational and a lot of fun. It is amazing all the different sea creatures that can be found at low tide. All you need is a net and a bucket. A lovely experience for young and old.”

 

– SSH

“We loved beach school! We have since bought a crab line and successfully caught and released many crabs! Your sessions gave us lots of ideas for fun exploration at the beach. We already love the beach but you have expanded our activities. Lots of fun ahead for us when we’re in Portstewart!”

– AM

Latest from Facebook

5 days ago

Beach Schools NI

Bushmills PS were back on the beach this week. Creating lantern volcanoes and enjoying the beach at dusk. These kids have been such a pleasure to have at Beach Schools NI. 🦀🐚🔥🍢
#winterbeach #beachschoolsni #bushmillsprimaryschoolandnurseryunit #portballintrae
... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Thanks so much..it has been a pleasure we still have our final session up at the school next week making some beach themed Christmas craft.🎅🏻 I'm so glad your son has enjoyed it and learned some new things about our fabulous shoreline. 🐚🦀

My son has loved these past 6 weeks and is so sad there over. He would go every week all year he if he could. Thank you he has learned some amazing things and has even came back and taught me something’s I never even new. X

2 weeks ago

Beach Schools NI

Winter sun shone for Bushmills PS this week as we made 'Beach treasure boxes', designed obstacle courses and learned how to light a fire. Not forgetting toasted mallows to finish.🍢 👍🏻 #freshairlearning #beachschool #portballintrae #wintersun ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

Beach Schools NI

These little mermaids🧜‍♀️ found lots of their purses today at Portballintrae! I love the bounty of goodies that stormy winter seas wash in 🌊. A great day for exploring the shore with Bushmills PS and having s'mores to celebrate all our hard work! 😋 #thebeachisnotjustforsummer #mermaidspurses #sharkeggs #learningoutdoors #bushmillsprimaryschoolandnurseryunit ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

That is fantastic😀!! The mermaid's purses were everywhere today which was very exciting. Every day brings something new. Can't wait to see what we find next week!!

Our girls came home absolutely buzzing today with their discoveries. They are loving their sessions on the beach 😀

4 weeks ago

Beach Schools NI

Look at these cute little explorers from #earlyyearsatrockport 😍.We braved the cold today and explored the marine life just on their doorstep to finish their Earth Week adventures. #classroomswithoutwalls #rockportschool #FutureAmbassadors #EarthWeek #beachschoolsniE A R T H W E E K
D A Y 5
E x p l o r e t h e s h o r e

In a time when children are seen to be losing their connection to nature and are spending less time outside-we are so proud that spending time outdoors is such a big part of life at Rockport.

This morning the children were delighted to get down to the shore and spend time exploring and investigating with Maggie from beachschool. No matter how much time we spend by the shore-there is always more to learn and we want to know it all!

#earthweek2019 #day5 #exploringtheshore #beachschoolni #getoutdoors #connectwithnature Round Square #beachschoolsni
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