Learning at the beach

Year 2 Beach School

Our brains connect to learning experiences in different ways. Whole-body experiences, especially those in natural environments, open up our senses and cognitive function in ways that learning indoors cannot achieve.

Our Year 2 Beach School session was an opportunity to be inspired by our natural environment as a way to spark curiosity, creativity, wonder and awe and launch us into the next unit of inquiry with authentic passion and interest.

As we gathered together to collect our thoughts and belongings, we challenged the boys to make observations about the sun's position. By this stage of the session, the sun had made significant progress through the sky. The boys noticed the sun had moved from their first observation on arrival at the beach. An explosion of questions and explanations flowed from the group.

Statements of solid facts regarding the sun and the earth were shared by group members, confident about their scientific understanding. Some students explained with great pride, "I'm confused" and described their reasonings. The conversation that preceded was a perfect example of respectful, socially constructed discourse that highlighted the understandings and misunderstandings of this group of enthusiastic learners.

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When we take learning experiences outdoors, we honour children's passions for exploring, investigating, collaborating and observing. We make space for these authentic opportunities to inspire further learning. When the natural environment becomes our classroom there is a deeper connection to our everyday experiences. Something as simple as the progression of the sun through the sky becomes the basis for further investigation.

As educators, we cannot wait to see where this new thread takes us, how it inspires the next steps in their learning journeys and classroom-based experiences, driven by passion, excitement and emotional connections to shared experiences.

"Our challenge isn't so much to teach children about the natural world, but to find ways to sustain the instinctive connections they already carry." Terry Krautwurst

Fiona Alexander and Rebecca Sayers
Year 2 Teachers

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Swanbourne
WA 6010

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Scotch College acknowledges the Wadjuk Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which the College stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge the Noongar people as the sovereign First Peoples of this place.