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School puts surfing on curriculum after head makes amazing discovery

2018-05-21 10:42
A school in a stunning seaside resort has put SURFING on the curriculum - after discovering some pupils had never been to its beach. The unusual classes have been introduced at Goonhavern Primary School in Perranporth, Cornwall. Perranporth is a few miles south of Newquay and has a three-mile long golden beach overlooking the Atlantic. But headteacher Mark Lloyd said he found it ''utterly unbelievable'' after he discovered some of his own pupils had never been taken there by their parents. They have now started lessons on the sands including surfing, beach cleaning and ocean safety. Mr Lloyd said: "I find it utterly unbelievable that some parents who live some close to the sea have never taken their children to the beach. "We've made it our responsibility to take these children to the beach.We've only done it twice so far, but seeing the change in some children is amazing. “They show fantastic resilience and it has truly helped improve their self confidence.” Surf enthusiast Mark Thorn, who’s five-year-old daughter Nancy is a pupil at the school, loaned wet suits and equipment to pupils for the classes. Pupils aged four to 11 years old will have the opportunity to have ten weeks of lessons, which are a day long. The school has now secured £18,000 in pupil premiums from central government to help ensure surf lessons for pupils become part of the curriculum year-on-year. Year 4 teacher Lydia Davis said: "I've definitely seen the children's confidence grow. Some have been scared at first but have loved it once they got on the boards. "It has given them such a confidence boost. The children are doing things out of their comfort zone. “I see the difference in their behaviour between being here on the beach and when they are in the classroom." Despite being only two miles from the sea, some pupils had never been to the beach. Businessman Mr Thorn said: "If you live in Milton Keynes it's probably OK not to know anything about the sea and the beach, but if you live here it seems criminal not to. "If you visit the beach on a Wednesday evening at 6pm and you come back the following Wednesday at the same time, the beach will be different because of the tides. “There might be rock pools or there might be big waves. “It's about helping children question things around them such as how the tides work, or what animals live in rock pools.” Children will see for themselves the impact plastic pollution has on the oceans by taking part in a litter pick run by Plastic Free Perranporth Surfers Against Sewage. Michelle Sanwell, from the Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club, said: "It's not about regurgitating lessons to them. It's about making it fun through play. "We want them to have a better understanding of their environment and where they live. “Plastic is an issue. Winds and tides are important. It's about understand the wildlife too."