Pool Academy students have been learning lessons down on the sands thanks to a Cornish charity.

The Wave Project charity recently invited a selection of youngsters to Newquay to experience learning in a different environment.

Gone were the whiteboards, iPads, pens and paper when they turned up at Towan Beach to take part in maths, geography and art lessons. Instead students used the sand to work out sums, looked at their surroundings to learn about rock formations, and created sculptures using rakes.

They also took part in PE lessons on the beach which saw them dressed in wetsuits tackling obstacle courses.

Nicola Sheriff, head of marketing at The Waves Charity, said this was all part of the Beach Sessions Project which helps youngsters to learn outside of the classroom environment.

She said: “They create big art pieces and sculptures, look at rock formations, learn poetry and write sums on the beach in the sand.

“They also make really big drawings with rakes and create mandala patterns.

 “We try to follow the curriculum so we will do maths, English, art and geography in the environment of the beach.

“We don’t teach in classrooms. This is a project for people who don’t get on as well in the classroom but learn in other ways.”

Nicola said the Beach Sessions were very successful and helped students get out in the open and ‘breathe in some sea air’ as well as learn.

The sessions took place even if it rained.

The Wave Project, which started in 2010 to provide one-to-one surfing lessons for youngsters, has now branched out with Beach Sessions.

Jason Webb, from Pool Academy, said: “Being involved with the Wave Project this year has been an incredible opportunity for our Year 8's here at Pool Academy.

“It has ignited the students' love of learning and enabled them to improve their behaviour and attendance and re-engage with school life.”

Pool Academy students took part in six beach sessions over the school term.

Sarah Jackson, Pool Academy Learning Facilitator, said: “We had a really good six weeks. They really enjoyed themselves. The students put in 100 percent into everything.

“It was a worthwhile project to get involved with. It was well thought out and well structured. Each session was different and they had the students’ best interests at heart.

“We hope to take part in sessions with the Wave Project again.”

Phil Jones