RockReef indoor adventure climbing activity attraction on Bournemouth Pier has introduced new educational lesson plans entitled ‘Curriculum Climbers’, for Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 learning in Primary & Junior schools. The lesson plans, designed to get school children more active, are intended to help schools deliver elements of the curriculum by providing an easy and flexible solution for teachers to engage with their pupils and count towards the mandatory ‘active and adventurous’ activity requirements, stipulated by the Department of Education.
Bournemouth Pier Business Development Manager, Simon Catley advised, “We share many of the same values and aims as the schools that we are engaging with – at RockReef we are all about inclusivity, support, collaboration, confidence-building and helping children to reach their potential. Our team has worked hard to understand the challenges that schools face around delivering the curriculum and wanted to help. We’re extremely proud of the newly developed lessons plans that we have produced. They have been professionally prepared and approved by a range of schools and the ‘Active Dorset’ team. ‘Curriculum Climbers’ goes a little way to help alleviate some of the onerous lesson planning time commitment that teachers usually have to give.
“The RockReef curriculum pack consists of three individual lessons plans for a teacher: two for school-based delivery in the classroom and one for centre-based delivery at RockReef. The school-based learning is designed to wrap around the centre-based learning at RockReef with a pre-visit lesson and a post-visit lesson.”
Continuing Simon added, “All the plans deliver cross-disciplinary elements including Mathematics, Science, Nature, Personal Social & Health Education (PSHE) and spoken English. We achieve this in a variety of ways. Mathematics allows us to challenge the pupils in a fun way – they might be challenged to retrieve a mathematical problem from the top of a climbing wall and bring back down to their peers on the ground to solve. With nature, we encourage the children to talk about which animals are good at climbing and why. We cover a diverse range of animals, from goats to ants! PSHE includes encouraging the pupils to come up with words and adjectives that describe the skills needed to complete climbing challenges. These might be words such as patience, determination, team work and advice. School based learning includes creating an imaginary creature that they think would be brilliant at climbing a particular wall at RockReef. School visits also offer a legacy of relatable subject matter for other areas of the curriculum.
“The feedback that we’ve received from participating schools has been excellent. They all acknowledge that the centre-based visit helps build on pupils’ physical and mental skills, assists problem solving skills, tests and challenges agility, balance and co-ordination and encourages determination. It’s always remarkable to watch the pupils grow in confidence, even in just a short period of time. Our instructors are highly trained and familiar with the lesson content and particularly enjoy this element of their roles.”
Sam Fuller, Deputy Head at Ringwood School enthused, “We had a fantastic trip to RockReef. It was an unusual physical opportunity for us which offered new experiences. We watched pupils really enjoy themselves, doing something new. We had some children, who don’t ordinarily enjoy team sports, really get stuck in and we watched them flourish and show skills that we didn’t know they had! It was good to see pupils, who had initial fears about climbing, being encouraged by their friends to ‘give it a try’ and through some excellent team work they achieved things that they didn’t think they could do!”
Concluding, Simon commented, “Whilst the recently announced Healthy Pupils Capital Programme funding might help schools to fund and deliver improved child health, at RockReef we are very conscious of the budgetary restraints that schools face. As a result we have made sure that we are able to offer this opportunity to schools at a highly competitive rate. We would urge schools interested in using our ‘Curriculum Climbers’ lesson plans and arranging a visit to RockReef to get in touch with myself. We look forward to working with you. Tel. 01202 237915 E: Scatley@thebournemouthpier.com”
RockReef is based on adventure sports and includes an all-weather indoor adventure activity attraction which features 28 “Clip n Climb” fun, themed indoor climbing walls, a real rock wall climbing experience, a Vertical Drop Slide, a ‘Leap of Faith’ Challenge, the HighLine high ropes obstacle course and the PierCave which is a 65-linear metre indoor fun cave experience.