The Beach Combing Transition Project

Each year, for the two transition days, we plan a very special learning experience for our newest recruits to Les Quennevais. These two days set the scene for the experience we want our students to have day in, day out. These days light fires of curiosity and imagination but also instil the expectations of excellence we want to see from our students. 

We have a range of subjects who get involved each year where students get to taste a variety of lessons through the lens of the seashore. These are some of the experiences students have had over the past few years.

  • In English, students use the experience of our immersive space to explore some powerful literature inspired by the sea. 
  • In science, students conduct a series of experiments to explore how wetsuits work, what sand and seaweed really looks like under a microscope and solve a rock pool mystery using chromatography. 
  • In French students learn how to describe a beach scene and play interactive games to learn new words. 
  • In History, students explore a timeline of St Aubins harbour- from the Vikings to the Nazis, working with Jersey Heritage as well as our staff. 
  • In maths, students create graphs to explore a section of a beach and get to grips with Numeracy Ninjas. 
  • In art, students learn how to create an abstract responses to the sea as well as looking at how the sea has inspired artists throughout history.
  • In geography, students look at why Jersey is the shape it is and understand how to create a field sketch from the sand dunes. 
  • In design, students explore a range of design movements and create a design for a lifeguard station.

From these inspiring lesson experiences, students are given guidance on how to take this learning further over the summer break. We have an exhibition day in September where we take over the main corridor and gallery space of the school for a couple of days for an enthralling display of the work. Each year, the exhibition gets better and better. We've had blogs about the geology of Jersey, a study of coastal bird migration, beautiful poems carved into driftwood, songs of the sea written, produced and recorded, light sculptures inspired by sea creatures, working wave machines, beautiful paintings and extraordinary historical explorations of Jersey's coastal existence. The variety and quality never ceases to amaze us and provides a powerful reminder of the enthusiasm, dedication and exceptional ability of our youngest students.

During the exhibition day, students get an opportunity to comment on each other's work. We invite parents and their primary school teachers to come and have a look at the stunning work on display. We recognise students achievement with a range of subject specific awards as well as effort and creativity. There are a small number of headteachers award certificates for students who are singled out for an exceptional creative response to the beach combing project by Mrs Hague. The certificates and feedback provide a great source of initial evidence for students Year 7 baccalaureate award.