Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

29th July 2013


TEACHERS and students at a North Yorkshire School were all at sea for a night of maritime merriment to welcome aboard new students and their parents.

Serving home-made ice cream and fish and chips, pupils, family and friends enjoyed an open evening awash with nautical activities at The Dales School, Morton-on-Swale.

Head teacher Hanne Barton said: “The whole school has been studying the seaside this term so we decided to continue the theme for our parents open evening.

“It’s a great opportunity for new and existing parents to meet and support each other and also a chance for them to talk to our staff, not just about targets and outcomes but about how we can best support their children.”

Seaside collages, shell sculptures, treasure maps and a giant sea monster made by students were all on display at the co-educational special school for children with severe and complex learning needs.

Pupils and parents were also treated to a dip in a digital interactive underwater sea screen as well as having their seaside pictures taken behind a bathing beauties postcard.

New parent Sue Coulson, 52, of Romanby, whose daughter Ella, 15, is one of seven new students making the transition into The Dales School 6th Form, said: “We decided that The Dales School is the best choice for Ella’s at this stage in her life.

“She started school this week to enable her to get to know everyone before term starts in September and the staff and everyone here have been very welcoming.

“She’s been very excited to come in every day and evenings like this are wonderful to help all the new students and parents come together.”

Throughout the term the school’s primary children have visited the sea at Redcar, built sandcastles, eaten ice-cream and enjoyed a paddle in the sea, while older pupils have looked at the evolution of the seaside, its environmental issues, history, traditions and industry.

Parent Andrew Newton, 40, of Thirsk, whose daughter Aniela, six, has been at The Dales School for three years, said: “You always want what is best for your children and that is what The Dales School provides. It is the only one in the area that can cater for Aniela’s specific needs.

“There is a lot of expectation on the teachers here and they are always putting on lots of events for families after schools and at weekends.

“To host a night like this, catering for so many people with different needs, is a massive achievement.”

To round off the night the whole school joined in a round of sea shanties, with local folk group Monkey’s Fist, before saying goodbye to long-standing governors Jennifer Smithson, John Dennis and Helen Mires who were retiring from their posts.

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