Saturday, 26 October 2013

Autumn term at boat school

As half term comes around it seems a good time to reflect on what boat school has been up to over the last few weeks. At times work has taken quite a back seat while we sail or explore. Other times we have taken advantage of enforced stops to get the books out and spend a couple of hours a day concentrating on the nuts and bolts of literacy, numeracy and spellings – or as some would say reading, writing and arithmetic.

Boat school have been experiencing all sort of things since the summer holidays as we have moved up the French coast from the ‘Très Atlantic’ Verdon-sur-mer to the ‘intensely Breton’ Brest (their descriptions not mine!).
Salt pans at Pornichet

A trip to the salt pans at Pornichet proved interesting. There was fascinating learning in St Nazaire and Verdon with stories of the second world war including some very good museums. In Camaret, a town renowned for its artistic quarter, we enjoyed an art session. There has also  been lots of learning about the Napoleonic war including more great museums. Rock pool dipping was as fun as always.

We have seen lots of physical geography. The boys have admired arches, stacks, estuaries and sand dunes. Animals and plants have continued to be an important part of our life ande now have a book full of sightings, rubbings and sketches.

Pirate graffiti from prisoners in La Rochelle
Our history time line has also been really helpful to work out how world events link together. It was started as part of the Royal family topic last summer on a really long piece of paper. Since then all sorts of things have been added – the date of the first transporter bridge, Napoleonic wars, man on the moon, Kings and Queens of Spain and France, a date a particular lighthouse was built and many more things as they grab the boys interest. We’ve now had to add an extra section as they wanted to have cave paintings, menhirs and Roman walls they have seen on the timeline. In conjunction with a great book called a street through time ( which has very detailed illustrations (thanks to Nanny for that one) and the brilliant horrible history DVD’s, history has been really enjoyable.
General de Gaulles famous radio broadcast

For PE there has been body boarding, swimming, walking, scooters and many different playgrounds. Maybe climbing stairs should also be on the PE list as we have been up and down many spiral staircases in various towers and light houses over the last few months.

another stop, another playground....

As we travel they are also absorbing and revelling in the regional differences in food, language and the surroundings. Maybe one of my favourite moments though was the excited squeal of “Mum, come and see this beautiful sunset”. We’ve succeeded in our aim to teach them to look around and enjoy the world.


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