Year 5 Coastal Odyssey

It was an early start for Year 5 on Thursday as we set off on the coach at 7.30am to enjoy a day full of adventure and discovery in Teignmouth, Devon.  

We arrived and headed straight to the beach where the children completed a sketch of the bay and headland before splitting off into groups to learn more about erosional processes and how beaches are formed. To demonstrate the movement of longshore drift, Mr O’Connell threw a tennis ball into the water. Seconds later, and to everyone’s amazement and delight, the ball was retrieved by an excited labrador! The second attempt was far more successful and the children watched as the ball moved at an angle to the shore. The children stopped to sketch their observations before discussing the use of groynes to prevent the movement of sediment.  

By this point, it was very warm and sunny and the children were looking forward to their lunch, so we headed down towards the mouth of the river Teign. We sat on the beach, which was actually part of a spit (a piece of land that has been created over time by the process of longshore drift). After finishing our food, and surprise ice lollies (thank you Mr O’Connell!) we loaded up on sun cream, had a go at skimming stones and played a round of kings, queens and cabbages with the cricket bat (thank you Mr Ruane!) 

Little did the children know, the surprises had only just begun as we headed towards our next activity – a boat trip! There were some nervous laughs and smiles as the news was announced that we would be boarding but all nerves turned to excitement and we set sail to observe some more coastal features. The waters were calm as we headed out of the Teign Estuary, past Holcome and towards Dawlish and we were able to get up close to see a cave, arch, stack and stump. Our boat journey took us across the coastline, following the railway line that was severely damaged by waves and flooding in 2014. We observed the new measures in place to protect the coastline including a 40ft curved sea wall, rock armour and a rockfall shelter.  

We had a fabulous, educational day, and the children learnt a lot about coastal features that they will be able to bring back to the classroom as they explore the topic in more depth after half term. 

Ellie Cliffe, Year 5 Form Tutor