Assembly time – The sea

Assembly time – The sea © Bigstock

Knowledge and skills

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Living in the wider world

There is great fun to be had at the seaside but children should also be aware of the dangers. Invite each year group to investigate a different aspect of sea safety for a whole-school assembly.

Just before the summer holidays is an ideal time to remind children how to stay safe at the seaside. So why not make sea safety the focus of an assembly? This article suggests some starting points. Begin by reading aloud the poem on our ‘Up above and down below’ resource sheet. Create an atmosphere by showing some sea images on the whiteboard – you could use our ‘Beach images’ slideshow for this. Get the children thinking about all the things that happen at sea.

Stay safe

This is a good, short general introduction to safety at sea from the RNLI and BBC: www.bit.ly/RNLISafetyatsea. Play the video as an introduction before asking year groups to make a short presentation. Here are some suggestions for each year group. Sea dogs: Reception and Y1 could work together to find out about the fantastic working dogs that patrol Italy’s beaches with their owners. Who could resist these eager heroes? They drop out of helicopters and moving boats 007-style, bringing back up to 12 people at a time. Find out more at: www.bit.ly/VimeoSearescuedogs

Light ahoy: There’s plenty for Y2 to learn about lighthouses, from the automation of lighthouses in the 1980s to fiction and non-fiction links. It’s a good place for children to remind others that if they see anyone in trouble at sea, they can ring 999 and ask for the coastguard. They probably know the story of Grace Darling, the English Lighthousekeeper’s daughter who rescued people from the sinking ship Forfarshire in 1838. They may also know The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda Armitage, which provides a nice lead into this topic. Find a list of lighthouses old and new, both working and non-working, at www. trinityhouse.co.uk.

Lovely lifeboats: Y3 could look at the RNLI website and find out how lifeboats and their crews help people at sea. There are plenty of education ideas and resources. RNLI offers free school visits to talk about beach and sea safety. There are role-play cards and interactive whiteboard activities on the website: www.rnli.org/safetyandeducation

Meet the Navy: Your Y4 children should enjoy finding out more about the Royal Navy and how it protects us, as well as other maritime services (www.bit.ly/RNSecurityatsea). 

Coastguards: Get your Y5s onto the activity section of the Department for Transport’s website, which helps children to learn all about Sandie the coastguard through comics, games and slideshows. There are also teachers’ notes, lesson plans and worksheets to download: www.dft.gov.uk/mca/kids.

Little life savers: Ask Y6 children to find out about and present the Rookie Lifeguard scheme. It is run for 8- to 12-year-olds and deals with pool safety and other water safety and trains people how to help if they see someone struggling in water. 

Resources

Closing thought

Read through the 'Up above and down below' closing thought and talk about the ideas in it during your class or school assembly.

pdf Assembly closing thought (86 KB)

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