25th May 2018. The Reception class couldn't have picked a better day to go to the beach! The sun was out and smiling brightly over Koh Samui and the children are all very much excited to go on their first Primary School trip.
This class is comprised of 20 children between 4 and 5 years old, which meant that ample preparation was required. Four teaching assistants (TAs) joined the excursion to support Mr Goode in keeping an eye on all of the youngsters.
The morning began with a classroom assembly giving children reminders of what to do (and what not to do) when we got to the beach. Simultaneously, TAs packed plenty of water, snacks, sun protection lotion and books in case the children wanted to read by the beach.
The children were buzzing as we walked over to the school bus with our very friendly drivers who would bring us safely to our destination. With all 20 children on board two ISS buses, we traveled about 15 minutes to what some people claim to be the best beach on the island.
Choengmon is a long stretch of beach with about half a kilometre of shallow water. And as Mr Goode was teaching the children, this very low depth is a sanctuary for tiny fish and hermit crabs where the bigger fish cannot get to them.
As soon as we found a place to settle down, the children went right down to business: finding living creatures (especially hermit crabs) in the sea and carefully putting them in a plastic tub for study, being the little outdoor explorers and scientists. They saw schools of tiny fish swimming all around them which was an impressive sight. Furthermore, there is a tiny island across which you can get to by wading through knee-deep (kids' size) water. And of course our explorers went on to see this tiny island.
After about an hour of work, they gathered all their collections and discovered that just where the sea meets the sand, there are plenty of hermit crabs going about their day. The children marveled at the small creatures, some of them came out of the shell to show themselves off to the children. After their study, the students very carefully returned the hermit crabs back to their home.
There was a quick morning snack, with some singing -- it was also Mr Goode's birthday so we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him! And our excursion ended with a nice cool down in the sea (a perfect refuge from the scorching hot sun).
The children got back to school, feeling refreshed and happy. Some of them had to prepare for the Swimming Gala at Oonrak School. What a fabulous way to complete the first half of Term 3!