Surf’s up at HWIC conference


A Cornish surf therapy company is hosting a major European conference about the benefits of outdoor learning after running a successful pilot scheme to motivate students by teaching them on the beach.

0614-0041 PR4Photos - DCA - GAIN - Wave Project
The Wave Project team (l-r): Candy Tomkins, Joe Taylor, Yann Cote

The Wave Project, based at the Health and Wellbeing Centre (HWIC) in Truro, runs surf courses to help youngsters with mental illnesses and learning difficulties to feel more confident and is now expanding its work to inspire students who may be struggling at school.

After a pilot scheme run in conjunction with Penair School in Truro proved successful, The Wave Project will be presenting its work to delegates from similar organisations based all over Europe at an international conference at HWIC on July 9.

The conference, called WAVES (Water and Vitality in Environmental Spaces), is being hosted by The Wave Project as part of its involvement in a two-year, EU-funded scheme to explore how outdoor learning can reignite an interest in education amongst disengaged young people.

The one-day event will feature talks, presentations and exhibitions, with The Wave Project discussing the results of its collaboration with Penair School.

Joe Taylor, chief executive of The Wave Project, said: “The idea was to target students who had perhaps lost some motivation, and to take them out of the classroom to really fire their imagination.

“So maths lessons took place in the sea talking about displacement using surf boards, and a geography lesson explored rip tides. A science lesson involved rock pooling and searching for sea creatures, and pupils wrote poems in the sand during an English lesson.

“We evaluated the project afterwards and the feedback was fantastic, with students reporting that the outdoor lessons had really inspired them.”