Visit Report : Sark School

School: Sark School
Location: Sark, Channel Islands
Date: 20/03/2018
Duration: Full Day
Modules: Earth, Sun and Moon : Year 1 – 4
Solar System : Year 1 – Year 8
Stars and Constellations : Year 1 – Year 8
Introduction to Gravity : Year 5 – Year 8
Pupil Participants: 27
Adult Participants: 3
Visit Activity: 30


Our visit to Sark was fascinating, not least because the island (population 500) has its own government (the Chief Pleas), health care and school systems. With 30 pupils from age 5 to 16, it requires real dedication from school staff in order to develop and implement their own curriculum. The other interesting aspect of the island, is that cars are banned, which means getting around by foot, bicycle, horse or tractor – even the doctor had a tractor. That said, the island is just 3 miles long, so very easy to get around on foot and takes you back to a bygone age.

Our day started on Guernsey, where we caught the first ferry for a pretty rough crossing to the island’s harbour. With the help of the ferry crew and an island carter (man with a tractor), we were able to get our substantial amount of luggage and kit to the school for an 11am start. We started with Earth, Sun and Moon for the first two classes (Years 1-4), then the usual Solar System module with the whole school – up to Year 8. We also included our Gravity module, in order to talk about tides, as the Channel Islands have some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, and the pupils were curious to find our why. After school end, we had an hour to set-up for the community event, and at 4:30 pm we welcomed 30 members of the Sark Community to an astronomy afternoon, where we ran our Nature of Light workshop, followed by our Space Exploration talk. We met some fascinating characters, and were invited to see the island’s observatory. With Sark being a dark sky site, we had hoped for clear skies, but sadly the clouds prevented any meaningful stargazing.

We were fortunate to stay the night on Sark, and met more locals in the evening, as well as a team from Trinity House, who were working on the island’s lighthouse. The following morning saw us return to Guernsey, where we had a few hours to explore the island before our trip to Jersey.