Dive into marine biology at SeaQuarium Weston

Date Posted: 19/02/2015

The aquarium, in Somerset, provides an immersive first-step into underwater ecosystems and animals, for Foundation and KS1 and 2.

Situated on its own pier at Weston-Super-Mare seafront, SeaQuarium Weston presents pupils with a hands-on induction into aquatic science.

The aquarium harbours a number of themed zones with over 30 exhibits housing oceanic creatures ranging from sharks and jellyfish to rays and eels.

The collection of freshwater, marine and tropical sea life present students with an array of learning opportunities, backed further by a broad range of curriculum-based educational sessions.

Discovery Sessions

Students can participate in a selection of interactive learning periods, each individually designed to suit Foundation, KS1 and KS2.

Foundation: Under the Sea

An easy to understand demonstration will empower children to explore local rock pool animals, discovering their colour and identifying features with physical handling of the animals.

Laminated picture learning guides will also aid understanding, along with a question and answer session.

KS1: Care for the Environment and Minibeasts

In the Care for the Environment study, pupils will embark on a discussion of the consequences of pollution and how best to care for rock pool environments, before playing the educational game ‘Litter Police’.

The Minibeasts session, meanwhile, focuses on rock pool creatures with no spinal column.

The session will culminate with a ‘Fins Up’ game where children can demonstrate what they’ve learned, distinguishing minibeasts from animals that possess a backbone.

Both sessions will allow children to explore how animals eat, grow and reproduce, and allow participants touching opportunities with mussels, anemones and empty ray eggs.

KS2: Food Chains and Habitats & Adaptation

Students will learn all about producers, herbivores, carnivores, top predators and the evolution necessary to hunt or survive in the Food Chain session, with exploration of two different food chains found in rock pool environments.

In addition to interactive touching, there will be starfish viewing, before a lesson summarisation in the ‘Chomp Chain’ game, where children design their own food chains.

The Habitats and Adaptation session, meanwhile, will explore how creatures in the rock pool environment have adapted to their habitat, while discussing their life processes.

Again there will be practical hands-on investigation of the animals, before culminating with the ‘Imagination Game’, which will allow children to design their own imaginary creatures and habitats and the adaptations necessary to survive.

The sessions, each half an hour in length, are located in the Dr Cod Learning Zone - an auditorium capable of seating 40 people at a time. 

Learning resources and other benefits

With the price of admission granting school groups access to all exhibits, students can follow a self-guided ‘Discovery Trail’ around the aquarium, exploring the zones to their fullest.

The themed zones include the Evozone, Freshwater Zone, Tropical Reef Zone, Out of the Blue Jellyfish, Ray Zone, Rainforest River, Crustacean Cove, Fantastic Phobias and Ocean Tunnel Zone

In addition to housing theme-specific animals and habitats, each zone presents a range of exhibits and displays for children to enjoy.

Each exhibit also features interactive touch screen displays to aid with learning, in addition to the talks and feeds that take place daily.

In addition to their usual talks, SeaQuarium Weston’s learning team can tailor talks and learning packages to suit specific subject areas, ensuring a well-rounded learning experience.

Also on offer are a selection of pre and post-visit Key Stage specific worksheets and teacher information packs that augment the learning of the actual day by drawing upon the same topics of study.

SeaQuarium Weston also provides special admission prices and offers for groups with 10 or more paying pupils.

For more information on school trips visit www.seaquariumweston.co.uk.

School Travel Organiser's Guide