Submerge students in marine learning at Sea Life

Date Posted: 29/01/2015

With school programmes specifically tailored for KS1 to 2, pupils can sink into a watery world of learning at Sea Life.

Dedicated to educating and inspiring children, the National Sea Life Centre, in Birmingham, offers a range of learning packages for younger pupils, presenting a starting point to develop their interest in the marine world.

With a selection of 1,500 underwater creatures to discover and admire, students can expect to see Lionfish, Bowmouth Guitar and Blacktip Reef sharks, Unicorn fish, Gentoo penguins, Big bellied seahorses and, of course, the fish made famous by Disney Pixar’s animation Finding Nemo: clown fish.

Specifically designed to support several core elements of the National Curriculum for KS1 and 2, Sea Life offers a selection of packages for younger children, from the pre-school Starfish and Ray discovery experiences, to the Turtle and Crab learning programmes, suitable for children aged from six to 11 years of age.

Turtle trials and crab capers

In the Turtle and Crab packages, children can expect to take part in:

  • Feeding demonstrations and talks
  • An interactive rock pool experience
  •  A quiz trail
  • A walk under the waves in a 360 degree ocean tunnel
  • Learning about marine habitats ranging from rivers and lakes to the deepest oceans

Introducing a range of scientific topics that are designed to stimulate students’ senses, the centre encourages learning through interaction – pupils can explore and discover life under the sea in a series of activities and events that allow practical, hands-on experience; seeing, hearing and touching a variety of underwater creatures.  The rock pool interactive experience allows pupils to handle starfish and crabs, while the feeding experiences will enlighten them to the conservation and care required by the centre’s unique marine creatures. 

There is also the optional extra of the Discovery Tour, a 45-minute journey around the aquarium. Led by a marine expert, each tour can be tailored to focus on specific creatures or topics, fully supporting each school group’s own individual learning and development.

Four different self-guided learning packs are also made available for the duration of the day, with each focusing on different topics integral to marine biology. Teachers can cross the following subjects from their checklist:

Habitats and Adaptations

Children can discover a variety of marine habitats and learn what makes them suitable for different species, in addition to identifying the adaptations those creatures have made in order to both survive, and thrive.

Food Chains and Ecosystem

Pupils will come to understand the importance of a balanced ecosystem, learning the roles each creature plays and identifying the sequence of various food chains.

Behaviour

Children can deliberate over the behaviour of the different marine creatures, learn about their core life developments and gain an understanding of how environmental conditions impact their behaviour.

Conservation

School groups can learn about the threats facing marine creatures and discover the impact human activity is having upon their habitats, in addition to learning what can be done to help.

Following a creed of ‘Breed, Rescue and Protect,’ conservation is a keen area for the Sea Life centre.

A pioneer in the field of seahorse breeding, Sea Life has helped breed nine different species of the endangered creature, ensuring stock that can be resupplied into the wild, should numbers fall dangerously low. 

Sea Life, along with its sister brand, Seal Sanctuaries, is also responsible for rescuing, rehabilitating and returning over 100 orphaned and injured seal pups to the sea each year.

Each learning pack, focusing on these four topic areas, offers a selection of questions and activities designed to engage and educate children, encouraging an interest that will drive the responsibility of future generations in understanding and caring for marine biology.  

For more information or to book, call 0871-423 2110 or visit www.sealife.co.uk/birmingham.

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