With Blue Planet being watched all over Britain since it hit our screens again a fortnight ago, we suggest some inspired trips to take your class on.
Thanks to people like Sir David Attenborough, we’re learning more all the time about the planet’s deepest oceans, and there’s plenty of inspiration for school trips. There are many attractions across Britain giving children the chance to get close to ocean life to tie in with various subjects including Science and Geography. We look at a handful offering educational visits.
SEA LIFE Blackpool, London, Great Yarmouth and Birmingham are all wonderful aquariums that are home to hundreds of creatures from the deep. When visiting, children can identify the various species, study the colours and textures of their skins and find out more about the habitats they live in. New for schools at SEA LIFE Blackpool this year is a series of curriculum linked sessions. Schools can also take part in feeding demonstrations, get closer to the animals in the Ocean Tunnel and touch a starfish in the interactive rockpool.
Blue Planet Aquarium in Chester, offers school packs for Key Stages 1 to 4, providing hands-on activities, animal encounters and question and answer sessions. Classes will find an Underwater Shark Tunnel there allowing them a closer look, a Coral Cave with diverse colours and textures, and a Flooded Forest section where pupils can see fresh water fish from South America.
Deep Sea World in Fife, Scotland offers school trips and classes, along with teacher previews. The aquarium offers talks throughout the day and daily feeds which pupils can learn more about the way in which the sea creatures survive. The exhibits include Seals, Underwater Safari, Amazon, Piranha, Krakatoa, Lake Malawi, Rocky Shores and Amphibians.
Pictured: Oceanarium in Bournemouth.
Oceanarium in Bournemouth offers different tour packages for schools; the Self-Guided Visit, whereby classes can peruse the attraction by themselves, the Guided Tour package where sessions will be led by a marine expert, adapted to Key Stages and chosen topics, and the Guided Tour and Interactive Session package which includes a guided tour and a session getting pupils hands-on with artefacts including turtle shells and shark jaws.
The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth offers educational visits for all Key Stages with different packages available and catered to the needs of each group. Sessions can include an Interactive Tour or an Explorer Visit which is self-led and has access to all the daily talks, shows and feeds. Free teacher pre-visits are available too as well as there being coach drop-off points and facilities for lunch. Workshops are also available as extras, including Plastic Seas which investigates the marine ecosystem and Classifications and Food Webs. There is also an Our Blue Planet show which links to STEM subjects and highlights the conservation issues facing the oceans and their inhabitants.
Blue Planet II is currently on BBC One every Sunday at 8:00pm.