Schools

SSACN are very keen to help educate Scottish children about the various species of fish and their natural environments in their local waters.

So far our focus has been on visiting primary schools and running education and awareness events based on shark, skate and ray species found in Scottish waters;  we have found the children find them most interesting. This year we intend to extend the ‘curriculum’ to include some practical coaching in the basics of sea angling.

The visits generally include a classroom based learning session, a few games based around marine life and wherever possible, eggcase hunts, where the schools have been to the beach to look for eggcases and then identify them back in the classroom.

If you’d like us to come along to your school, please fill in the form at the bottom of the page and we’ll see how best we can fit you in.

The following give some typical examples.

Dallintober & Drumlenbull:

dallintober An education day was run at each school in association with the GRAB trust. The days were aimed at giving the children knowledge on local species as well as special adaptations of elasmobranches to make them the effective predators they are. Emphasis was also placed on eggcases, what they were and where they came from as both schools were teaming up the following day to do a combined beach clean and eggcase hunt at Machrihannish beach. Foul weather did not deter the 44 children from finding numerous eggcases of small spotted cat sharks and one Blonde Ray eggcase.

Coll 20th:

coll We are trying to reach as wide an audience as possible and one of the more remote areas we have visited is  Arinagour Primary School on the Island of Coll.

The day was a huge success with beautiful sunny weather allowing the class to spend all afternoon scouring the beach at Feall Bay for eggcases after a morning learning fascinating shark facts. Many catshark eggcases were found and the pupils were so inspired by the day that a few returned the following weekend to hold their own eggcase hunt, finding a very impressive 48 catshark eggcases!

Aileen Cook, the head teacher at Arinagour, said the children had thoroughly enjoyed their day and were keen to learn more about the shark, skate and ray life on their doorstep!

Inverary Outdoor learning festival:

girl This was an event for teachers throughout Argyll to highlight different methods of teaching outdoors. We accompanied the GRAB Trust to help launch a new game aimed at educating primary school children about the marine environment. The game was developed by Argyll and Bute Beach Forum Steering Group and the SSTP has been involved to add in a section on Scottish elasmobranches. The game was a huge success and many of the teachers involved in the workshop were very interested in the education material we offered and several shark education packs were requested.

Lochnell:

inveraryWe went to Lochnell primary school in Benderloch to spend the morning with the children teaching them about sharks, skates and rays. The following week, we joined up with the GRAB Trust and joined the school during a field visit to the Isle of Kerra to help the children look for eggcases on the beach as well as run some educational activities on the beach.

Unfortunately, no eggcases were found, but the children really enjoyed the activities on the beach and had a great time doing shore transects, learning about other marine life that lives on Scottish shores. game

Barcaldine:

Barcaldine School was the first school that we used the Sea and Learn game to help the children to remember the elasmobranches knowledge they had learned in a classroom session. They also did several activities such as using shark senses to hunt for their prey along the beach, measuring out distances from the food.

Drummore:

game2

The programme went to Drummore Primary school during the hugely successful Shark-a-Tag event run by SSACN. After spending an hour in the classroom with the children teaching them about elasmobranch biology, the class took advantage of the good weather and went down to the local beach to do some outdoor activities and look for eggcases. This proved to be very successful with 11 catshark and 4 thornback ray cases found. The children also played the Sea and Learn game on the beach among some other activities such as measuring out shark lengths to emphasize how big these animals can grow.