1. The problem and our solution
We believe that our oceans do not have the respect they deserve: we pollute, over use, and carelessly destroy 70% of our blue planet. Yet our lives, marine creature’s lives, the next generation’s lives, all depend on them. Without them there wouldn’t be enough oxygen to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, or a climate to live in. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, rays ... these charismatic creatures can inspire a child’s passion and respect for marine life. Our vision is to inspire the next generations to care about our oceans and to bring ocean studies into the National Curriculum.
2. The project
Incredible Oceans is an education outreach programme from the World Cetacean Alliance - the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises - delivered by WhaleFest, an organisation delivering the world’s largest children’s outreach events about cetacea. The purpose of the project is to inspire a generation of children from an early age to respect, care about and protect cetaceans and their habitats. It has a two year time frame to raise funds, create the pack and deliver the programme to 300 schools across the country. At the end of the delivery period the pilot will end with a live schools event with the intention of bringing together the four modules in a whale festival type experience for the participating schools.
With our entertaining and expert presenter Russell Arnott (MSc Oceanography) we will film four popular, accessible science, ocean lectures, based on the successful format of the Royal Institution children’s lectures. We then send free DVDs with full multi-ability lesson plans to 300+ primary schools using the wow factor of charismatic species in each lesson, with every school receiving a life-sized inflatable bottlenose dolphin. This cross-curricular, guided learning programme could spark a life-long appreciation for marine life.
1. The first phase of the project will be directed at primary school aged children (Key Stage 1 & 2 – age 5 to 11)
2. The four modules chosen will reflect the WCA global programmes
- Pollution: plastics + extinctions
- Climate: extinctions
- Fishing: entanglements + by catch + extinctions
- Sustainable Tourism: captivity + responsible whale & dolphin watching
3. Each module will feature a different cetacean or cetaceans
- Pollution: sperm whale
- Climate: blue whale
- Fishing: vaquitas + river dolphins
- Sustainable Tourism: orcas + bottlenose dolphins
4. The national curriculum currently does not feature any specific topic to cover oceans so the above modules will be fitted to existing topics
5. The modules will offer the topic in three parts which are taken from the 10 compulsory subjects for KS1 and 11 for KS2 Science
- Humanities (Geography & History) + English
- Arts & Crafts + Design & Technology
6. In addition there will be suggestions for fundraising
The concept of events such as whale festivals is to reach a wide audience with engaging talks, films and hands on experiences which educate and raise awareness in an enjoyable manner. The limitation of a single event is that it cannot reach and influence enough people during the short duration of the event and will only be attended by those that already have an interest. The issues surrounding cetaceans and habitat health have far reaching consequences which deserve greater emphasis and a wider audience.
It is the intention that the project evaluation, statistics and feedback will result in two outcomes. The first outcome is that “oceans” should have a far greater prominence in the national curriculum and secondly, that this programme should be rolled out to the “8.2 million pupils attending 24,372 schools in England (including nursery schools, state-funded primary schools, state-funded secondary schools, special schools, pupil referral units and independent schools.)” Jan 2012 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-schools-teachers-and-students-in-england