Whilst mum relaxes on the beach, it’s more often than not, Dad’s job to take the kids down to the edges of the seawater to do a little exploring in the rock pools. Armed with buckets, fish nets and jelly sandals, rock pooling provides hours of family fun and can sometimes unveil some rather unusual looking species.
Rock pools are natural aquariums left behind by the sea’s tide. Full of mystery and extraordinary findings, many overlook the educational benefits that such an activity can bring to all age groups. Aqualease are now able to bring the rock pools to the classroom to save that long wait for your annual holiday each year. Forget the wind and forget the rain brought by our lovely trusty British summertime each year. Now it is possible to learn about the amazing species living on the British Coast at arm’s length, all in the comfort and safety of the classroom!
It comes as no great surprise that Aqualease have ventured into the realms of education and child development seen as their hire services have been so well received across the UK in many schools. Just like rock pools – benefits come in the bucket load in terms of sea life and how it can enhance the academic, physical and social skills of a child. Aqualease offer “Their Rock Pool Experience” in the form of a two and a half hour session, delivered by our highly experienced marine rangers. The interactive experience offers hands-on learning and effectively brings the British Isles into the classroom for a fun and innovative one off chance to learn all about underwater life on the coast.
7,723 miles of British coastline delivers stunning natural beauty and a hidden world of unusual and exciting underwater species. Rock pool habitats are ample along the outskirts of the country and although the coasts attract millions of tourists every year, many don’t get the chance to investigate what lies beneath the surface of the water or below the pier. Our experienced marine rangers will set up on the morning of the session bringing all necessary equipment and worksheets needed for a thrilling experience that allows the classroom children to get up close and personal with Mussels, Crabs, Blennies and Starfish. An introduction of the rock pool’s inhabitants opens up the meeting to encourage students to share their experience of their visits to the coast. Fascinating facts about the formation of rock pools are shared among the students, together with key examples as to why this is beneficial to those species using the environment as a refuge.
Interactive games and discussions between groups of children split into teams encourages thinking, communication, the sharing of thoughts and ideas among fellow team members and brainstorming abilities. Aqualease also provide worksheets for the children where our on-hand marine rangers are available for support and encouragement. By actively engaging with one another, classroom students are able to verbally demonstrate their thoughts as well as applying literacy, geographical and scientific skills to their learning.
With so many fascinating species to learn about, classmates can thrive off each other whilst in an educational setting via a combination of both teamwork and independent study. The beautiful bottom-dweller Blennies are a fabulous addition to the rock pool project. Typically quite territorial, children will enjoy watching Blennies weave in and out of extensive rockworks in search of microalgae growth – an important part of their staple diet in order to maintain good health in captivity. Beadlet Anemones are found along the coasts all over Britain. With 192 tentacles arranged in six circles, passing prey can be trapped by drawing them into its mouth. Classrooms of students are normally stood open-mouthed as they watch the fascinating Beadlet Anemone retreat its tentacles until it resembles a blob of jelly! As one of the most common crab species found in Britain, the shore crab is frequently encountered whilst rock pooling, so many children will recognize this little fella with its more often than not, dark green shell of armor and blotches of striking white. The shore crab’s first pair of walking limbs have pincers! The intricate spikes of the common starfish look like a fine fluffy down when underwater. The common starfish varies in colour from a stunning red to yellowish brown colour to the rarer, captivating violet shades. Its five arms feature rows of tubular feet on the underside, a unique and rare glimpse at one of the country’s most beautiful species.
The importance of conservation factors, together with those areas of the coastline considered as key natural habitats, effectively covers a geographical aspect of learning, whilst research and creative writing help to further develop literacy skills. Fish anatomy, diet and an insight into invertebrates, vertebrates, carnivores, herbivores and omnivores implement elements of scientific application whilst problem solving, classroom interaction and group work are also considered beneficial.
Fundamentally, Aqualease’s “Rock Pool Experience” delivers education and fun on one platform. Linking in with the national curriculum, the sessions which are priced at just £295 (+ vat and available as a full or half day booking) also encourage afterschool learning. With educational packs that can be taken home, colouring activities, factsheets and worksheets can be continued with family members. For more information on our Rock Pool Classroom session, visit the following link and contact a member of staff.