Kids can learn about ‘deep science’ and hear stories from mermaids in online lessons every Friday

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National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium is launching an impressive series of home learning sessions for children all across the UK from tomorrow.

With schools having been forced to close their doors due to England’s third national lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, children up and down the country have once again reverted to home learning programmes, leaving parents often searching for new and innovative ways to keep the little ones occupied and educated at the same time.

This is why the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is keen “to make sure we are doing our bit to support the thousands of students and teachers that connect with our charity each year” through providing live-streamed sessions.

According to the aquarium, research has shown that encounters with marine environments (physical or virtual) have a powerful effect on our emotional state and general wellbeing, and with the country in lockdown, there’s never been a more important time to ensure everyone has access to “a weekly dose of ocean”.

The National Marine Aquarium’s Home Learning Sessions are completely free, and will be streamed live to homes across the UK through YouTube every Friday starting tomorrow, until 26th February.

They are the perfect way to “round your week off with a bang, or help you wind down for the weekend”.

So, what can marine fans expect from the series?

Well, first up is the weekly ‘Deep Science’ lessons – aimed at KS2 Primary School-aged children – which will see aquarium teachers meet some of the centre’s amazing animals, as well as stopping in at the AquaLab to explore the science behind the animated ocean exploration TV series The Deep – which is on CBBC every weekday at 12pm during lockdown.

Every Friday at 1pm – 1:20pm, you can expect to learn some fascinating facts and watch real-time experiments, as well as being provided with some curriculum-linked ideas to follow up with at home.

Tomorrow’s session is intriguingly titled ‘Underwater Volcanoes’, with other sessions set to include:

  • 22nd January – Creature Classification 
  • 29th January – Nautical Navigation 
  • 5th February – Ocean Mysteries 
  • 12th February – Megafauna 
  • 19th February – Life Cycles 
  • 26th February – Looking After The Ocean 

Looking for something for the little ones instead? Fancy meeting a real mermaid?

The ‘Mermaid Tales’ sessions – geared towards Early Years-aged children – let you do just that, as the National Marine Aquarium’s resident mermaid Marina will read a short story to everybody tuned in, and the sessions will be live-streamed every Friday at 1:30pm – 1:45pm, it’s the perfect timing before an afternoon nap, or as a gentle, relaxing start to the afternoon.

National Marine Aquarium

Each of the Home Learning Sessions will also help children to feel part of the start of the global UN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’, and will assist with home learning, whilst also providing a chance for children and their parents and teachers to gain some of the wellbeing benefits that have been proven to come from watching aquatic life.

Speaking on the launch of the Home Learning Sessions, Nicola Bridge – Head of Conservation Education and Communications at the National Marine Aquarium – said: “Despite the continued COVID-related restrictions we are all under, our suite of accessible online resources will help those home schooling get access to valuable resources and interactive activities.  

“The UK is a national and global leader in marine science, and we feel ocean related teaching should therefore be an essential part of the core curriculum offering and want to help facilitate that.

“We also want to support parents and teachers in this difficult time for everyone.  

“The ocean provides half of the oxygen we breathe, drives the weather and climate and is a valuable food source for much of the world, and to look after it for future generations, we need to create an ocean literate generation – that is to say, a generation that understands the ways in which we are all inextricably connected to it, just as it is to us.”

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You can find more about the Home Learning Sessions via the National Marine Aquarium website here, and access the sessions every Friday on YouTube here.

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