A group of education students from the University of Plymouth have become the first to take part in a unique enrichment opportunity.
The Primary BEd and BA students took part in a practical-based field course, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and designed to provide them with the knowledge and skills to include ocean literacy in their future teaching.
The course was developed and delivered by Tamara Mortimer and Dr Alun Morgan, from the Plymouth Institute of Education, in collaboration with the Ocean Conservation Trust and South Devon AONB Estuaries Partnership.
The course was also supported by local professionals and organisations including Dr David Conway, of the Marine Biological Association, who led a plankton workshop, and Coral Smith, the Marine Awareness Officer from Devon Wildlife Trust, who talked to the students about planning visits to the seashore environment and the support available.
Marine biology students from the University also volunteered to support the education students with their identification of coastal species.
Over three days, the education students considered the global issues of climate change and sustainability, their links to the principles of ocean literacy, and their place in education both within and outside the formal curriculum.
They spent time at the National Marine Aquarium and the foreshore by the University’s Marine Station, while the final day at Wembury focused on the importance of water catchments, learning how to assess fresh water quality and evaluating games and activities aimed at primary children to reinforce the learning.
A final rock pool ramble provided the opportunity to rehearse and practise some of the stories learned on the course about some of the most common marine creatures, as well as the chance to spot some more unusual ones such as the spiny starfish and pipefish, relations of the seahorse.
The participants will be awarded a digital badge in recognition of their participation and engagement in the event.