Leaving London with a smile! Shark Guardian round off UK presentations with 2000 more children!

Shark Guardian had a wonderful time in their last week in the UK finishing in London from the 28th to 31st of January 2014. 6 schools, 10 presentations over 4 days and almost 2000 people more educated about sharks. A great way to round off a 2 month visit to the UK. We even have a new Shark Guardian Leader in training.

North Bridge prep – Tuesday 28th Jan, 200 children

Shark Guardian present at Northbridge Prep School

Shark Guardian present at Northbridge Prep School

Shark Guardian started their busy week with the Year 3 and 4 pupils at North Bridge in Camden. Teacher Kate Paxton knows Liz and Brendon from diving in Thailand and was super keen to have them come in to school. The children were fantastic during the assembly and asked some great questions at the end. Since the visit, Kates class has made their very own ‘Shark Wall’ to share their new knowledge!

The fantastic 'Shark Wall' now on show at Northbridge Prep

The fantastic ‘Shark Wall’ now on show at Northbridge Prep

Burlington Junior School – Tuesday 28th Jan, 400 children

Shark Guardian at Burlington Primary School

Shark Guardian at Burlington Primary School

After Camden it was on to New Malden in Surrey for a presentation to the whole school. Years 1 to 6 were super excited from the off and even a room change half way did not deter their focus. Children asked questions about the UK shark species and many are now determined to visit Cornwall to see some Basking sharks. Brendon and Liz were mobbed trying to leave too – the children were full of questions and queries. Fantastic!

Kings College Boys School – Wednesday 29th Jan, 460 children

Shark Guardian at Kings College Junior, Wimbledon. London

Shark Guardian at Kings College Junior, Wimbledon. London

It has been more than a year in the planning but finally Shark Guardian were able to present at Kings College Junior. Liz’s good friend, Vanessa Attie, who she met whilst working in Indonesia was really happy to finally get the Shark Guardians in the awesome auditorium. Two sessions for the different year groups plus a few guests and teachers really enjoyed the presentations.

Boys at Kings College look on eagerly to learn about sharks

Boys at Kings College look on eagerly to learn about sharks

Discussions at the end featured some very creative suggestions for ways to get involved in Shark Conservation. It may be that a robotic fin or magical potion can be created from this enthusiastic group! Also, some students were keen to write letters to their local MP’s about UK laws. The younger pupils had a good dance in their seats to the Great White Shark song at the end – one of the best responses ever from that!

Lovelace Primary School – Thursday 30th Jan, 430 children

Shark Guardian at Lovelace primary School

Another full hall when Shark Guardian visited Lovelace primary School

On to Chessington on Thursday for two more presentations. Years 3 and 4, then years 5 and 6, were a great audience for Shark Guardian. Once more there were suggestions about robotic fins to help sharks! Plus some very intelligent ideas about fishermen fines and more shark fin bans were suggested.

As in previous presentations it was important for Liz and Brendon to highlight that the great white shark is NOT the worlds largest shark! This was so common through the week and clearly a result of movies such as Jaws creating the monster image of the great white. Definitely some well needed education and many more children interested in learning more about sharks after these sessions. Plus, much fewer children (and teachers!) being scared of sharks by the end.

This group was also especially sad to learn about the hammerhead sharks endangered classification by the IUCN. Hammerheads always get an amazing response during our presentations. For children to learn that they could be extinct within 10 years, there was real horror and sadness. Everybody vowed to do what they could to help protect this species, along with all the other magical sharks.

Wimbledon Chase Primary School – Thursday 30th Jan, 90 children

Shark Guardian at Wimbledon Chase

Shark Guardian at Wimbledon Chase

It was a real treat for the Year 4 pupils of Wimbledon Chase to have Shark Guardian in their school. They have recently been studying the ‘Under the Sea’ module, learning about the impact of trash on the oceans and about other endangered species.

Shark students at Wimbledon Chase Primary School

Shark students at Wimbledon Chase Primary School

As last lesson of the day the children were very excited right from the introduction video. They were passionate about their favourite sharks, mainly whale sharks, hammerheads and the great white. Plus they were extremely shocked to learn about shark finning after fully understanding how important sharks are for our oceans. We look forward to seeing if this group also write letters to their MP’s – some great suggestions from them about implementing new and improved shark laws in the UK.

Wimbledon High School – Friday 31st Jan, 360 children

Wimbledon High School

Wimbledon High School

For our last day in London we returned to the school once attended by our friend, Lucy Gorham. Lucy was our top organiser for the week and kindly drove us around Wimbledon to our events! We started with a 20 minute taster for Years 10 to 13 during assembly. Many girls could not help but cover their faces during the shocking shark finning video. We only show this video to older students so we don’t scare anybody. But with this group it was used effectively to get some strong messages across in a very short time slot.

Classroom sessions at Wimbledon High School

Classroom sessions at Wimbledon High School

After lunch we saw some of the girls again in a Year 11 Geography lesson. The girls scribbled away, writing down all the new information about different UK shark species and the many threats they are faced with in our oceans. This was a very successful addition to their new sea related module.

New Shark Guardian Leader, Lucy Gorham, with Liz and Brendon

New Shark Guardian Leader, Lucy Gorham, with Liz and Brendon

Finally, rounding off the super productive week, our new Shark Guardian Leader – Lucy herself!! – joined Brendon for the last presentation. 40 students from Years 11 to 13 attended the lunchtime Biology group. Lucy gave a fantastic first time Shark Guardian appearance and we cannot wait to see her in action again soon. The school is already planning on having Lucy come in to speak to other classes who realize the benefit and importance of learning more about sharks and marine life.

A successful week presenting to around 2000 school children – UK tour is a hit!

This was hugely productive time for Shark Guardian in London. Following the presentations in the north of England where nearly 2000 people were also able to see Liz and Brendon in action, the tally for our educational presentations has rocketed. We have many new contacts for our next visit, and with Lucy getting ready to present by herself, the UK is going to see a lot more form Shark Guardian over the coming year.

Now it is time for Shark Guardian to present in the United Arab Emirates for the first time. With 12 schools already confirmed, plus an event for the general public organised by Emirates Diving Association, Shark Guardian will be presenting to more than 5000 Dubai school pupils in just 12 days. We are pleased to be partnering with  Global Ocean for this tour, giving educational material to all the students and schools we visit. See our website for the schedule and we will be updating you of our progress as it happens.

Shark Guardian will be presenting in Dubai in partnership with Global Ocean

Shark Guardian will be presenting in Dubai in partnership with Global Ocean

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