Shark Guardian hits Nottingham in the UK. Radcliffe Junior School goes shark mad!

Radcliffe on Trent Junior School in Nottinghamshire was the location for the first Shark Guardian presentation in the UK for 2013. On Tuesday 26th November, Shark Guardian Director Liz Ward-Sing presented to 40 Year 6 students. Following a topic called ‘Splash’ and personal research projects including some students focusing on sharks, the students were certainly enthusiastic and keen to learn more about these amazing creatures.

Shark Guardian at Radcliffe Junior School, Nottingham

Shark Guardian at Radcliffe Junior School, Nottingham

Shark Education enhances recent learning

Liz tells the students about the endangered status for sharks

Liz tells the students about the endangered status for sharks

Teacher Louise Braithwaite contacted Shark Guardian on recommendation from another Nottingham school which Liz visited in 2011. The Year 6 students had been learning about rivers, coastal erosion and marine life especially whales and turtles, as part of their ‘Splash’ Module. Part of this included looking at endangered species as part of studies on whales and the impact that pollution can have to turtle populations. Shark Education was a perfect addition to finish the studies.

Shark Mad Students

Changing perceptions about sharks and shark attacks

Changing perceptions about sharks and shark attacks

Even before Liz managed to get the presentation going students were asking questions and trying to gain more information on sharks! What a fantastic welcome to Nottingham!! When Liz asked who was scared of sharks, about a third of the students and both teachers raised their hands. But by the end of the session, this had changed considerably – result! One student remarked ‘All my life i’ve been told that all sharks are dangerous and i’ve been programmed to hate them. Now you’ve given me a totally different awareness of them. Why have people been lying?’. Shark Guardian feel privileged to influence such attitudes and allow people of all ages to make up their own minds, using their new wealth of information.

A focus on UK sharks

The students were amazed to hear that 30 different species of sharks can be found in UK waters. Liz focused particularly on the basking shark, blue shark, porbeagle and dogfish species.

Porbeagle shark - one of 30 species found in UK waters

Porbeagle shark – one of 30 species of sharks found in UK waters

Prior to the visit, Louise (teacher) said that the students were asking why they should help sharks and how they could be involved to help them when they live so far away from the sea. Shark Guardian always highlight the importance of sharks in keeping our oceans healthy and ecologically balanced, for the survival of life both in the sea and on land. Liz also gave ideas of how children can get involved, primarily by sharing the information they learned and using Shark Guardian resources to assist this. Liz also encouraged the students to visit UK shark hotspots such as Scotland for Basking Sharks and keeping an eye out for shark egg cases when visiting any UK beaches.

Reflection demonstrates learning

Liz answers questions from the eager students - could have stayed all day!

Liz answers questions from the eager students – could have stayed all day!

At the end of the session when Liz had answered LOTS of intelligent questions, the children were ask to reflect on what they knew/felt before the presentation and how that had changed. Children loved seeing the different species and hearing that so few species could potentially harm us. All were definitely less scared of sharks and importantly, much more aware of why they need our protection.

Upcoming Shark Guardian presentations

Shark Guardian will be back in force presenting together in Nottingham and the north of England over the next few weeks:

Monday 9th December: Leen Mills Primary School and Holy Cross Primary School, Hucknall, Nottingham

Monday 16th December: Ansdell Primary School, Lytham St Anns, Lancashire

Thursday 19th December: De lisle catholic college, Thorpe hill Loughborough

We are also scheduling some events for attendance by the general public. The first of these is:

Wednesday 11th December: John Godber Community Centre, Hucknall, Nottingham

Thursday 9th January: Horse and Groom Public House, Linby, Nottingham

Saturday 25th January: Spanky Van Dyke, Nottingham City Centre, Shark Fun Night!

Keep an eye out for our future events!

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