MANY children have celebrated graduating from Ocean School on Barry Island.
Aiming to educated and empower the younger generation on environmenal action and projection, primary schools have taken part in free two hour sessions exploring marine and environmental issues affecting our seas and beaches.
A pupil from Palmerston Primary School described their experience as “the best day ever”.
Started by Cornwall-based group, Surfers Against Sewage, Ocean School has made children aware of the plastic pollution crisis, while giving them chance to explore the beautiful coastline and deepen their connection with the ocean environments.
The young ocean activites will also be helping Surfers Against Sewage to meet their target of ending single-use plastic pollution on UK beaches by 2030.
Education Officer at Surfers Against Sewage, Laura Macey, said: “We have been engaging with local schools, empowering them on what they can do to protect and care for the marine environment through beach cleans, rock pool exploration, and campaining ocean artworks.
“We are excited to bring Ocean School to Barry Island for the first time, after a few weeks in Cornwall and before rounding up on the Isle of Wight in September.”
Since the programme at Barry Island started on July 5, ten schools have taken part in the programme, which includes hands-on ‘citizen science’ activities.
The school’s that have been involved in the Barry Island Ocean School include:
- St Helens Catholic Primary School
- Rhws Primary School
- Oak Field Primary School
- Palmerston Primary School
- Cadoxton Primary School
- Ygsgol Gwaun y Nant
- Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg
- All Saints CIW Primary School
- High Street Primary School
- Cogan Primary School
Pupils who took part have collected, weighed and analysed rubbish found on the beach; identified different creatures living within rockpools; and took part in immersive games.
All activities are linked to the National Curriculum and each session culminates with an Ocean School graduation ceremony.
Volunteer Regional Rep for Surfers Against Sewage in the Vale of Glamorgan, Michael Goode, said: “When I knew Laura was looking for locations in Wales, I knew that Barry Island was the perfect location as it is surrounded by accessible beaches and lots of primary schools that would benefit from finding more about the local marine environment.
“The response from the participating schools has been very positive, and all the pupils have enjoyed their time on the beach with their classmates, teachers and the team from Surfers Against Sewage.”