School Virtual Tour of our Aquarium

Take a guided tour of the National Marine Aquarium, the UKs largest public Aquarium and home to over 4,000 amazing marine creatures with a member of our dedicated Schools Team from the comfort of your own classroom!

Your journey begins in our Plymouth Sound exhibit, where students will encounter some of our much loved, and most charismatic local life around the British Coasts. After this, they will move on to the largest tank in the whole of the United Kingdom – our Atlantic Ocean exhibit. Here, they will get a close-up look at our turtle, stingrays and sharks. The Tour continues on to our Blue Planet exhibits, where they will meet a wide variety of beautiful creatures that can be found in coral reefs across the world.

All tours are linked to the science curriculum and delivered by our fully trained Schools Officers, who will answer your students’ questions, and pose their own interesting questions to prompt and develop your students’ learning.

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We offer three different Virtual Tour options:

Enchanted Seas (EYFS/KS1)

During this tour, students will:

  • Observe the colours, patterns and shapes of creatures that are found in a range of Ocean habitats, including rockpools, sandy sea-beds, and coral reefs.
  • Compare the structure of different Ocean creatures, learning about how they use their tails, fins and gills to survive beneath the waves.
  • Discover how different animals are classified based on what they eat and understand what they need to survive.

Beneath the Waves (KS2)

During this tour, students will:

  • Identify the adaptations of a variety of Ocean creatures across a range of habitats and discover predator-prey interactions between different species.
  • Classify species based on their physical features and methods of reproduction.
  • Discuss the importance of our Ocean, how humans are having an impact and what we can do to protect it.

Sand, Sea and Science (KS3/4)

During this tour, students will:

  • Discover a variety of Ocean habitats and ecosystems, exploring the interactions between species and their environment and how they have evolved to survive.
  • Discover what it’s like being a biologist at the Aquarium, learning about how they provide the animals with the correct nutrition and ensure a high level of water quality.
  • Consider the impact that humans are having on our seas, including global warming and ocean acidification, and how conservation efforts are making a positive difference.
classroom aquarium

Support Resources

Each Virtual Tour booking comes with access to five exclusive cross-curricular post-tour workshop activities. These are perfect for extending the learning of your pupils, ideal should you wish to run an Ocean themed activity day for your class.

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If you know when you’d like to book your class in for a virtual Aquarium tour, book yours today!

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To find out more, contact our Learning Team at learning@oceanconservationtrust.org or call us direct on 01752 275 233

Want more? Why not combine your Virtual Tour with our downloadable workshop, to transform your day into a special Ocean-themed experience!

What do teachers think…

Really great interactive session – Joe allowed the students to ask questions throughout the tour. Was a lovely learning atmosphere and made the students smile and laugh. Really amazing experience!

Alice Gowans – Haberdashers Askes Hatcham College (London ) – Year 7 teacher

The children (and staff) absolutely loved it! The were fascinated by what they saw and our Tour Leader was extremely knowledge able and really enthusiastic, which the children loved!

Alison Richardson – Allenton Community Primary School (Derby) – Year 4 teacher

Joe was very knowledgeable and was incredible positive towards the children. We had a slight technical hitch but he sorted it swiftly.

Fleur Johnson – Weeth Primary School (Cornwall) – Year 5 teacher

FAQs

Is the tour suitable for my students?

There are three tour options as outlined above, each pitched to a specific key stage. We endeavour to make sure that our tours are accessible for all pupils, so if there are any specific requirements to ensure the tour meets their needs, please get in touch to discuss with a member of our team.

Will other schools be able to join our tour?

No. The virtual tour is a bespoke experience, which we tailor to meet the needs of your students.

How much does a tour cost?

The tour will cost £120 for a class of up to 32 pupils. You will be invoiced after the tour has taken place.

How many students can participate in the tour?

We recommend one class per tour in order to ensure a bespoke experience and the best level of interactivity between students and their guide.

Can I share the link with other classes?

Yes, it is possible to add additional participants to the video link by agreement with our team during the booking stage at a cost of £60 per additional class. We are unable to admit unexpected guests into the meeting room, so please do not share with other classes unless by prior agreement with our administration team.

My pupils have a specific topic focus; can we alter the focus of the tour?

Yes. If you have a specialist topic you are covering, please inform us of this when you make your booking.

When can the tours take place?

Tours are available on weekdays during term-time. Our standard timeslots are shown below. Get in touch to discuss your needs if these times are unsuitable:
  •       9:15-10:45
  •       11:00-12:30
  •       12:45-14:15
  •       14:30-16:00

Do I need special software or equipment to take part?

You will need access to a webcam, microphone and an internet connection. We recommend that you project the screen onto a whiteboard. The tours will be delivered through Microsoft Teams. If you do not have a Microsoft Teams account, or have never used Microsoft Teams, then please don’t worry. You will receive detailed instructions on how to access the meeting in advance of the tour, and our dedicated team will be available to support you with any troubleshooting as you prepare for your tour.

Are the Virtual Tours delivered safely and securely?

Yes. Microsoft Teams is a safe and secure communications platform of the highest quality. If you would like to discuss any concerns with a member of our team, please call us on 01752 275 233.

How do I book a tour?

To book a tour, please contact our Learning Team on 01752 275233 or email us at learning@oceantconservationtrust.org.

What happens after I book?

Once you have booked your Virtual Tour with us, you will receive:
  • A confirmation email with an Information Sheet attached. This will include step by step instructions to guide you through the process of accessing your tour. It will also contain a link which allows you to download the full suite of support resources from our online archive.
  • An email with access details for the ‘meeting room’, allowing you to put the event in your calendar and access it easily when you are ready for the tour to begin.

Why do we charge a price for this experience?

Our Virtual Tours are run by the Ocean Conservation Trust; a registered Ocean Conservation Charity (registered charity number 1032491). As part of our mission to Connect everyone to the Ocean, we provide a selection of zero cost resources on our website (www.Oceanconservationtrust.org). In addition to these, we also produce a small number of premium products, the sale of which helps to fund the essential conservation projects and education programmes that are the core of our operation.

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) is the UK’s largest aquarium, located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth. It is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean.

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