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New Initiative Allows Primary Pupils to Delve Deep into the Underwater World

New Initiative Allows Primary Pupils to Delve Deep into the Underwater World

20 November 2015

A new, exciting initiative between industry and education will bring science to life in classrooms across Scotland.

Subsea UK has been working with education bodies and teachers to create a resource which will capture the interest and imagination of primary pupils in science subjects. Aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence, Subsea Channel, will provide teachers with a resource which shows real-life applications of the scientific principles they teach.

Subsea Channel was developed in response to industry wanting more young people to take an interest in science.  It has been designed to help teachers deliver the science curriculum with images and examples that engage pupils’ interest and imagination, to make the subject relevant and accessible to more young people.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: "Teachers need resources which put science into context, showing how it can help solve real problems facing the world at large and fire children’s imagination.  On a practical level, resources need to be aligned to the education curriculum and flexible enough to be incorporated easily into classroom work. Industry must support education if we are to dramatically increase the number of young people taking science subjects and this initiative demonstrates what can be achieved by businesses working closely with schools.”

Subsea UK’s development team for the resource included teachers and science support staff alongside industry representatives.  Together they have produced a resource for use with 8-12 year olds (P 6/7) which supports the Curriculum for Excellence in a way that makes the science relevant and exciting.  The resource is designed to support the teachers prepare and deliver their lessons and show the application of science in the real world and at work.

Mr Gordon added: "Research shows that primary school is the best place to start nurturing an interest in science and technology, we have to capture the imagination of young people before they make important subject choices.

"As well as the specific and practical curriculum outcomes we are confident that the visual material will engage the children’s attention and imagination.  We want to encourage young people to take an interest in science and the natural world around them.”

The resource is made up of five topics; Marine Biology, Surveying the Seabed, Vessels, Diving, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and Robotics.  Each topic "pack” contains a specific "Subsea Channel” film on the subject; together with a lesson plan and teaching notes with supplementary information for teacher reference to help plan their lessons.  

The resource is free and available to all schools throughout Scotland and can be accessed via a dedicated page on the Subsea UK website. Teachers will be asked to register by providing their details, which will also allow Subsea UK to inform them of any updates, send on additional materials and gather feedback.

Angela McLean, teacher at Westpark Primary School in Aberdeen said: "After using the Subsea Channel package in the classroom I was impressed at how well all of the resources fitted together and really stimulated pupils’ imaginations.

"What really helps is the in-depth technical background information that is included for each topic.  The lesson plans are easy to follow and are mapped to the experiences and outcomes within the Curriculum for Excellence. They also include learning intentions and success criteria so teachers can just pick them up and teach them.  The films are extremely well made and the voiceover not only gives children information but it asks them questions which can be picked up later for discussion."

Subsea UK hopes to add to the programmes on the Subsea Channel and also work with English and Welsh teachers to develop the lesson plans and teaching support aligned to the National Curriculum in England and Wales further strengthening the partnership between industry and education.

Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor, Angela Taylor said: "Both pupils and teachers will benefit from using the Subsea Channel resource as it is a combination of technical knowledge from industry professionals coupled with the educational objectives of teaching professionals.
"Subsea Channel is an exciting range of lessons providing enthralling mini-films which offer an insight into life under the sea, as well as lesson plans with teacher information sheets which will provide primary teachers with everything they need to deliver good quality lessons.”

Subsea Channel will be available to access by teachers across Scotland from 20th November 2015. For more information, visit the Learning Resources page at