Discover Your Seas

Learn About Whales and Dolphins in Schools

When it comes to protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises for future generations, education is vital. Education is at the core of our work and underpins all of our projects. That’s why we’ve created our formal Education Programme for schools as part of the Your Seas project.

The Dolphin Science Education Programme is delivered to schools throughout North East and South of England by our Community Wildlife Officers and a team of trained volunteers.

Dolphin Science Education Programme - People and Port Project, Portsmouth and Hampshire

1. Dolphin Science Workshops

Our curriculum based, fun, interactive workshops are delivered in your school.  The one-hour session includes an interactive presentation to teach children about the whales and dolphins that live on our doorstep, and about their biology, anatomy and behaviour.  We also look at the threats these animals face and what we can do to protect them. During the presentation, we also show models of porpoise and dolphin skulls and real whale teeth.  We also bring to your school a life-sized dolphin model, and we can measure how how large whales are!

These workshops are tailored to each individual age group, and can be delivered in primary and secondary school, colleges, universities and also local community groups such as Scouts and Brownies.

Our workshops are free of charge.

2. Offshore Dolphin Science Field Trips

Our dedicated whale and dolphin watching research trips are run in partnership with Brittany Ferries. Students will travel from Portsmouth - Santander, Spain - Plymouth on board the Pont Aven.   Students will sail across the Bay of Biscay, one of the world's hotspots for whales and dolphins.  Students will be accompanied by our Wildlife Guides out on deck, spotting amazing wildlife.  On this route, there is the possibility of seeing hundreds of animals, including some of the largest creatures on the planet.  

Trips run from May-July, the best time for wildlife in these waters. Mini cruises (three days, two nights) start from £91 per student (excluding food on board which is about £30 per person), for up to date costs contact anna.bunney@orcaweb.org.uk

- Common dolphins seen on a whale watching mini cruise with Yateley School in July 2016

Dolphin Science Education Programme - North Sea (Runs March to September)

We deliver a three step Dolphin Science Education Programme for primary schools (KS 1 and 2). The programme teaches students dolphin science and builds up skills in dolphin research, culminating in an offshore survey field trip with our experts. Each element of the programme can be delivered independently to suit your school’s budget and syllabus requirements.

1. Dolphin Science Workshops

Our free dolphin science workshop is delivered in your school. The workshop consists of a 45 minute interactive presentation to teach children of any age about UK whales and dolphins, their biology and behaviour. Our workshop kit contains real whale teeth and skulls for the students to explore.  We also have a life sized harbour porpoise model to bring in!

2. Half Day Dolphin Research Excursions

Our free half day dolphin research excursions take place on board DFDS passenger ferry the King Seaways which docks at North Shields. Students will gain first-hand experience of a ferry and take part in a carousel of mini hands-on experiments and surveys to learn real dolphin research skills.
Download more information about the dolphin research excursions.

3. Offshore Dolphin Science Field Trips

Our dedicated dolphin science schools mini cruise is run in partnership with DFDS Seaways. Students will travel from Newcastle – Amsterdam on board the King Seaways helping our experts survey for whales and dolphins on route. Trips run from May-July, the best time for wildlife in these waters. Mini cruises start from £31 per student, for up to date costs contact info@orcaweb.org.uk

Dates: ORCA and DFDS run these field trips May-July, the best time for wildlife in these waters.

Hear from other teachers:

“The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit; they learned lots and the ship proved to be an exciting alternative to the classroom! Thank you.”
Debbie Simpson, Oakfield’s Junior School

“An excellent way of involving children in protecting our seas. Built on their own experiences and took them on an exciting learning journey.”
Rob Johnson, Dame Allan’s Primary School.

“An excellent session, students were engaged throughout and keen to learn more.”
Sandra Little, Burnside Business and Enterprise College

School Case Study

We have also developed a set of free downloadable educational resources for teachers, parents and children.

Resources