The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) has partnered with two local Plymouth schools for students with complex needs to offer tailored visits to assist with their learning and development.
Students from Mount Tamar Special School (aged 5-16) and Longcause Community Special School (aged 8-16) will visit the NMA via a series of scheduled sessions. Led by the NMA's Discovery and Learning team, the students will have the opportunity to discover more about art, science and technology, as well as learn about the many marine animals that reside at the Aquarium and the marine environment.
In addition to scheduled visits, the NMA will provide a respite drop-in service for students, allowing them to visit the Aquarium at any time during the day, to take a break from their school surroundings.
Research conducted by the NMA, in partnership with Plymouth University and the University of Exeter, found that people who spend time watching aquariums and fish tanks could see improvements in their physical and mental wellbeing. Providing a calming and relaxed atmosphere, the peaceful surroundings of the NMA's exhibits and marine life will be the ideal getaway for students to unwind and focus on their learning.
Nicola Murray, Head of Discovery and Learning at the National Marine Aquarium, commented:
“As an educational charity, we're delighted to partner with Mount Tamar Special School and Longcause Community Special School to offer students a unique learning experience. The NMA provides a stimulating setting for any child to learn in, we hope it will also create a calming and relaxed environment for students with learning disabilities to allow them to focus on their learning. The addition of students being able to drop into the Aquarium when they're not having such a good day will be of real value to them, as well as their teachers.”