Why do our Seas and Oceans Matter So Much?

For our topic this half-term, our overall investigation focus was: Why do our seas and oceans matter so much?

In geography, our key enquiry question was: Why does Sylvia have the largest collection of plastic bath ducks in the world.

During this enquiry pupils had the opportunity to:

Describe what an oceanographer is and be able to identify and locate the five major oceans of the world together with the world’s largest expanses of sea and explain the difference between the two.

Locating oceans and seas around the world.
Locating seas around the world.

Describe and explain what happened to the cargo of plastic ducks lost from a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 1992 and identify, locate and observe accurately on a world map the places around the world where they have washed up in the intervening years – offer reasons and judgements for the pattern observed.

The story of the rubber ducks lost at sea.
Location of where the rubber ducks washed up onto shore.

Demonstrate understanding through comprehension, recall and explanation of what ocean gyres are and how their action helps to create areas of waste accumulation known as ocean garbage patches.

Describe the main uses of single-use plastic in everyday life and identify and evaluate the potential benefits of more sustainable alternatives.

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of plastic as an incredibly versatile and widely used material and compare and contrast these with the negative environmental impact that they can have.

Letter to our school community highlighting the problem with single-use plastic.

Carry out a simulated survey of a beach using sampling techniques to estimate the number of microplastics present describing, explaining and evaluating the validity and trustworthiness of their methods and results.

Carrying out a simulated survey as a class.