Preparations are underway at Maidenhead Aquatics for the launch of their annual Fishkeeper Fry project (now in its third year), starting early in January 2019, and applications are now open.
Fishkeeper Fry is a free, fun and engaging video-led educational programme designed by a team of fishkeeping experts at Maidenhead Aquatics specifically for primary school children, aged 7-8 years to help develop the next generation of responsible fishkeepers.
Not only does this programme provide a great way to get children interested in a fascinating hobby from an early age and provide a great enhancement to traditional science curriculum lessons, but it also offers a range of other benefits to the wider learning experience in the form of mood enhancement and a means of encouraging relaxation in children.
Selected schools have access to a series of short instructional films created just for them by Maidenhead Aquatics’ in-house film production team, along with all the equipment they need to follow along with the films provided completely free of charge (courtesy of Maidenhead Aquatics and their partners Hagen and Tetra) so that they can learn hands-on how to set up an aquarium and look after their fish well - hopefully inspiring them to become our responsible fishkeepers of the future.
Participating schools are allocated a local Maidenhead Aquatics store for the duration of the programme who are available to provide expert day-to-day advice and support for them during the programme and ongoing.
Classes who are selected to take part are simply asked to share their experience with the marketing team at Maidenhead Aquatics as they go on their journey of discovery, in the form of journals, artwork and photos that we can use to share with our social and website audiences.
The programme has attracted some great feedback from teachers who have already participated:
‘A really great learning experience for all involved. Many of the children are now talking about wanting their own tanks and one boy has decided to become a marine biologist!’ Basildon Primary
‘I have recommended it to colleagues at other schools. It’s a brilliant way to introduce children to the joy of keeping fish.’ St. Joseph’s Primary
Other comments included:
‘We are keeping the fish to start a Fishkeeper club at lunchtimes, so the rest of the school can meet and enjoy the fish. Thank you for making it possible.’
‘We followed up many of the video lessons with further learning in science to maximise the children’s experience. In maths we made graphs of the chemical levels over time. We also wrote instructions and explanations using our new knowledge and created some fish themed art work.’
‘I would certainly recommend this programme to other schools and have already done so! The children learned a lot, not only about how to keep fish but also about important scientific concepts such as photosynthesis and digestion. A number of our children with specific learning needs engaged particularly well with the activities and found the presence of the fish calming. Many children from other classes also visited us to see the fish and it was lovely to see the children sharing their new knowledge with others.’
At the end of the 8-week programme, schools have the option of keeping their aquarium on school premises, providing them with ongoing educational value from this experience once the programme has finished. In addition, they continue to benefit from ongoing support from the expert fishkeepers at their local Maidenhead Aquatics stores to support help with upkeep and maintenance of their aquarium.
If you know of a Year 3 class who might like to have their own aquarium to look after and learn about the wonders of fishkeeping you can find out more information here: www.fishkeeperfry/fishkeeperfry
Applications close on November 9, 2018 at which time we will select the schools who will participate in the 2019 programme and notify as to next steps.