St Bernard’s First School’s Year Two pupils have been involved in a project based learning (PBL) initiative involving Gibraltar’s local shore life. The pupils were visited at school by Lewis Stagnetto from the Nautilus Project, who taught them about the creatures that live on our shores, before taking a field trip to Camp Bay in order to see these creatures for themselves in their natural habitat.

These ‘entry events’ were the launch of a major project that required the children to ask questions, undertake research and explore solutions to problems they have identified. The work has spanned a wide range of subject areas including Science, Geography, English, Design Technology and Art.

The children took an environmental approach to the project, and highlighted the dangers posed to their chosen animals’ habitats by pollution. They have also been able to develop their collaborative, creative, communication and critical thinking skills throughout the process.

The final stage of the PBL cycle is for the pupils to present their project to experts in the field. Minister for Environment John Cortes, Senior Environment Officer Stephen Warr and Chief Scientist Dr Liesel Torres were invited to an assembly to give feedback on the work. Chris Gomila and Jackie Linares from the Department of Education, Amaia Fernandez and George Parody from ClimACT, and The Nautilus Project Team were also invited, and the teachers and pupils were grateful for their input and support throughout the project.

The assembly revealed the fantastic learning journey the children and their teachers have been on, and illustrated the depth of knowledge that occurs when we create a culture of creativity and engagement through personalised learning.

Minister for Environment and Education, the Hon Professor John Cortes, said: “After decades fighting for the environment, to hear the clear message from these children about the need to protect our environment gives me hope for the future. Congratulations to all these wonderful children, their inspirational teachers and of course the Nautilus Project. This is the kind of event that makes my job worthwhile. There’s a whole lot more to come.”