Feedback from the Experts (Marine Biologist Lewis Stagnetto and Melanie Soiza Stagnetto  and from the Nautilus Project and Minister John Cortes )

Year Two pupils at St Bernard’s First School presented their research on Jellyfish to parents and a panel of experts. The Minister for Heritage, the Environment and Climate Change John Cortes, Marine Biologist Mr Lewis Stagnetto and Mrs Melanie Soiza Stagnetto from The Nautilus Project were all present to hear about the children’s learning journey.

The presentation was the final phase of a Project-Based Learning Cycle where the children tried to answer the question ‘Why are there so many jellyfish in our local waters?’ Guided by their teachers Ms Olivares, Ms Sciacaluga and Mr Wahnon and with the invaluable support of the Nautilus Project they embarked on a cross-curricular topic to discover the factors that caused increased jellyfish numbers. The children were able to decide upon the direction of their learning. They focussed on researching turtles, making models, engaging lower year groups in talking about the impact of plastic pollution and thinking about ways to solve this global problem.

Jake Stevens (6 years old) made a direct and impassioned plea to Minister Cortes to provide more Sea Bins for our waters as the children had identified them as an effective means of dealing with any stray litter that is floating on the water’s surface. Minister Cortes was very impressed with the children’s knowledge and fervour and praised the children for their efforts, promising four more Sea Bins. The children, teachers and parents were elated at the news!

The panel of experts were extremely impressed with the knowledge and the depth of understanding the children had acquired. Mrs Soiza Stagnetto told the pupils, 'You will inherit the bay and we feel reassured that you will do a better job than our generation has!'

The opportunity to present to such important members of the community who are in a position to actually make a difference gave all the children’s hard work real meaning and relevance. Year Two will be undertaking a Beach clean-up with the Nautilus Project in June as a means of continuing to build on their environmental contribution.

Minister for Education and Environment John Cortes commented, “The children have totally grasped the issues and the importance of protecting our oceans. This is impressive work by the teachers and the children, and thanks as ever to the Nautilus Project for their work with the schools”.

Minister Cortes praised 6 Year old Jake for his impassioned speech after the Presentation
The elated reaction of everyone in the room as Minister Cortes promises four new Sea Bins
Year Two Children presenting their research to parents and the Panel of Experts
6 Year Old Jake Stevens addressing Minister Cortes