Key Stage 4 (GSCE)

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  • Age: 14 - 16 years old
  • Group Size: Up to 30 students per tour

At Exploris our education program includes key stages 3 and 4 and we have tailored workshops, as part of our enhanced packages, these are suitable for students studying at GCSE and A Level. Our educational program aims to encourage the following:

  • Scientific method development...
  • Thinking about our place on the planet and what measures we can take to protect our environment
  • Learn and understand the complexities of aquatic habitats and food web and how the impact of humans can alter these fragile dynamics

We offer 3 types of educational tours, please click on the tabs below to find out more.

Duration: Approx. 75 minutes
Price per pupil: £9.00

What’s included:
– Guided tour of the aquarium
– Curriculum based workshop

Please select from one of the workshops below:

Nutrient Cycling

The Nitrogen and Carbon cycles are biologically important nutrient transfers on both small and global scale water bodies. Students will take part in two classroom experiments, tasking them to identify water bodies at different stages of each nutrient cycle, and find what happens when nutrient levels get too high. Workshops will detail how nutrient levels can be monitored, what are the main sources and sinks of nutrients in the oceans, and what the consequences are of these nutrient levels becoming too high. As an important part of the GCSE Biology course, we hope this workshop will provide a more visual and kinetic method of learning the biological cycles and help students understand the relevance of maintaining these in the natural environment, to prepare them for the relevant exam questions.

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The Ocean Through Time

Students will engage with their knowledge of DNA, RNA and gene transfer to learn how scientists currently in the field are using molecular biology techniques to unravel the genetic make-up of the animals inhabiting our oceans and fossils of extant animals. Students will go on a journey through time, over millions of years, to understand how the first animals inhabited the oceans, returned to the land and then returned to the ocean. The evolution of marine animals will be explained with examples of ancient ‘sea monsters’, ‘megasharks’ and extinct marine dinosaurs. Students will learn the processes of evolution and extinction in a fun and interactive classroom session, while understanding how studying animals from the past can help us save animals facing the same consequences now. This workshop aims to aid students in understanding concepts of evolution and DNA outlined in the GCSE Biology specification. All material used in the workshop is available as revision tools after your visit.

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Duration: Approx. 45 minutes
Price per pupil: £7.00

What’s included:
Guided tour of the aquarium

The class will be guided through the aquarium by an aquarist. Students will learn a brief the history of the aquarium, the significance of its location and a history of Strangford Lough.

The tour will continue through the aquarium discussing some of our more unique species and points of interests, as well as current conservation issues.

Students will also learn how the seal unit rescue, rehabilitate and release Northern Ireland’s seals.

Duration: We advise allowing a minimum of 60 minutes for your visit
Price per pupil: £5.00

Pupils will tour the aquarium at their own pace guided by their teacher.


Lunch: from £3.25 per child

Goodie Bag: add £2.50 per child


Lunch: from £3.25 per child

Goodie Bag: add £2.50 per child

option 3 self-guided tour


Lunch: from £3.25 per child

Goodie Bag: add £2.50 per child