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Welcome to #BeTheWave, a new Wales-focused education project designed to inform students about our incredible blue planet and inspire them to take action.

About #BeTheWave

The content of these resources is rooted in Wales, aiming to develop a strong sense of identity and understanding of local ocean issues. They also extend to a global view, strengthening students’ development as citizens of contemporary Wales and the world.

Each lesson plan provides detailed curriculum links and the resources themselves introduce the opportunity for schools to take an integrated, thematic approach across the Areas of Learning and Experience, supporting students to make explicit links throughout the curriculum.

Ocean introduction

In these introductory lessons, students will learn to recognise environmental concerns and develop proactive solutions to environmental issues whilst exploring how important the ocean is to life.


The biodiversity of species in our seas is extraordinary - from microscopic bacteria, algae and animals to giant whales.

Learn the key terms, identify marine habitats and understand how species are connected.


Ecosystem services

The ocean is vital to our survival. 

From the air we breathe to the food we eat, use this lesson to explore the many crucial services our marine ecosystems provide us.

Snakelocks Anemone on Seagrass Georgie Bull

Credit: Georgie Bull

Threats to the ocean

We're taking too much out of the sea, and putting too much in.

This lesson gives students an overview of the key threats to our ocean, and highlights ways that we can help recover the health of our ocean.

Diver's torch, Dan Bolt (Usage Restricted - Contact Billy Barraclough with any questions)

Credit: Dan Bolt

Ocean issues

In the following sections, students will investigate ocean issues, focusing on Marine Pollution, Climate Change and Sustainable Fishing.

The Marine Pollution lessons explore the threats posed by pollution, inviting students to investigate how pollution enters our waters and what actions people can make to prevent it.

Then, in our Climate Change lessons, students will be guided in discovering why a healthy ocean is so important in tackling climate change and supporting marine life.

Using our Sustainable Fishing lessons, students will learn about what makes seafood sustainable and how they can make positive changes as an individual, a school, or a community to take care of our seas.

Marine pollution

The following lessons explore the threats that marine pollution poses, including how litter reaches the sea from inland sources, the impacts of plastics on the marine environment, and how we can all help reduce these negative effects.

Source to sea

How does litter enter our ocean? What are the main sources?

Investigate the land and ocean-based activities that cause real problems, and create solutions to make a positive difference.

street litter

Credit: Jon Tyson

Marine litter

What is marine litter? What is it made from and how long does it last?

Investigate litter in your community and develop some social media posts to raise awareness.

Drinks litter in Scotland

Credit: Catherine Gemmell

Plastic pollution

More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans every year.

Think about everyday use of plastic and how it can become an issue for our oceans, especially the impact on our marine wildlife.

Fish and plastic pollution in the sea Rich Carey

Credit: Rich Carey via Shutterstock


Microfibres are plastic threads less than 5mm in length, but can have harmful effects on marine life.

Use this lesson to research the source of these microfibres and their impact on the environment.

Microfibres under a microscope Imogen Napper

Credit: Imogen Napper / Plymouth University

Stop the Block!

What is flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain can have a serious, negative impact on our rivers and seas. 

Discover how this happens and come up with actions to Stop The Block!

Wet wipes on Scottish beach, Catherine Gemmell

Credit: Catherine Gemmell

Invisible pollution

Fashion has an impact on the marine environment.

Investigate how chemical pollution has been caused in the past and present, and the impact it has on the environment and health. Find out what actions you can take to make a difference.

Clothes washing machine microfibres pollution Werayuth Tes

Credit: Werayuth Tes via Shutterstock

Climate change

In this lesson we ask, how is climate change affecting the ocean?

How is the ocean helping to reduce climate change? And what can we do to both reduce climate change and protect the ocean?


Credit: Image by Chris LeBoutillier from Unsplash

Sustainable fishing

Our ocean provides livelihoods and food for millions of people.

To ensure this can continue into the future, we need to make sure our fishing practices are sustainable and non-destructive.

Fish farm from the air Pasta Design

Credit: Pasta Design via Shutterstock

Taking action in your school

Having discovered our #BeTheWave ideas in each lesson plan, this section provides useful guidelines and ideas to help students raise greater awareness of our ocean from their schools, community and on social media

Taking action in your school

Schools can play a huge part to #BeTheWave of change needed to protect our ocean.

Think about developing a Day of Action and investigate local and national environmental groups and initiatives that can help.

Download here

Wave of Hope , Hillhead Primary Glasgow - Kirsty Andrews

Credit: Kirsty Crawford

Campaigning and behaviour change

Find some top tips to help you create a #BeTheWave campaign.

Research who to involve and how to communicate your messaging. Read about successful campaigns to gain inspiration.

Download here

Better world protest, Unsplash, Markus Spiske

Credit: Markus Spiske, Unsplash

Organising a clean-up

Remember – every piece of rubbish collected means less waste ends up in the ocean.

Investigate how to organise a successful clean up and organisations that can help on the day. Check out our Beach clean pages for more help.

Download here

Citizen Science

Credit: Billy Barraclough

Circular economy

Understand what a circular economy means and the choices we have to extend the life of the products we use.

Can we choose more sustainable alternatives?


Credit: Image by Anna Oliinyk from Unsplash

Co-funded by the European Union.

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