Free School Workshops

This autumn/winter, as part of our Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife project, we are offering free freshwater monitoring workshops for Key Stage 2 pupils in Oxford. 

The half-day workshop has been designed to support a number of areas highlighted in the Primary education national curriculum including:

  • Living things and their environment
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Working scientifically.

We will use the latest eDNA testing kits to enable pupils to identify record and learn about the species living in their local pond or waterway. Each child will also have the opportunity to use quick test kits to test water for pollution (nitrate and phosphate). The workshop is also an opportunity for schools to be part of the ‘bigger picture’ as we will be able to compare the results to other surveys done around the UK.

The half-day workshop includes:

  1. Introduction to ponds, waterways and wildlife

What lives in the water?

Why is clean water important to wildlife?

What can we all do to save water and keep it clean?

  1. Practical hands on eDNA and water quality testing

What is DNA testing and how does it work?

What can these tests tell is about the creatures in the water and the health of the water?

Why is this information important?

  1. Colouring in a wildlife pond

The children will be given a pond picture to colour in and add lots of freshwater wildlife to.

  1. Reporting our findings

What have we found? (eDNA test results will be reported back at a later date as the kit will need to go to a lab for analysis).

Discussion around key message (pollution prevention and importance of wildlife).

See example workshop programme 

The workshop requires your school to have a pond or stream that can be tested for eDNA. Although we may be able to work around this if you are keen to take part but don’t have a pond/stream (we could bring a water sample from a local waterbody that we can test). 

We are running these workshops at schools in Oxford between September 2021 and February 2022. If you are interested in your school taking part in this FREE educational workshop, or have any further questions, please contact Francesca Dunn – email fdunn@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk