Life Below Water for Secondary Schools

Welcome to #BeTheWave – a new education project designed to inform people about our incredible blue planet and inspire them to take action.

Our oceans face many dangers including pollution, habitat destruction, invasive species, a dramatic decrease in ocean fish stocks and global climate change.

We want to ensure teachers have all the tools they need to increase pupils’ understanding of these issues.

Working in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, with support from Welsh Government, we’ve developed a whole host of secondary school resources to help teachers deliver workshops and educational sessions.

Below, you’ll find links to background information, lesson plans, awareness raising ideas and practical guidance for coordinating events and days of action.

Join us and be the wave of change our planet needs.

Why Are Oceans Important?

The value of protecting our oceans can’t be underestimated. Here are just a few of the key facts:

  • Covering over 70% of the Earth, the ocean is our planet’s life support system. It supplies us with fresh water and oxygen, soaks up heat and absorbs carbon dioxide, regulates the climate, influences our weather, and affects our health.
  • The ocean is home to incredible biodiversity and contains the greatest abundance of life on our planet.
  • We only need to look to our own magnificent and varied coastline in Wales to realise how valuable this environment is. Covering 1,700 miles it is home to a diverse range of species from seabirds to marine mammals, seagrass and kelp forests.
  • 60% of the Welsh population live in a coastal zone and many of our major towns and cities are located along the coast.
  • A thriving marine environment is essential not just for wildlife but also for the economy of Wales and for those who call it their home.

Sadly, the healthy future of our ocean is not guaranteed, and we often act in ways that impact negatively on its condition. The ocean faces many dangers including pollution, habitat destruction, invasive species, a dramatic decrease in ocean fish stocks and global climate change.

BeTheWave resources

The content of our resources is rooted in Wales, aiming to develop a strong sense of identity and understanding of local ocean issues. The resources also extend to a global view, strengthening students’ development as citizens of contemporary Wales and the world.
Each lesson plan will present teachers with detailed curriculum links and the resource itself will 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.


For downloadable Powerpoint Presentations, please visit  our resources on Hwb by clicking here.

Ocean Introduction

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

Ecosystem services
Threats to the ocean

Ocean Issues

In this section, students will investigate ocean issues, focussing on marine pollution, climate change and sustainable fishing.

The lessons explore the threats that marine pollution can bring and invite students to investigate how pollution enters our waters and what actions people can make to prevent water pollution. These lessons will also guide students in discovering why a healthy ocean is so important in tackling climate change and supporting marine life.

Students will develop their understanding of the importance of acting sustainably and how they can make positive changes as an individual, a school, or a community.

Marine Pollution, Source to Sea
Marine Pollution, Marine Litter
Marine Pollution, Plastic Pollution
Marine Pollution, Microfibres
Marine Pollution, Stop the Block
Marine Pollution, Invisible Pollution
Climate change
Sustainable fishing

Taking action in your school

Having discovered our #BeTheWave ideas in each lesson plan, this section presents useful guidelines and ideas to assist pupils in raising greater awareness from their own schools, in their community and through social media.

Taking action in your school
Campaigning and behaviour change
Organising a clean-up
Circular Economy

Our education programmes

Did you know nearly half a million young people are involved in our education programmes?

Our education team are here to support schools and colleges at every step of their eco-journey, providing expert guidance, resources, and training.


A great way to start investigating and continually improve the school environment is to make sure your school is an Eco-School.

Read more
Young Reporters

Encourage your pupils to document their #BeTheWave activities and they could be part of an international competition.

Read more