A miniature underwater world situated in a quiet corner of the classroom can do wonders for young children. Not only is it a relaxing feature, but it is also fun and highly educational too.

Many of us will be familiar with caring for classroom pets such as gerbils and hamsters, and whilst they are undeniably cute and cuddly, an aquarium full of vibrant fish and luxuriant underwater plant life provides much more enrichment and scope for learning. An aquarium will also impart a tranquil atmosphere to the classroom, something which is surely conducive to those studying. Aquarium fish will not need relocating over the school holidays as would other pets, as automatic feeders and holiday feeding blocks are available. Not to mention, it has been known for teachers and pupils alike to become so fascinated by the tank, that they take it in turns to pop in over the holidays to check up on their fishy friends!

We would encourage any school teachers that are looking at treating their class to a pet, to consider fish, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Many aspects of science can be taught from the mini-ecosystem, including water chemistry, the nitrogen cycle, aquatic biology, and ecology.
  • Other complementary subjects such as geography, language, and history can be introduced neatly alongside the studying of the tank and its inhabitants.
  • Teaches children valuable lessons in caring for and being responsible for pets.
  • Visual learning – children can observe how their efforts in tasks carried out affect the aquarium and its inhabitants.
  • Team work – working with classmates to ensure the aquarium is looked after, developing their social skills and self-confidence.
  • Aquariums have been scientifically proven to lower stress levels and create a calming atmosphere, ideal for the classroom situation whilst studying.
  • Encourages children to look beyond everyday life, sparking their imagination when considering the underwater world evolving in their classroom.

Are you a teacher or parent and know of a school who would LOVE to have an aquarium in their classroom? We have designed an exciting initiative to introduce children to fishkeeping, with eight lessons taking them through the fishkeeping journey - Fishkeeper Fry!

Contact the Maidenhead Aquatics team on [email protected] for more information and to register your school's interest.