Under the Sea


On Friday 19 October, our Y4 students were lucky enough to visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World as part of the ignition stage of our Inquiry ‘Under the Sea’.

During the visit, I learnt a myriad of fascinating facts about what lives under the sea. Who knew that a Gentoo penguin proposal involves the male penguin dropping a rock at the female penguin to pick up if she accepts him? Before visiting Kelly Tarlton’s, I never knew that Sand Tiger Sharks cannot eat people because their teeth are not the right shape to bite us. Looking back, I really enjoyed walking through the twirling snow blindness tunnel because it made me both dizzy and exhilarated. I was convinced I was going to fall over! We all found it crazy to discover that a stingray’s barb is ripped out when they sting an enemy or something that scares them. My preferred section of Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World was the Turtle Rescue. Not only were the turtles very, very cute but also it was fascinating to learn how the turtles are returned to the oceans once they are well enough, each fitted with a GPS. I love the idea of rescuing turtles.

The glorious aquariums filled with sea horses, stingrays, electric eels, starfish, pufferfish, crayfish, sharks of all shapes and sizes and jellyfish kept us very intrigued and curious. Honestly time seemed to fly while we were there! It was a great way to begin our Term 4 Inquiry Topic.


Charlotte, Y4 Room 18 Student


Young Ocean Explorers

Did you know that approximately 93% of New Zealand is water? And that a whopping 80% of New Zealand’s native animals are sea animals! Would you believe that a humpback whale grows as large as the width of St Heliers School Hall? This term Y4’s Inquiry Topic is ‘Under the Sea.’ We are learning about these vast waters and what lives beneath.

On Tuesday 13 November, Y1-6 students and teachers were lucky enough to listen to Steve Hathaway, from Young Ocean Explorers, who told us about the wonders of the ocean and the manmade problems that are affecting its survival.

When Steve Hathaway was young he loved both fish and fishing. His parents were not so keen, so to further his quest for learning, he read lots of books about fish and the ocean. Eventually Steve Hathaway grew up and had his own boat for sailing around places like the spectacular Hauraki Gulf and Goat Island. He took loads of beautiful underwater photos and videos. However, one day while Steve was diving through the kelp, expecting to see more intriguing and beautiful fish, he was greeted with heaps of plastic waste. When his daughter Riley decided to study sea turtles and how to save them, Steve’s passion for the ocean was reignited.

When diving in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Steve was once again faced with metres and metres of kelp filled with floating plastic bags many of the sea turtles were mistaking for jellyfish. Speaking to his daughter about her school project, Steve had a lightbulb moment and ‘Young Ocean Explorers’ was formed.

We now realise that as young New Zealanders we have the power to make a difference.

All our Y0-6 students really enjoyed listening to Steve and learning how to save our precious New Zealand marine life.
The link to purchase Steve Hathaway’s book is https://www.youngoceanexplorers.com/shop.

The fantastic and interactive website www.youngoceanexplorers.com is free to St Heliers parents and students. All the books sold through the website link will be sent out to the school at the same time labelled with the students name on it.


Chad, Student Y4, Rm18