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Dive Project Cornwall

In summer 2022, a group of students from our Biology Society worked hard and to a short deadline to make a marine creature out of single-use plastic.

Barry the basking shark is on display in the Science department, and he and his story won our school 20 places on Dive Project Cornwall 2023.

More than 70 students applied for places, and the lucky 20 from Years 9-13 travelled to Porthkerris in Cornwall on Sunday 25 June to start their marine adventure.

Andy Forster, who ran the dive trip, spent weeks getting sponsors to cover the costs of this nationwide enterprise. The cost of each week is over £12,000, but this was completely free to us and entailed all learning materials, dive tuition up to Open Water PADI level, equipment, accommodation in large purpose-built tents, food and educational lectures from the Marine Conservation Society. The only cost was travel to and from the centre.

We had a fabulous week. All students integrated and supported each other. Local companies provided us with hot pasties and farm-fresh vegetables. The drive and dedication to get our young people in the water and appreciating what the ocean has to offer us was inspiring. We want to thank all of the dive team, basecamp crew and sponsors for getting behind and supporting this amazing opportunity.

Thanks also to Mrs Corish and Ms Mills for accompanying the students and making the week so much fun.

Below are some comments, thoughts and details from some of our newly qualified divers and brand new Ocean Influencers.

Maria Dixon
Science Teacher and Group Leader

We had a great time in Cornwall, learning about ocean conservation and scuba diving. The whole team was super fun and supportive, ensuring that we made the most of our time there. We spent six hours in total learning and practising scuba skills in the pool before diving in the sea. It was such a surreal experience, being weightless and amongst the fish. While in the ocean, we saw lots of starfish, seaweed, jellyfish and even a few cuttlefish! As well as this, a group of us went snorkelling on our last full day to explore the sea from a different angle - it was great fun splashing around and floating effortlessly! When we weren’t diving, snorkelling or swimming, we worked with Jowen (a marine biologist and excellent chef) to learn about different types of plankton, and we went on a walk to Porthallow beach for some rockpooling. We also participated in a beach-clean and gathered data on the litter we found for the Marine Conservation Society. After every day of hard work and fun, we got together for dinner, which was always a really tasty meal, before going off to our tents to sleep, looking forward to another day of adventure!

Tia & Lucy

Our favourite parts of the trip:

Jessie: I honestly loved every minute of the trip, but one of my favourite parts was during our second dive, when we swam through some massive rocks and saw lots of fish, starfish and cuttlefish. But altogether, it was the most unforgettable week and I did not want to come home.

Bea: I had the most amazing experience becoming a PADI Open Water Diver in Cornwall and what I got from it, I will definitely cherish. The diving itself was so fun, and we saw so much life underwater that is beyond the imagination. When we practised our skills in the sea, a huge, very friendly fish came to say hello, which was definitely a highlight! On the first full beach day there was bright sunshine and crystal-clear water, which made it feel like we were abroad! There were such amazing views from the second I unzipped the tent door, and watching the sunset while playing games with newly made friends was such a great way to spend our evenings. All the activities were super fun and inspiring, and the presentation at the end made a really lovely end to an unforgettable week.

Freya: The week in Cornwall was an amazing unforgettable experience and I enjoyed every minute. We saw lots of amazing sea life and studied plankton, and saw larvae under scientific microscopes. We held a crystal jellyfish and saw an invasive European crab as well as lots of other marine life. Whilst snorkelling we saw jellyfish, cuttlefish and a spider crab! I hope to complete more scuba diving in the future.

Tia: My favourite part of the trip was when we went into the sea for our group's final dive, where we searched for the octopus that lived around the dive site. Unfortunately we were not able to find the octopus, but we got to see so many other sea creatures. It was amazing when we were swimming around the area and saw all the cuttlefish, jellyfish and a massive spider crab. Another standout part of the trip was when we were practising our skills and a fish came up and was swimming around us.

Rose: A very memorable week! My favourite part was doing our first ocean dive and seeing loads of fascinating sea life like cuttlefish and spider crabs. The most amazing feeling was taking the first breath underwater - by the end of the week we were all officially mermaids! Had great company, made new friends and all of the dive instructors were very encouraging. I didn’t want to leave! Excited to hopefully do more scuba diving around the world in the future.

Lucy: My favourite part of the trip was when all of the e-learning and skill practice came together in our ocean dives. It was an incredible experience and I definitely didn’t want to come home! Everyone was so nice and we all had an amazing week.