Guardians of the Deep Education Programme

Harnessing the Power of our Choices

Using a 10-year marine science and nature conservation curriculum, two holiday programmes and public talks we aim to empower children (and adults), through knowledge and compassion, to become Guardians of the Deep

Founded in June 2019, Guardians of the Deep runs our Environmental Education Programmes which include the Guardians Marine Science and Nature Conservation Curriculum, and the Chacma Champions and Krakens holiday programmes. The 10-year curriculum offers courses for each age group. These groups include Blues (Grades 1-3 and named after juvenile African penguins), SeaStars (Grades 4 and 5), Raggies (Grades 6 and 7) and Orcas (Grades 8 and 9). We have recently added another age group to incorporate Early Childhood Development, the Pups (3-4 year olds). All content introduces students to the marine and terrestrial environments through field trips and activities, while focusing on maths and literacy skills.

There is an awesome, vastly undiscovered, world beneath the waves and this ocean realm plays an important role in the health of the global environment. Turning the tide on dangerously outdated perceptions is key in the future survival of life on earth. Being a Guardian of the Deep is more than just a title, by realising the power that our everyday choices wield; we can go on to inspire others to make good decisions for the ocean and the environment as a whole. Guardians links up with local initiatives to show that it isn’t all doom and gloom and that positive change is possible, by working together we can achieve great things!

Our earth is our home, if we want to protect our home we should protect our environment from harmful effects of human activity. It is from the environment itself that we get the benefits of natural resources such as land, water and air. Our life depends on so many non-living components. It is our duty to save our environment” – Asive Myeki (MasiCORP Student – Ukhanyo Primary)

Blending art, science and storytelling we aim to empower students to combine local knowledge and practical experience with research and conservation to enhance their skill set, discover opportunities and broaden their future horizons.

Some of our projects include: Project Neptune ~ Camissa Ocean Workshop ~ Krakens Ocean Champions ~ Chacma Champions ~ Lockdown Learning ~ Assisted Reading Group ~ Putting a Lid on Pollution (A Kelp Forest Mural) ~ Stranded Explorers in the Cape Point Nature Reserve ~ Young Explorers Crew in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens ~ Studying Fynbos Habitat in the Slangkop Nature Reserve ~ The Power of our Choices (A play with Jungle Theatre, Puppet Planet and Simon’s Town Museum) ~ Career Days ~ Public Talks ~ Activity Books ~ Storybooks ~ Field Guides ~ Chacma Challenge (Wildlife-Proofing Bins) ~ Global Ecobrick Challenge

We have worked with the following schools and student groups: American International School of Cape Town, Bhongolethu Foundation, Brambleway Primary, Generation Imhoff, Kleinberg Primary, Kommetjie Eco Pre-Primary, Kommetjie Primary, MasiCORP (Sunnydale ECD, Ukhanyo Primary and Masiphumelele High), Mutheera’s Projects and Surf Outreach

Have a look at the Guardians of the Deep website for more information

Ocean View SeaStars – Assisted Reading Group

Communication is so important to convey feelings, experiences and information, and this can be done through storytelling, writing and reading. To not be able to communicate in one of those ways means that you could miss out on some really awesome things. We have initiated an Assisted Reading Group where the Ocean View SeaStars help others to experience the ocean, to peer beneath her waves and to discover the magic in nature, through those three types of communication. Paired reading allows for one-on-one attention at the pace of the student. Each pair then reports back to the group about their book; what it’s about, what they have learnt and what they have enjoyed. They also get to make their own pack of ocean-themed flash cards to familiarise themselves with marine species and terms.

World Fish Migration Day 2022

As part of our Surviving in the Ocean term, MASICORP students from Ukhanyo Primary and Masiphumelele High schools learnt about migration and the various barriers and threats experienced by species that require migration to survive.World Fish Migration Day highlights these issues in a global celebration to raise awareness and encourage action in protecting rivers and fish. We chose to celebrate South Africa’s largemouth yellowfish; a fish living in freshwater ecosystems that are severely degraded through damming and habitat loss, sewage and agricultural runoff.
So as to reuse the Fish Flag banner, students will be learning how to sew and will make pillow cases out of their designs.
You too can support the World Fish Migration Day movement

International Coastal Clean-Up Day 2021

Guardians of the Deep, along with children from Mutheera’s Projects, joined Curb Beach Plastic on International Coastal Clean-Up Day to remove pollution from LongBeach in Kommetjie and enjoy some time exploring the rocky shores fringing our local coastline. These 31 enthusiastic children collected over 15 kg of rubbish, contributing to the 174 kg removed from the small section of beach between Wireless Road and the Wildevoelvlei outlet!

“Putting a Lid on Pollution” – A Kelp Forest Mural by the Ocean View SeaStars

The aim of this piece is for it to become a visual reminder of the plastic waste rapidly clogging ocean ecosystems, and to encourage conversations about how we can minimise our impact on the environment. Each week the Ocean View SeaStars will focus on a species; they will learn what roles the species has within the kelp forest ecosystems and then they will work together to build it out of the beach-cast plastic. We will also be spending time discussing how to prevent so much waste ending up in the ocean. We hope to make this into a travelling artwork that will accompany the students as they visit school to chat about marine pollution and the power of our choices.

Dalebrook Rocky Shore Field Trip

Term 5 of the SeaStars Curriculum explores the various adaptations that marine species have evolved to survive the conditions of ocean habitats, one such habitat being the Rocky Shore. Life on the Rocky Shore is harsh for its inhabitants; surviving requires adaptations to conditions such as desiccation, wave action, fluctuating salinity, extreme temperatures, tides, predation and competition. Students learn about these awesome adaptations and then get to see them in action on the Dalebrook Rocky Shore. There was even some time to kit up with goggles and snorkels to discover life beneath the waves. The students were quick to learn the basics of staying afloat, learning to trust themselves in this new environment, and are now very keen to get back into the water. We ended the field trip by showing our gratitude to the ocean, for such a special morning, by doing a beach clean-up.

ARKYS Outreach Project Coordinator: Sally Sivewright



Students, and their work, from Surf Outreach (Muizenberg), MasiCORP (Ukhanyo Primary School), Mutheera’s Projects (Ocean View) and Kleinberg Primary Environmental Club

Some of the topics covered by the Blues Crew and SeaStars