Fish in the Classroom


Primary school kids across Levenmouth are playing a key part in helping to restore their local river – thanks to an excellent interactive initiative delivered through the Restoring the River Leven project in partnership with Forth Rivers Trust and funding from Fife Council.

Fish in the Classroom aims to teach children about environmental responsibility in a fun and engaging way, and ultimately sees them look after brown trout eggs until they hatch and develop in school before releasing the baby fish (or fry) into their local river, the Leven.

Three Fife schools have been involved this year, namely East Wemyss Primary, Coaltown of Wemyss Primary and Coaltown of Balgonie Primary.

Children help keep the water in the classroom aquarium cool enough for the fish to survive by putting fresh ice bottles into the back of the aquarium every day. Then, after about six weeks, the pupils are able to take the baby trout down to their local river and watch them swim off on the next stage of their adventure.

Amy Fergusson, senior ecologist and project officer with the Forth Rivers Trust (pictured), explained: “The Fish in the Classroom project is all about engaging with pupils and schools around our rivers, we come into schools with a tank and all the resources the school will need along with some little brown trout eggs that the pupils can rear in class.

“We teach the children all about rivers and river health and, as it’s an interactive experience, it’s more memorable for them.

“For us it’s about educating the next generation of pupils about river health, conservation, fish species and how they can be impacted by human interaction.

“It instils a sense of ownership and stewardship in them. They live here and we want to encourage them to go down to enjoy their local river and to look after it.”


As part of the project, teachers are provided with instructions, workbooks, answers and ideas for further activities, and participating classes are encouraged to monitor the trout’s progress throughout the early stages of their life cycle.

Fatima Sybilska, class teacher at Coaltown of Wemyss Primary School, said: “P3/4/5 enjoyed taking part in the project and looking after the fish.

“It has been fascinating to observe stages of the life cycle of the brown trout.

“Our participation in this project has helped us with our current topic about the Animal Kingdom and also highlighted the importance of looking after our environment.

“It’s been really interesting to learn a lot more about our local area.”

On release day, an invertebrate kick sample is also carried out to identify other wildlife within the river, letting the kids take a closer look at all the interesting bugs that they may not have known are living in the river.


Our photo above shows the P3/4/5 class from Coaltown of Wemyss Primary School down by the river.

A video highlighting more details about the project and showing the youngsters in action is available on our YouTube channel here.

More schools are being encouraged to take part in the scheme, which runs from January to March, next year, and anyone interested should email

The Restoring the River Leven Project is funded by the Water Environment Fund, administered by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on behalf of the Scottish Government. SEPA works in partnership with local authorities, land and structure owners, fishery trusts and conservation bodies to deliver an annual programme of projects.