13 October 2022
Mrs Emma Petty, Head of Biology
Upper Sixth biologists stepped out of the lab last week to conduct important ecology fieldwork. With the school’s 700 acres covering both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s a perfect location for this type of fieldwork.
In some beautiful weather, with Mrs Lane and Miss Cripps, the students explored our own school grounds to measure the abundance, distribution and diversity of a variety of species, finding different environments to compare using transects and quadrats. They bravely collected stinging nettle leaves to compare the surface area of those grown in sunny and shady conditions (spoiler: there was a significant difference in their size).
The following day, the students collated the data they had collected and carried out statistical analysis for their write up. Mr Philbin and I helped with the many calculations and set the students the challenge of planning their own investigation for the final activity. The range of creative investigations was impressive, with students testing variables including light intensity and temperature and even changing the wavelength of light provided to the plants. It was a great chance for the Upper Sixth to work as scientists. We can’t wait to see how they apply their newfound skills in the future.