This course provides an opportunity for schools with low student numbers to undertake fieldwork for their required practicals for A Level Biology.

Overall learning objectives for the course:

  • Provide experience of planning ecological investigations in a variety of habitats.
  • Provide experience of recording biological and environmental variables, and to enable discussion of justifications for and limitations of the techniques.
  • Cover three required practicals with an increasing level of student led planning.

These courses are for groups of 9 or less students from any one school. Students must be accompanied by a responsible adult (usually a teacher from a school, but could be a parent/carer for an individual student).

The course price includes in-course transport, whilst at the centre, and is exempt from VAT.

Please bring your own packed lunch for the first day. All other meals are included up to a packed lunch on the last day.

Example Timetable

Day 1

Morning

Arrive
Students will be greeted by their tutor, with a welcome talk followed by a brief tour of the centre.
There will be the time to settle into rooms and to eat lunch brought from home.

Afternoon

Ecology and Ecosystems Introduction
Introduction to course keywords and themes, vegetation analysis and quadrat use.

Introduction to 3 different ecosystems: wetland, woodland and grassland

In small groups, students will investigate one ecosystem from the 3 visited. Students will design their own method and justify the choice, before feeding back their findings to the class.

Topics introduced include: variation, succession and interdependence of ecosystems

Evening

Statistics Workshop
Students work through a series of data sets choosing appropriate tests, before working through an example test as a class.

Day 2

Morning

Woodland Biodiversity and Sampling
Introduction to woodland ecosystems and how to sample in a woodland area.

Students will perform an investigation into the ground cover plants in woodlands using random sampling.

Students will complete scientific drawings, calculate appropriate averages and sketch bar charts in the field. Calculate percentage error in measurements.

Students will collate data and note down methods and calculate species diversity.

Data collected to include: % cover, frequency and evidence of phenotypic plasticity in chosen species e.g. surface area or thickness etc.

Fieldwork to include: biodiversity scavenger hunt

Afternoon

Data Analysis
Interpret trends and graphs of mean, median modes in data sets, highlight the main differences between the two areas.

Calculate student’s t-test of measured Surface area data.

Draw conclusions from and evaluate the study including thinking about plant adaptations.

Evening

Planning Required Practical 12
Investigation into the effect of a named environmental factor on the distribution of a given species.

Students will choose, in small working groups, an abiotic factor and measure its effect on a named species distribution. Students collect data in their group on hand drawn data sheets.

Day 3

Morning

Sampling Investigation
Students collect data for sampling investigation.

Students return to class to process data with which to write up a report to hand in at school – including data analysis and interpretation and any further research they may need to do.

Course finishes at 12:00

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Picnic Lunch

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Mon 25, March 2024 12:00 - Wed 27, March 2024 12:00

    Location
    Preston Montford
    Region
    West Midlands
    Price
    £152 - £303
    Tutor
    Field Studies Council Staff