The Field Studies Council (FSC) are offering small group courses for A level Biology so you don’t have to pay the minimum group fee of 10 students.

Monday 27th – Friday 31st January 2020 at FSC Orielton £227 per student
Monday 24th – Friday 28th February 2020 at FSC Orielton £227 per student
Monday 26th – Friday 30th October 2020 at FSC Orielton £227 per student
Monday 2nd – Friday 6th November 2020 at FSC Orielton £227 per student

These courses are designed to immerse your students in ecology including biodiversity, ecosystems and completing a mini fieldwork investigation. These courses will not be specification led as the group will be made up of a mixture of specifications.

Course outcomes

Skilled FSC field teachers will direct students’ enthusiasm towards real-life ecological scenarios, and the collection of field data encouraging them to:

  • Acquire and develop practical scientific competencies and sampling skills
  • Increase ecological understanding and make wider synoptic links related to specification content and beyond
  • Immerse themselves in a stunning, natural location to observe and be curious, asking questions about the ecosystems, plants and animals they encounter

Example Timetable

Monday

Morning
Students will be greeted by their tutor, with a welcome talk and an introduction to the centre. Opportunity to hire wellies and waterproofs.

Afternoon
Immersive Ecology
Students will explore the varied habitats of Orielton Estate, make qualitative ecological observations and consider how to design quantitative investigations through an introduction to sampling.

Evening
Students will consolidate their understanding of the basic principles of ecology, set personal learning goals and consider session objectives for the whole course.

Tuesday

Morning and Afternoon
Sand Dune Ecology
Introduction to succession and the formation and management of sand dunes
Fieldwork:

    • Random sampling using a point frame quadrat
    • Measurement of abiotic variables
    • Collection of geo-spatial data to allow mapping of abundance data
    • Conservation and management of Broomhill Burrows
    • A mini-investigation to collect data for a Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Field site: Freshwater West (20 min drive)

Evening
Follow up sessions include:
Analysis of mini investigation using Spearmans rank and calculation of Simpson’s index of diversity.
Evaluation of methods, and discussion of data in relation to ecological concepts such as succession, disturbance, competition and niche, with the opportunity to answer exam style questions using their own data and a GIS map of past data.

Wednesday

Morning and Afternoon
Rocky Shore Ecology

Introduction to variation, adaptation and environmental variables on the rocky shore
Fieldwork:

    • Artificial and phylogenetic classification on the rocky shore
    • Systematic sample using SACFOR abundance scale. Recording and analysing data using FNS.
    • Investigation into intraspecific diversity- collect data for T-Test (in groups)

Field site: Sawdern Point (20 min drive). Timings for this day are variable depending on tide times.

Evening
Follow-up sessions include:
T-Test calculations
Data interpretation and analysis of abundance data with reference to ecological concepts. Students will use research materials and produce a poster summarizing what they have found.

Thursday

Morning and Afternoon
Freshwater and Woodland Ecology
Introduction to Freshwater Ecology
Fieldwork:

    • Identification of freshwater invertebrates using dichotomous keys
    • Sweep net sampling, measurement of abiotic variables

Woodland walk and discussion of management techniques, conservation and adaptation of woodland species
Fieldwork:

    • A range of sampling and measurement techniques will be used to estimate the biomass of organisms

Field site: Orielton Estate

Evening
Follow-up sessions include:
Chi2 calculations

The data from the woods will be used to construct pyramids of energy and calculate the percentage energy transfer between trophic levels.
Optional:
Begin planning for investigations
Advanced field surveying: Students experience practical techniques outside the scope of the standard course. You can choose from moth trapping and identification, small mammal sampling, bat detecting and observation of freshwater invertebrates using microscopes.

Friday

Morning
Investigations

Posing questions and planning of an investigation
Fieldwork: Data collection individually or in small groups
Statistically analyse data and report back findings in lab book or as a group presentation
Course ends at 12:30

Added value of this course

  • Develop personal skills
  • Have fun
  • Be inspired by a passion for the subject
  • Build friendships

Why Choose FSC?

  • Expert tuition by fully trained staff

  • Rigorous and proven health and safety procedures including 24 hour emergency cover

  • Free places for visiting staff in a ratio of 1 to 12 students

  • Specialist equipment and exclusive access to specially developed resources

  • Personal and travel insurance included

  • Access to risk assessments