This course contains content from both the ‘AS’ and ‘A’ WJEC specifications and includes:

  • An introductory session.
  • Specified practical work including biodiversity in a named habitat, distribution and abundance of organisms and continuous variation in a named species.
  • Practice of scientific and data analysis skills in preparation for Practical Examination.
  • The study of at least three different ecosystems.
  • Coverage of ecological content from components 2.1 and 2.2 with opportunities to make synoptic links to other units.
  • Coverage of a wide range of maths and graphical skills covered including Simpson Diversity Index and up to three different stats tests.  

Example Timetable

Day 1

Morning

Arrive Midday
  • Students greeted by FSC staff.
  • Welcome talk and Centre tour.
  • Pre-course meeting with FSC staff and teachers.
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs.

Afternoon and Evening

Introduction to Ecology (AS/A).

Students will:

  • Carry out immersive activities to connect them to local habitats.
  • Practice observational and sampling skills and pose relevant ecological questions needed in good field investigations.
  • Investigate the taxonomy, ecology and adaptations of some common species.
  • Agree on class and individual course objectives.

Day 2

Morning, Afternoon and Evening

Biodiversity and Classification (AS/A).

Students will:

  • Use random sampling methods to assess the biodiversity of a named habitat (Specified Practical Work).
  • Consider how biodiversity can vary spatially and over time and investigate some of the influencing factors.
  • Consider wider human impact such as climate change on this habitat.
  • Build upon their knowledge of phylogenetic classification and modern techniques for identification.
  • Consider anatomical, physiological or behavioural adaptations of key species.
  • Use a range of data analysis methods.

Day 3

Morning, Afternoon and Evening

Populations, Ecosystems and Succession (A).

Students will:

  • Use non-random sampling methods to investigate the distribution and abundance of organisms in a habitat (Specified Practical Work).
  • Understand the principles of primary and secondary succession, pioneers and climax community in either a lithosere, hydrosere or psammosere.
  • Consider the need of effective management of the conflict between human needs and conservation.
  • Carry out a biological drawing of a named organism.
  • Further develop taxonomic skills and explore adaptations of key species.
  • Use a range of data analysis methods.

Day 4

Morning, Afternoon and Evening

Energy and Ecosystems (A).

Students will:

  • Measure the abundance of different organisms from different trophic levels within a named ecosystem (freshwater, marine or terrestrial).
  • Use primary and secondary data to quantify efficiency of transfer, gross and net production and construct pyramids of biomass
  • Further develop taxonomic skills and explore adaptations of key species.
  • Use a range of data analysis methods.

Day 5

Morning

Populations and Variation (A).

Students will:

  • Investigate continuous variation in a named species (Specified Practical Work).
  • Consider how genetic and environmental factors produce variation between individuals.
  • Carry out a Student’s t test on the results.

Afternoon

Depart at Midday
  • Review of the course.
  • Signposting further actions and opportunities with the FSC and beyond.
  • Final farewell from FSC staff.

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experiences for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at centres.

How this course fulfills the specification

Specification Links

Practical and Maths Skills

Specified Practical Work

As well as through completing three pieces of Specified Practical Work, there will be other opportunities to practice apparatus and techniques (esp. a, e, h, k and l) and to cover the key practical skills that students will be directly assessed on in their exams.
These skills will be integrated and contextualised into the whole day themes dependent on the habitats and species available.
The practice of scientific and data analysis skills during the course are also good preparation for Practical Examination.

Maths and Stats Skills

The course will cover a wide range of maths and graphical skills and can cover the following statistical tests: Student’s t test, Correlation Co-efficient and Chi squared test.
The days that these tests work best with will depend on the available habitats and species at each Centre.
Students will also calculate the Simpson’s Diversity Index.

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

  • Stunning locations across the UK

  • Outstanding curriculum knowledge

  • Rigorous health and safety procedures

  • Support before and after your visit

  • Free places for visiting staff