Secondary Schools

We welcome secondary school groups to Perivale Wood.

We deliver environmental education sessions based on the national curriculum for science and major exam board specifications (AQA, Edexcel and OCR). Perivale Wood is the ideal location for your class to learn field work techniques and to take part in citizen science surveys.

The KS3 sessions are two hours long and cost £150 a session. KS4 and A level sessions are full day sessions and cost £300.

During your visit, you have use of our Bluebell Centre, which includes a classroom for 30 children, a boot room to store any belongings and toilets. Perivale Wood has a diversity of habitats, so depending on the session chosen we may be in the oak woodland, one of the wildflower meadows or at one of the ponds.

We also cater for SEND groups. Please fill in our enquiry form to learn more about our SEND programme.

Summaries for each session can be found below as well as our booking form.

KS3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

Water Survey

During this session pupils will carry out an investigation into the health of one of the ponds found within the Perivale Wood Local Nature Reserve. Pupils will sample the pond, using appropriate field techniques and equipment, to discover the invertebrates that live in this habitat. The data collected will be used to calculate a Pond Health Score. The nature of the areas surrounding the reserve will be discussed in relation to potential sources of pollution that could affect the water quality of the ponds. The data will be evaluated and sources of error discussed. This investigation provides an opportunity for pupils to carry out a scientific survey where the outcome is not known (it is not a ‘fair test’ style of science practical).

Soil Survey

During this sessions, pupils will carry out an investigation into the species of earthworm found in Perivale Wood Local Nature Reserve. This will provide an opportunity for pupils to develop their fieldwork and classification skills. They will learn about how organisms are affected by their environment by investigating whether there is a relationship between the number and type of earthworm found and the soil type and habitat the worms are found in. This investigation provides an opportunity for pupils to carry out a scientific survey where the outcome is not known (it is not a ‘fair test’ style of science practical). It highlights how science works in the real world.

The importance of nature reserves

At this session students will learn about the importance of nature reserves. They will investigate the biodiversity found in the different habitats (e.g. woodland and meadows), learn about the importance of trees with regards to limiting climate change, and find out about how the reserve is managed to maximise biodiversity.

GCSE

Edexcel Biology and Combined Science, AQA Biology, Combinded Science Trilogy and Combined Science Synergy, OCR Gateway Science and Twenty First Century Science
Students can come to Perivale Wood to complete their mandatory core practicals. After an introduction into different field-work techniques and the biotic and abiotic factors that affect communities, students can use field-work techniques to carry out an investigation into the population size of meadow buttercups using random sampling and quadrats. This can be followed by an investigation into the relationship between light intensity and plant distribution in our wild flower meadows.

We have several ponds in the nature reserve and students can learn about indicator species and then carry out the OPAL investigation into the health of the pond. Students will sample the pond, using appropriate field techniques and equipment, to discover the invertebrates that live in this habitat. The data collected will be used to calculate a Pond Health Score. The nature of the areas surrounding the reserve will be discussed in relation to potential sources of pollution that could affect the water quality of the ponds. The data will be evaluated and sources of error discussed.

A visit to Perivale Wood can illustrate the importance of maintaining local biodiversity, the threat of introduction of non-indigenous species (e.g. the Spanish bluebell and oak processionary moth) and the role of nature reserves in the carbon cycle and limiting climate change.

In addition, students can come to Perivale Wood for a unique session where they learn how to do chromatography on autumn leaves and carry out starch and glucose tests on different natural materials. Their results will be discussed using their knowledge of photosynthesis and respiration.

A level session plans for AQA

Investigating populations in ecosystems

This is a full day session for A level students (not AS)

During the first part of the session, students will begin to investigate plant populations in a meadow habitat. They will carry out an
investigation to compare the population size of meadow buttercups in two meadows which are grazed in different ways. They will use a random sampling method and quadrats to estimate the percentage cover of buttercups. Once they have mastered these fieldwork techniques they will plan and carry out the AQA Required Practical 12 investigating the effect of a named environmental factor on the distribution of a given species. There are a variety of different investigations they can choose between. They will use appropriate instrumentation to record quantitative measurements. For example, they will learn how to use a belt transect and may use data loggers, such as light meters or moisture meters.

A level session plans for Edexcel

Core practical 16

This is a full day session.

During the first part of the session, students will begin to investigate plant populations in a meadow habitat. They will carry out an investigation to compare the population size of meadow buttercups in two meadows which are managed in different ways. They will use a random sampling method and quadrats to estimate the percentage cover of buttercups. Once they have mastered these fieldwork techniques they will plan and carry out the Edexcel Core Practical 16 investigating the effect of a named environmental factor on the distribution of a given species. There are a variety of different investigations students can choose between. They will use appropriate instrumentation to record quantitative measurements. For example, they will learn how to use a belt transect and will use data loggers, such as light meters or moisture meters.

A Level Sessions for OCR Biology

Investigating Populations in Ecosystems

This is a full day session for A level students.

During the first part of the session students will begin to investigate plant populations in a meadow habitat. They will carry out an investigation to compare the population size of meadow buttercups in two meadows which are grazed in different ways. They will use a random sampling method and quadrats to estimate the percentage cover of buttercups. Once they have mastered these fieldwork techniques they will investigate whether there is a correlation between a species diversity and the biotic and/or abiotic factors in the environment. They will use appropriate instrumentation to record quantitative measurements. For example, they will learn how to use a belt transect and will use data loggers, such as light meters or moisture meters.