RGS Guildford courtyard with students

Lower Sixth Biology Fieldtrip

31 Lower Sixth biologists ventured to the Pembrokeshire coastline for their A Level ecology practical. From Friday to Sunday, the weather was perfect for outdoor learning and exploring rockpools to classify marine organisms. The first task involved using dichotomous keys to identify various species collected, including toothed-topshells, dogwhelks, limpets, barnacles, anemones, and periwinkles. Despite efforts, we found no crabs on the first day.

On Saturday, the students learned about local ecological habitats and succession before heading to the Gann Salt Marsh to collect data along a transect. They tasted samphire, known for its distinct peppery flavour. The marsh’s thick, sticky mud presented challenges: one student got his boot stuck and two students fell in! In the evening, we analysed the collected data using statistical tests.

Sunday’s focus was on data collection methods in the local grassland, using quadrats to determine plant abundance. The boys learned to justify their sampling techniques for their independent investigations. Before lunch, they began planning their required practicals, choosing interesting and challenging titles. Notably, William investigated the distances between territorial anemones and their diameters, finding significant results and rejecting the null hypothesis.

On Monday, heavy rain and strong winds forced us indoors for a morning session on population ecology. Students then ventured into town for a mark-capture-release recapture activity with crabs along the pontoon. Despite the boys’ determination, the weather thwarted their efforts, resulting in zero crabs caught.