At the beginning of October, the Year 13 biology students travelled to Port Talbot, Wales for the annual Biology fieldwork trip. Leaving school on the Monday morning with the sun beaming down on us, we were in high spirits as we arrived at Margam Discovery Centre; an incredibly natural and ecological education site.
Our 4-day stay involved spending the majority of our time out in nature, investigating species diversity in rock pools (where we found crabs, shrimp and a fascinating anemone), plant diversity in a 300m stretch of sand dunes and carrying out one of our 12 assessed practicals in a woodland stream near the site. On top of directly carrying out various experiments, one of which we had to produce entirely independently, we developed our practical skills and understanding of the key statistical tests we must be confident with for our exams.
This extended learning took place in a classroom in the centre, arguably warmer and drier than each of our other locations. With breakfast at 8am and our final classroom session ending at 8pm, each day was intense but hugely beneficial for putting our practical skills into practice in true natural environments rather than simply the labs at school.
We are extremely grateful to the centre for providing us with approachable and very knowledgeable mentors, comfortable accommodation and plenty of food that together gave us such a rewarding experience.
By Lydia Harding: 13E