Royal Society Partnership Grant

Royal Society Partnership Grant Awarded

The Biology department have successfully applied for a Royal Society partnership grant to carry out research into the impact of biodiversity on well-being. We have an enthusiastic group of 20 sixth formers to lead the project.

Students will have the opportunity to work with Dr Ed Turner, an ecologist from the University of Cambridge, who has extensive experience in UK and SE Asian ecosystems. We aim to investigate the direct effect of biodiversity on wellbeing. We will use a variety of wellbeing indicators to investigate the effect of spending time in an area of high biodiversity compared with an area of low biodiversity.

The project will start with a visit to the University of Cambridge, where a core group of sixth formers will take part in a sampling techniques training session led by our Scientist partner. This session will also include guidance with valid data collection and data handling. Students will discuss with teachers and the Science partner which wellbeing indicators to measure.The core sixth form group will be responsible for teaching the sampling techniques to the other pupils involved in the project. Groups of pupils will then design and run biodiversity workshops with primary school children where they will be able to discuss the importance of biodiversity and demonstrate how to sample. Biodiversity and wellbeing data will be collected over a six week period starting in June. Pupils’ wellbeing will be monitored using a questionnaire and by taking pulse rate and blood pressure readings before and after walking through the nature reserve or around the field (mown weekly). A control group will walk the same distance inside the school building. Findings will be analysed, presented and conclusions drawn with the help of our Science partner. The core group of students will present their findings to SMT and Governors and then to the whole school in assembly. If the statistical analysis supports the hypothesis the students may wish to suggest developments in the use of the school grounds to promote wellbeing particularly among vulnerable groups. Groups of students will visit the primary schools involved and present their findings to pupils.

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