Ecosystems: Communication

The activities in this session celebrate the importance of scientific careers and local action to improve local biodiversity and cater for different needs. From exploring roles that contribute to conservation, to researching the best plants for a school garden, to raising awareness of local issues, learners can feel empowered to be agents of change.

This is recommended as session five of the Key Stage Four Ecosystems Science Unit.

KS4

Preparation

Green Skills

  • Communication 
  • Environmental Stewardship

Curriculum Links

Biology

Ecosystems

  • Positive and negative human interactions with ecosystems

Working Scientifically

While teaching the outcomes outlined above the following working scientifically skills objectives can also be delivered

  • Evaluating associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications
  • Making decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments 

Geography

Resource Management and Biodiversity

  • How humans use, modify and change natural ecosystems in ways that may be sustainable or unsustainable

Citizenship

  • Plan practical citizenship actions aimed at delivering a benefit or change for a particular community or wider society

Step by step

Quick Starter Activity  

State of Nature Report 2023

Share these facts come from the latest State of Nature Report 2023:

  • Across the UK species studied have declined on average by 19% since 1970
  • Nearly one in six species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain
  • 151 of 10,008 species assessed have already become extinct since 1500

Ask learners to discuss the following questions:

  • What examples of action are already having a positive impact? (e.g. Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area, Natterjack Toad populations stabilised and expanded due to conservation sites, large-scale restoration projects) 
  • What else can we do to support nature in the UK? 

Main Activity Suggestions

Suggestion 1 (Indoor / outdoor) 

Climate Education and Biodiversity loss reports: Groups of learners can be allocated different reports from this pack to become expert learners, presenting key information to their peers to highlight strategies, policies and recommendations for responding to these issues. 

Suggestion 2 (Indoor) 

SAPS: Want to Change the World? Plant science research is vital to solving some of the biggest problems facing us and our planet. This poster and associated activities explore solutions and careers in plant science that make a difference. Activities celebrate the work of these scientists.

Suggestion 3 (Indoor) 

National Education Nature Park: Ideas for improvement. This activity introduces a range of challenges and opportunities when considering improvements to a school site with the use of 'intervention cards' to consider a range of solutions. 

Top Tips  

Positive mental health and wellbeing can be supported by empowering learners with opportunities to communicate issues about biodiversity loss and to make changes to their own school grounds. This can be facilitated through the Nature Park process.

Further opportunities

Use the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Youth Toolkit to support this age group to continue to explore nature in urban areas, this can be particularly useful for students who may feel less comfortable or confident in the outdoors.

Learners in this age group may be interested in the 'Our Broken Planet: The Podcast' - hear from activists, scientists and those most affected as they unpack the challenges, as well as the solutions, that lie within our grasp.