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A Level Biology Ecology Fieldtrip

On Monday 19 June twenty-six, keen Millhillian Biologists under the supervision of Dr Damberg (Head of Sciences and Biology) Mrs Ritchie (Teacher of Biology) and Mr Jennings (Teacher of Biology) travelled to Box Hill, Surrey, to experience the unique ecology of this area of outstanding natural beauty at the majestic Juniper Hall Field Studies Centre.  

Our pupils worked very hard throughout the trip and threw themselves into every task, such as sampling the local flora in dark forests and investigating pond snails. The pupils delicately applied pink glitter nail varnish (snail varnish) to the snail’s shells to estimate their populations and kick-start sampling investigations of the aquatic invertebrates of the picturesque river Tillingbourne.

Guided by our inspirational tutor Sean, pupils were provided with greater knowledge and an appreciation of the sophisticated interactions of various factors in the ecosystem. They developed their independent planning, standardised data collection, and vital analytic and statistical testing skills during the trip. This enabled many of the more complex criteria demanded by the AQA Biology practical assessments to be awarded. Throughout our time in Surrey, pupils worked harmoniously with great diligence, and good humour and, as ambassadors, represented the School admirably.

Some of our keen footballers came together during the warm evening and played a friendly match. Asal S (Ridgeway House) stood confidently in goal while Finlay D (Cedars House), Otto T (Atkinson House), Lara K (Winfield House), Leon E (Winfield House), and Luke C (Winfield House) provided the attacking threat.

A personal highlight of the trip was that despite our biologists having a secure awareness of the natural environment, there was still a rather animated discussion of how to deal with two resident spiders in one of the bedrooms – with a very swift eviction being enacted! I also really enjoyed the final night, in which we all toasted marshmallows around a blazing campfire to top off a memorable trip.  

Overall, it was a wonderful trip, and all our pupils should be proud of their behaviour and work carried out.  

Mr Jennings
Teacher of Biology