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Year 3 create an ecosystem

Last term, Year 3 conducted an ‘ecosystem in a bottle’ experiment to find out what living things need to survive. They were very excited to return to School this week to see if anything had grown.

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Last term, Ms Laumberg and Mr Robson started to explore ecosystems with their Year 3 students, thinking carefully about what living things need to survive. They talked about the importance of water, oxygen, food and sunlight, and how all the different elements of an ecosystem work together and rely on each other to sustain the ecosystem. It was all part of their latest PYP Unit of Inquiry into How the World Works, exploring the central idea: Living things are part of complex networks that depend on each other and the environment to survive.

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To further their knowledge, Year 3 decided to create their own ecosystems by adding water, soil and seeds to a bottle. They wanted to see if the little bit of water inside the bottle would circulate over the holidays, travelling up a piece of string to feed the seeds and make them grow. Imagine their excitement when they returned from their holidays to discover their seeds had indeed sprouted. It made them realise that the components of ecosystems are interconnected and responsive to outside change.

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This week, the students have been researching biomes, finding out about the factors that determine what life exists in a biome, such as temperature, soil, and the amount of light and water. They’ve also learnt about the different biomes – terrestrial and aquatic – that exist across the planet, such as tundras, forests (including taigas, deciduous forests and rainforests), grasslands, freshwater and marine biomes, and deserts.

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They’ve started to think about producers (living things like plants that take the Sun’s energy and store it as food), consumers (the herbivores, carnivores and omnivores that feed on producers or other consumers to survive) and decomposers (the organisms that primarily feed on waste or dead organisms to get energy).

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Over the coming weeks, Year 3 students will be conducting their own research into a biome of their choice. They will look at how human influences impact on their biome – researching the effects of things like deforestation, pollution and the introduction of invasive species. They will then be given the agency to curate their own exhibition, which they will present to their peers in Woodstock.

Watch this space!

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