What is a typical Extend session like?
Extend activities stretch pupils beyond the core curriculum, with an emphasis on developing critical thinking and independent learning skills.
The Extend activities are suitable for more able pupils. They are designed to provide additional demand for Gifted and Talented Pupils, as part of a programme of preparation for Scholarship examinations or Common Entrance, or just to give a group of able pupils something to really think about in the context of the farm environment.
The following example uses the Key Stage 4 Science topic
This requires pupils to know and understand
The importance of biodiversity
Methods of identifying species and measuring distribution, frequency and abundance of species within a habitat
How old is our hedgerow?
This Extend session will use the content from the programme of study as shown above, with a focus on
Application of knowledge to more challenging examples
Using more complex methods of investigation and data analysis
Bringing the theory to life using the farm environment
A session in the class barn will be use to check understanding of key concepts and to design results tables. This will be followed by the investigative work in the field. The worksheet can be completed during the activity, or later at school, depending on your requirements.
This activity can be adapted for Key Stages 2 and 3 and a follow up session is available to be run in school, focusing on analysis and presentation of the data.
How old is our hedgerow?
You will need:
Your results table
The identification key
A plastic bag
Find a representative 30 metre section of your hedge. (you can do this by striding out 30 long paces). Do not choose a section near the field corner or gate. (Why is this important?)
Using your key, identify all the shrub and tree species in your section and add them into the table.
If you have time, measure several 30-metre lengths - why would this be a good idea?
Include trees of all sizes, but do not count bramble, honeysuckle or any herbaceous plants such as nettles.
If you are unable to identify all the shrubs while in the field, collect a small twig (with leaves) from each shrub species, bring the samples back to the barn in a plastic bag so that we can identify it using an identification guide
When you have your figure for the number of shrub species in your 30-yard section, use the graph on the next page to estimate the age of the hedge.