Curriculum connections


Year 9

Worksheet: Ecosystems

Summary of task

Students had completed a unit on ecosystems, including conducting field work in their local heathland and completing a case study on the Biosphere 2 experiment. They had investigated how matter and energy move through an ecosystem, and the different ways this can be represented.

This task was a revision exercise undertaken at the end of the unit. Students worked individually, with no access to resources, other than the Wetland Food Web diagram. They were given 40 minutes to complete the task. A recommended word count was given for the first question as a guide to the level of depth required by students in their answers.

Achievement standards

By the end of Year 9, students explain chemical processes and natural radioactivity in terms of atoms and energy transfers and describe examples of important chemical reactions. They describe models of energy transfer and apply these to explain phenomena. They explain global features and events in terms of geological processes and timescales. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

Students design questions that can be investigated using a range of inquiry skills. They design methods that include the control and accurate measurement of variables and systematic collection of dataand describe how they considered ethics and safety. They analyse trends in data, identify relationships between variables and reveal inconsistencies in results. They analyse their methods and the quality of their data, and explain specific actions to improve the quality of their evidence. They evaluate others’ methods and explanations from a scientific perspective and use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.

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